SURE PROGRAM BENEFIT ESTIMATOR UPDATED
AS OFFICIAL FSA SIGN-UP OPPORTUNITIES APPROACH

Friday, October 23, 2009                     By Shawn Wade

      Now that it appears USDA is about to put the final touches on the regulations governing the 2008 Farm Bill's Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) Program, an updated version of the Texas AgriLIFE Extension SURE Benefit Estimator is now ready for download.

      The Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service developed the original SURE Benefit Estimator with assistance from Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. more than a year ago to help answer producer questions about the program.

      Since that time Congress has passed legislation (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) that will modify implementation of SURE for 2008 and USDA has been working steadily to develop the rules that will govern the SURE program. Much of that work now appears to be complete and details are slowly emerging about how the program will be implemented.

      The availability of additional details, as well as inclusion of final 2008 market year average prices, prompted this version 2.0 update of the SURE Benefit Estimator.

      It is important to note that final regulations governing the SURE program have not been released by FSA and any benefit calculated by the new version of the Texas AgriLIFE Extension SURE Benefit Estimator could still vary slightly from the calculation a producer obtains from FSA later on.

      Like the original, version 2.0 of the SURE Benefit Estimator is a Microsoft Excel-based spreadsheet. The file is currently available for download from the Plains Cotton Growers website, located at http://www.plainscotton.org, and from the South Plains Profitability Project website located at: http://southplainsprofit.tamu.edu A copy of Microsoft Excel is required to view and use the estimator.

      This SURE benefit estimator is provided specifically to help producers calculate possible SURE payments. It does not calculate an exact actual payment due to the lack of a final set of program rules. It is also not designed to be a decision aid capable of helping producers decide whether or not to incur the cost of maintaining future SURE program eligibility.

      The SURE benefit estimator utilizes Direct and Counter-cyclical Program data and Federal Crop Insurance information for an eligible producer or entity to estimate the possible benefits that might be available through the SURE program.

      Complete instructions for using the estimator and explanations of the various program parameters used to calculate the estimated SURE payment are included as well.

      Since final rules governing the program are still a work in process at USDA it is possible that additional updates could be required to improve the overall accuracy of the SURE benefit estimator. Users are encouraged to check the PCG and South Plains Profit Project websites regularly for updates.

 

2009 HARVEST SEASON SLOWLY GAINING STEAM;
EARLY CLASSING RETURNS A HIGH POINT

Friday, October 23, 2009                           By Shawn Wade

      Harvest activity on the Texas High Plains has been steadily increasing over the past two weeks. Weather permitting, the last full week of October should find most of the area's cotton producers fully engaged in the harvest of their 2009 crop.

      With not quite 200,000 bales classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Classing offices through October 22, it is still a little early to try to forecast what the 2009 crop will provide in terms of yield and quality.

      From a yield perspective the October USDA crop production estimate for the High Plains region indicates the crop has an opportunity to reach 4 million bales. Early harvest reports have done nothing to create doubt about the accuracy of the USDA forecast as things have gotten off to a fairly smooth start in the nation's largest cotton patch.

      So far yield reports are backing up expectations and it appears the crop is yielding within expected ranges on both irrigated and non-irrigated fields.

      Unfortunately, accurately predicting the actual size of a High Plains cotton crop before it is completely ginned is easier said than done. In fact, most people who try will admit that it is best described as evolutionary process, which almost always gets better and more accurate, with age.

First Glance At 2009 Cotton Quality

      Just like making predictions early on about how much cotton will be produced, predicting the overall quality of the crop from a small early sample is another difficult task.

      The best thing for most folks to do is to just try and keep tabs on how cotton quality is trending from week to week and over the course of the harvest season.

      The USDA Agriculture Marketing Service's Cotton Division is a crop watchers best source for this type of information and does a great job of keeping anyone that is interested informed about the overall quality of the crop.

      With the slow start it should be noted that the roughly 200,000 bales classed to date at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Classing offices represents about 5 percent of the total bales expected for the 2009 crop.

      A deeper look at the reports from each office indicates that they have received a little bit of everything early on. The early snapshot, however, seems to indicate that good things could be on the horizon.

      As more 2009 crop cotton begins flowing through area gins and into the classing offices, a clearer picture of 2009 quality will gradually emerge. For now the best we can do is keep track of the weekly snapshots and see how things shape up over time.

      The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2009 production season.

2009 High Plains Cotton Quality Summary

 

Current Week:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

53,935

21+ - 69.2%

31 – 28.0%

2.91

35.8

Lubbock

80,081

21+ – 45.5%

31 – 48.3%

3.11

35.8

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.2

29.6

80.6

24.2%

Lubbock

4.1

30.0

80.6

16.8%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

87,835

21+ - 75.6%

31 – 21.9%

2.82

35.9

Lubbock

98,711

21+ - 49.6%

31 – 44.5%

3.07

35.8

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.1

29.7

80.7

20.4%

Lubbock

4.1

30.1

80.6

16.8%

Source: USDA AMS

 

OCTOBER 22 UPLAND COTTON
ADJUSTED WORLD PRICE (AWP) ANNOUNCEMENT

      The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation announced the adjusted world price (AWP) for Strict Low Middling (SLM) 1-1/16 inch (leaf grade 4, micronaire 3.5-3.6 and 4.3-4.9, strength 25.5-29.4 grams per tex, length uniformity of 79.5-82.4 percent) upland cotton (base quality), adjusted to U.S. quality and location, the fine count adjustment (FCA), the coarse count adjustment (CCA), and the loan deficiency payment rate that will be in effect from 12:01 a.m., Eastern Time, Friday, October 23, 2009, through midnight, Eastern Time, Thursday, October 29, 2009.

      The next announcement of the AWP, FCA, CCA, and LDP The next announcement of the AWP, FCA, CCA, and LDP rate for upland cotton will be on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

UPLAND COTTON ANNOUNCEMENT

October 15, 2009

                                                                                                   Cents/lb.

Adjusted World Price (AWP)                                                       51.38

Fine Count Adjustment (FCA) 2008 Crop                              0.00

Fine Count Adjustment (FCA) 2009 Crop                              0.00

Coarse Count Adjustment (CCA)                                                    0.00

Loan Deficiency Payment Rate                                           0.62

 

This week's AWP, FCA, and CCA are determined as follows:

FE Price                                                                                    67.75

Adjustments:

         Avg. costs to market                             -13.07

         SLM 1-1/16 inch cotton                - 3.30

Sum of Adjustments                                                                 -16.37

ADJUSTED WORLD PRICE                                                51.38

 

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