Upland Cotton Average Price Received by
Growers Through April 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009                                 By Shawn Wade

      April marketings of 1.205 million bales easily outpaced the 764,000 bales marketed during the previous month and narrowed the gap between 2007 and 2008 crop marketings through the first nine months of the marketing year.

      The April marketings helped push total estimated 2008-crop Upland cotton marketings to 8.133 million bales.

      While the April marketing number was a sight for sore eyes (it is only the third time this year that marketings have eclipsed the one million bale mark), the fact that the increased marketings also carried a slight increase in the average price received by growers for the month was also a welcome departure from the previous trend.

      According to USDA the average price received by growers for the month of April was 45.30 cents per pound, 4.2 cents above the March price of 41.0 cents. The preliminary price reported for May 2009 was 43.9 cents.

      The down side to the report however is that the extra bales and better price didn't do much to slow the decline in the Weighted Average Price Received by growers.

      Based on current figures the 2008 Upland Cotton Weighted Average Price calculated through April 2009 is 48.80 cents per pound, solidly below the 52-cent Upland Cotton Base Loan rate.

      With just three months of data remaining to be collected for the 2008-marketing year it appears that a maximum 2008-crop Upland Cotton Counter-cyclical program payment rate announcement is looming on the horizon.

      Comparing 2008's marketings and prices to the 2007-crop for the same time period shows that the gap between this year and last has narrowed slightly, but 2008 still lags 2007 by 2.156 million bales. Through the same period, 2007-crop marketings stood at 10.289 million bales marketed.

      A look at prices reported in April 2007 and April 2008 illustrates the impact of events over the past year even more dramatically. This April's price of 45.3 cents is 16.8 cents (27%) lower that USDA's published April 2007 price of 62.1 cents.

      The following table shows the average price received each month by farmers and the associated weighted average price based on prices and cumulative marketings from August 1, 2008 through April 2009.

      The 2008 Counter-cyclical payment rate authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill will be based on the 12-month Weighted Average Price Received by growers. For cotton the 12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and marketings for the 2008 marketing year. The 2008 cotton marketing year began August 1, 2008 and ends July 31, 2009.


Average Price Received For 2008-crop Upland Cotton
(Weighted by Marketings)





(000's of Running bales)

























































Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary


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"FOCUS on South Plains Agriculture" Newsletter
Available On Lubbock Center Website

Friday, May 29, 2009                                 By Shawn Wade

      With the 2009 cotton planting season well underway the time has come for Texas AGRI Life Extension to step up the publication schedule for the "FOCUS on South Plains Agriculture" newsletter.

      The May 29, 2009 issue of FOCUS marked the first of thenewsletter's weekly updates for the 2009 production season. This week's newsletter can be found on the web at: http://lubbock.tamu.edu/focus/

      With a strong producer following, FOCUS provides analysis, information and management recommendations for various crops that are used by farmers and crop consultants throughout the High Plains region.

      Cotton Entomology topics covered in the May 29 issue of FOCUS include updates on Cotton Insects; Cotton Agronomy, including an overview of the decision tree associated on determining when to replant a damaged stand of cotton; and Grain sorghum, including an overview of changes in the Milo-Pro (Propazine) use label.

      The information included in FOCUS each week is of tremendous value to growers. By providing growers an opportunity to keep track of what is impacting High Plains crops as it happens, the newsletter allows farmers trying to assess what is going on in their fields to quickly access the information they need to determine the best course of action for their particular situation.

      In addition to keeping track of what is going on around them another benefit that FOCUS provides is immediate access to a full range of on-line Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas AgriLife Research publications and educational materials designed to help them deal with different situations.

      The Texas AgriLife Extension Service team headquartered at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center at Lubbock publishes FOCUS.

      The FOCUS newsletter is co-edited by Dr. David Kerns, Extension Entomologist-Cotton, and Dr. Pat Porter, Extension Entomologist-Integrated Pest Management. Contributing authors include Dr. Kerns, Dr. Randy Boman, Extension Cotton Agronomist, and Dr. Calvin Trostle, Extension Agronomist.


NCC: 2009 P.I.E. Program Tour Dates Set

Friday, May 29, 2009                         

      The National Cotton Council has scheduled dates and locations for the 2009 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program. Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the program is now in its 21st year of helping its U.S. cotton producer participants improve yields and fiber quality.

      This season, producers from the Southwest will see operations in Louisiana and Mississippi on July 12-17; Mid-South producers will visit Texas on July 26-31; Southeastern producers will travel to California on August 2-7; and Far Western producers will tour Georgia, Alabama and Florida on August 16-21.

      Cotton Foundation President Mark Nichols, an Altus, Okla., cotton producer, said the P.I.E. program enables cotton producers to improve yields and fiber quality along with boosting their overall operation's efficiency by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting and 2) observing firsthand the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using new and existing technology.

      Upon completion of this year's four tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed more than 800 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.


Don't Forget: Seminars To Discuss "After CRP"
Land Use Alternatives With Landowners

By Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Extension

      Two conferences designed to explore the opportunities and alternatives available to landowners with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts have been scheduled in Amarillo and Lubbock.

     "After CRP: Wildlife, Farming and Grazing" conferences, sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, will run from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on June 17 and June 18, said Ken Cearley, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist in Canyon.

     The conferences will be alike, varying only by regional differences, he said. Each will offer three general continuing education units toward pesticide applicator re-certification.

     The June 17 conference will be at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center-Amarillo, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. The June 18 conference will be at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center-Lubbock, 1102 E. F.M. 1294.

     "If you're thinking about the future management of the land that you currently have under a CRP contract, or you are starting to consider various alternatives and would like to know what others exist, these conferences will provide some answers," Cearley said.

     They both will address: compliance issues, cost-assistance programs, land management and economics with wildlife in mind, the economics of farming and grazing alternatives, impacts on land value and the effect on future eligibility for federal farm programs.

     In addition to CRP contract holders, those contemplating or involved in buying or selling CRP land, agency personnel, educators and others with an interest in sound land management will likewise benefit from the program, Cearley said.

     Conference partners include Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

     Registration will be $40 through June 12 and $50 at the door. Lunch, refreshments and conference materials will be provided with registration.

     Participants may register online at http://agrilifevents.tamu.edu or by phone by calling 979-845-2604. For more information about this conference, contact Cearley at kcearley@ag.tamu.edu or call