Despite Effort To Stay With Normal Schedule
TBWEF Decides To Delay Assessment Mailings

Friday, August 7, 2009                          by Shawn Wade

      The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation's laudable goal of trying to maintain a normal billing cycle for the vast majority of producers who have already certified acreage for their 2009 cotton crops with the USDA Farm Service Agency has hit a scheduling snag that means this year's boll weevil assessment mailings will arrive a little later than normal.

      Two weeks ago the TBWEF planned to stick with its' normal schedule for sending out 2009 boll weevil eradication program assessment invoices. They hoped that despite an earlier decision by the Farm Service Agency to push the final acreage certification date for 2009 spring seeded crops back to August 15, that enough FSA information would be available to them to keep to their original schedule.

      That didn't happen so the Foundation revised their plans. Under the new schedule cotton producers in all Texas eradication zones except the Lower Rio Grande Valley, South Texas/Winter Garden, and Upper Coastal Bend, can now expect their 2009 TBWEF assessment notices to go in the mail on September 11. The new due date for the delayed assessment invoices will be October 14.

      Growers wanting to qualify for the Foundation's two percent discount option on 2009 assessments should plan on having their assessments paid in full by September 29.

      TBWEF officials encourage growers who have not yet completed 2009 acreage certification reports to insure the accuracy of their 2009 eradication assessment billing statement.

      Assessment calculations are based on information cotton producers provide FSA when certifying crop acreage. If growers find an error in the information on their billing, they will need to correct the information at their local FSA office and forward the corrected information to the TBWEF.

      A list of all currently active Texas boll weevil eradication zones and their anticipated assessment processing dates is included below.

2009 Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Program

Key Assessment Dates



Zone

Anticipated Billing Date

2 Percent Discount Date


Assessment Due Date

Lower Rio Grande Valley

July 13

July 31

August 15

South Texas/Winter Garden

July 13

July 31

August 15

Upper Coastal Bend

July 13

July 31

August 15

Southern Blacklands

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Northern Blacklands

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

El Paso/Trans Pecos

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Southern Rolling Plains

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Rolling Plains Central

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Western High Plains

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Permian Basin

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

St. Lawrence

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Northwest Plains

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Northern High Plains

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Panhandle Zone

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Southern High Plains/Caprock

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Northern Rolling Plains

Sept. 11

Sept. 29

Oct. 14

Source: Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation

      The 2009 assessment rates in the six High Plains zones are shown on the following table.

2009 Boll Weevil Assessment Rates

High Plains Eradication Zones


Zone

Dryland Rate

Irrigated Rate

Northern High Plains

$1.00

$1.00

Northwest Plains

$1.50

$3.00

Panhandle

$3.00

$3.00

Permian Basin

$6.00

$12.00

Southern High Plains/Caprock

$1.00

$1.00

Western High Plains

$2.00

$3.00

Source: Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation

Texas Receives $10.4 Million for Water
Conservation Projects From USDA NRCS

Friday, August 7, 2009                         

      The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $10.4 million available through the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) for five water conservation and water quality projects on Texas agricultural working lands.

      "AWEP is a voluntary conservation initiative that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to improve water conditions on their agricultural land," said Don Gohmert, NRCS state conservationist for Texas. "With water supplies short across Texas, this is just one more way agriculture can help conserve its use."

      Funded projects in Texas include:

Water quality improvement project for the Leon River sponsored by Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board

Texas agriculture water conservation project for the Ogallala Aquifer sponsored by the Texas Water Development Board

Lake Arrowhead watershed project to improve available water quantity sponsored by the Chisholm Trail Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D), Inc.

Water enhancement projects for drought mitigation and water conservation on University lands owned and managed by the University of Texas System sponsored by the University of Texas

Brazos Bottom Irrigation Water Management sponsored by the Post Oak RC&D, Inc.

      Nationally, NRCS has made funding available for 63 AWEP projects in 21 states. Project proposals were developed by sponsors who offered services and resources, allowing the Federal Government to leverage its investment in natural resources conservation.

      AWEP promotes ground and surface water conservation and improves water quality by helping farmers and ranchers implement agricultural water enhancement activities, including water quality or water conservation plan development, conversion to the production of less water-intensive agricultural commodities or dry land farming; water quality or quantity restoration or enhancement projects; irrigation system improvement or irrigation efficiency enhancement; and activities designed to mitigate the effects of drought.

      AWEP was established by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) and funding comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS implements AWEP by entering into EQIP contracts directly with agricultural producers.

      Everyone receiving assistance through AWEP must meet EQIP requirements. Though participating AWEP producers do not need to have existing EQIP contracts, they must be eligible for EQIP. All partner proposals were selected competitively at the national level.

      Proposals for priority areas may have received higher rankings, and include property undergoing conversion of agricultural land from irrigated to dry land farming; projects that help producers meet regulatory requirements; and projects located where there is a high percentage of agricultural land and producers in a region or area.

      More information about specific AWEP projects visit: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov, or visit the nearest USDA Service Center in your area.

 

 

 

July 31, 2009

         In Thailand, COTTON USA celebrates Cotton Day for the first time. The Cotton Day celebration in Thailand awarded the winner of the 2009 COTTON USA T-Shirt Design Contest, Mr. Suraporn Lertwongpaitoon.

         The cotton boll inspired Mr. Suraporn's winning design, which features an oversized, opened cotton boll that blends into the T-shirt itself. Mr. Gary Meyer, U.S. Agricultural Counselor to Thailand, was the guest of honor, delivering the opening remarks and presenting awards on behalf of the U.S. cotton industry.

         In celebration of 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers, Cotton Day also featured 100 percent cotton designs from winners of the COTTON USA Design Challenges in 2006, 2007 and 2008. These designs expressed the versatility and natural aspects of U.S. cotton.

         More than 200 guests from the Thai textile and garment industries, as well as 82 reporters, attended Cotton Day. To date, Cotton Day has been featured in 18 TV programs with a total airtime of 33 minutes, 21 newspapers with a combined circulation of 19.5 million and 17 websites.

Gildan becomes second COTTON USA in the USA licensee. Gildan is licensed to use the COTTON USA Mark on T-shirts, sport shirts, underwear and socks. When used on products in the U.S., the COTTON USA Mark ensures that the cotton content of those products are 100 percent U.S. cotton. Gildan is a vertically integrated marketer and manufacturer of quality branded basic apparel. The company is the leading supplier of active wear for the screen-print channel in the U.S. and Canada.

COTTON USA TV commercial that aired in Thailand between June and July increases COTTON USA Mark Awareness. For general consumers, COTTON USA Mark awareness has increased 13 percent in two years, from 26 percent in 2007 to 39 percent in 2009.

         The most significant increase occurred with target consumers, women between 25 - 34 years of age. Awareness in this group increased 22 percent, from 32 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2009.

         The COTTON USA TV commercial, titled "The Origin," showed that cotton products start with the cotton boll in the field and transform into comfortable cotton products consumers can feel and appreciate in everyday life.

 

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