Friday, March 13, 2009                         By Shawn Wade

      An effort by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. and other Texas cotton producer organizations to develop a cottonseed insurance program has been cleared to proceed to the next phase of the product development process by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors.

      The proposal, which is designed as an optional insurance endorsement available to producers who purchase a qualifying buy-up policy of insurance on their cotton lint, was formally presented to the FCIC board in Washington, DC March 12 by PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett and PCG Communications Director Shawn Wade.

      Also participating in the formal presentation were representatives from Watts & Associates, a Montana-based consulting firm assisting PCG in the development of the proposal.

      Following the favorable reception the proposal received by the FCIC Board, the proposal will now go out for review by crop insurance experts who will report back to the FCIC Board over the next few months. Following the expert review process, the FCIC Board will revisit the cottonseed proposal to decide to either request modifications to the proposal or approve the proposal.

      If approved, the proposal would become a pilot insurance program available to growers. From the start of this process PCG's goal has been to complete the product development process in time for the new cottonseed pilot endorsement to be available to growers for the 2010 growing season.

      With this week's action by the FCIC Board the cottonseed endorsement has cleared a major hurdle and remains on track to meet that goal.

      As proposed, the cottonseed endorsement will provide eligible growers the option to purchased yield-based coverage for their cottonseed. The endorsement is designed to be available to growers who purchase individual buy-up coverage under the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), Crop Revenue Coverage (CRC) and Revenue Assurance (RA) plans of insurance for their cotton lint. The endorsement will not be available to growers who purchase CAT, GRIP or GRP cotton policies.

      Availability of the product to growers for the 2010 insurance year is contingent of final approval by the Federal Crop Insurance Board of Directors. Once the proposal is cleared by the FCIC Board for pilot status, additional information on the structure, implementation and availability of the cottonseed endorsement will be made available.


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Friday, March 13, 2009                         By Shawn Wade

      Augmenting the information resources he is rapidly bringing on-line, Dr. Darren Hudson, Larry Combest Endowed Chair of Agricultural Competiveness, has added a web-based newsletter to his repertoire.

      The newsletter, titled Competing for Profit, embodies the objectives of the agricultural competitiveness program he holds by highlighting the stories of innovative producers and agribusinesses in West Texas.

      In these first several issues, we will be running a special series entitled Profiles in West Texas Agriculture. These stories are prepared by Samantha Yates based on interviews with innovative West Texas producers and agribusinesses. The purpose of these stories is two-fold.

      First, they represent stories about families and businesses involved in agriculture that help provide a fact-based perspective to non-agricultural audiences about the realities of modern farming.

      Second, these innovative producers provide meaningful examples of alternative strategies and approaches to maintaining competitiveness.

      In addition to the feature story in each issue, Dr. Hudson will follow each story with a more direct discussion of the strategies employed by the subject of the story. By discussing strengths and weaknesses of the strategies being employed, as well as alternative approaches for achieving the same goals, Hudson hopes to encourage growers and agribusiness people to consider creative ways to address competitiveness in the future.

      Wrapping up each issue will be discussion of on-going research and research findings of interest to readers.

      To view the inaugural issue of the Competing for Profit newsletter, which features the story of Ropesville, Texas, farmer and gin owner Dan Taylor, can be found at:



Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

52nd Annual Meeting


Friday, April 3, 2009
Lubbock Mem. Civic Center 8:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Lowell Catlett


Featured Speakers:

John Maguire

Senior V.P., National Cotton Council of America,

Alan Terhaar
Executive Director, Cotton Council International