FSA NAMES JUAN GARCIA STATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Tuesday, June 30, 2009                                 

      The Obama Administration today announced that Juan Garcia will serve as Texas State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency at the USDA.

      "Juan Garcia has a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our rural communities and will help build on the Obama Administration's efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

      Garcia currently has served as the Agricultural Program Manager/Assistant State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency and acting SED since January 2009. He has 32 years of experience in the delivery of federal farm commodity and farm credit programs, and began his career with Texas FSA at the county level.

      During his time at the USDA Soil Conservation Service, Garcia provided technical guidance to farmers, ranchers and organizations in the planning and implementation of conservation programs. He served as an FSA County Executive Director in Hidalgo, Nolan and Cameron County, Texas, and also as a District Director in southern and eastern districts of the state.

      Garcia was raised on a cotton, grain sorghum and cattle operation in Willacy County. He holds a bachelor's degree in animal science from Texas A&I University.

 

ACREAGE QUESTIONS REMAIN UNANSWERED AFTER
USDA'S JUNE 30 PLANTED ACREAGE REPORT

Friday, July 3, 2009                               By Shawn Wade

      High Plains ag leaders may well be asking "Where did the acres go?" following USDA's June 30 Planted Acreage report, which indicated approximately 450,000 northern High Plains cropland acres have been shifted out of corn, cotton and grain sorghum and into alternative crops.

      A quick look at the U.S. cotton acreage shows that nationally, growers once again planted fewer cotton acres in 2009 than they did the previous year. Following this trend, Texas' 4.9 million Upland cotton acres were 100,000 acres below 2008 levels. Despite the overall decrease, Texas growers planted 200,000 more acres of cotton than the 4.7 million acres projected in USDA's March Prospective Plantings report.

      With Texas cotton acreage higher than the prospective plantings estimate, the missing High Plains acres didn't become evident until after the breakdown of planted acres by Texas crop reporting districts was released.

      With the discrepancy, it appears anyone counting on the Planted Acreage report to clarify how many 2009 acres were planted to cotton in the High Plains will have to wait to get the answers they wanted.

      Prior to the June 30 report, opinions on which direction High Plains cotton acreage would go in 2009 were split between staying the same and increasing slightly.

      Looking at the High Plains more closely, shows that cotton acreage increased slightly in Texas crop reporting district 1-S but decreased in district 1-N.

      The district 1-S figures show growers planted approximately 50,000 more cotton acres in 2009 than they did in 2008. Projected cotton acreage in district 1-N, on the other hand, threw observers a curveball as USDA reported 166,400 fewer cotton acres, but no corresponding increase in acres planted to corn and grain sorghum, the other major row crops in the region.

      Since we normally see about the same number of total acres planted to crops each year within the various Texas production regions, it is usually easy to track acreage shifts between the major crops as planting patterns change in response to weather and crop prices.

      With no explanation for where the missing 450,000 acres in 1-N have gone, efforts to predict how much cotton the Texas High Plains will produce in 2009 will have to proceed with the important variable of how many acres we started with unknown.

      Texas crop reporting district 1-N is comprised of the following 23 counties in the Texas panhandle: Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Floyd, Gray, Hale, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, and Swisher.

      Texas crop reporting district 1-S, located in the lower west side of the panhandle, is comprised of 16 counties. Included in this district are Andrews, Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Gaines, Glasscock, Hockley, Howard, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Midland, Terry, and Yoakum.

 

UPLAND COTTON AVERAGE PRICE RECEIVED BY
GROWERS THROUGH MAY 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009                               By Shawn Wade

      May Upland cotton marketings of 462,000 bales were a disappointing follow-up to the 1.2 million bales of cotton marketed the previous month. The low May number will essentially assure a lower overall marketing number for the 2008-crop, which has been dealt numerous setbacks thanks to the global economic woes that have slowed cotton consumption and demand worldwide.

      With the inclusion of the May marketing numbers, the preliminary USDA marketing total for 2008-crop Upland cotton crop sits at 8.595 million bales with just two months remaining in the marketing year. U.S. growers marketed 10.946 million bales during the same time period last year.

      According to USDA the average price received by growers for the month of May was 46.4 cents per pound, 1.3 cents above the April price of 45.3 cents. The preliminary price reported for June 2009 was 44.4 cents.

      Comparing 2008-crop marketings and prices to the 2007-crop for the same time period indicates the gap between the two remains significant. Prices reported in May 2008 and May 2009 illustrates the impact of economic events over the past year even more dramatically. This May's price of 46.40 cents is 18.2 cents (28%) lower that USDA's published April 2008 price of 64.60 cents.

      The May figures pushed the preliminary Weighted Average Price Received by Growers down slightly as well. Based on current figures, the 2008 Upland Cotton Weighted Average Price calculated through May 2009 is 48.67 cents per pound, still well below the 52-cent Upland Cotton Base Loan rate.

      With just two months remaining in the 2008-marketing year it appears that a maximum 2008-crop Upland Cotton Counter-cyclical program payment rate announcement is likely to be made later this year.

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

 

Marketings

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August

1,144

1,144

56.50

56.50

September

95

1,239

61.10

56.85

October

578

1,817

55.50

56.42

November

978

2,795

53.10

55.26

December

781

3,576

51.90

54.53

January

1,849

5,425

46.10

51.65

February

739

6,164

41.60

50.45

March

764

6,928

41.00

49.41

April

1,205

8,133

45.30

48.80

May

462

8,595

46.40

48.67

June

na

na

44.40*

na

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary