Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Announces
Initial 53rd Annual Meeting Speaker Line-up

Friday, January 29, 2010                           By Shawn Wade

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. is pleased to announce the organization's 53rd Annual Meeting will be held Friday, April 9, 2010in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. The meeting is being held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners Association Convention and Trade Show April 8-9, 2010 in Lubbock.

      PCG's Annual Meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will start promptly at 9 a.m.

      PCG officials note the focus of the meeting will be to provide PCG members an overview of the current political climate and the potential impact it could have on the cotton industry through changes to agriculture and trade policy heading into the 2010 mid-term election cycle and the beginning of the 2012 farm bill development process.

      PCG is pleased to announce that long-time Washington DC-based agriculture correspondent James R. (Jim) Wiesemeyer has agreed to participate in this year's meeting. This will mark Wiesemeyer's third appearance before the PCG membership, having previously addressed the organization in 2005 and 2007.

      With over 30 years of experience covering agriculture in Washington, Wiesemeyer has been asked to share his view of the agriculture policy landscape and what the future holds for the cotton industry and U.S. agriculture.

      Wiesemeyer is Senior Vice President of the Washington Bureau of Informa Economics and is considered the dean of Washington agricultural journalists. High Plains cotton growers may best know Wiesemeyer as the author of ProFarmer's "Inside Washington Today" column, which is available by subscription from

      Current PCG president Barry Evans, of Kress, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. Additional information about the PCG Annual Meeting and a final program will be available to attendees prior to the meeting.


PCG Updates 2008 Sure Benefit Estimator;
Releases 2010 PCG Seed Cost Calculator

Friday, January 29, 2010                           By Shawn Wade

      Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers has posted newly revised versions of the PCG Seed Cost Calculator for 2010 and as well as a new version of the Texas AgriLIFE Extension SURE Benefit Estimator. The files are available from the PCG website at

2010 PCG Seed Cost Calculator

      The newly updated version of the PCG 2010 Seed Cost Calculator can be downloaded at The calculator has become a popular tool among producers interested in comparing seed and technology prices before making their final 2010 variety selections.

      The 2010 version of the spreadsheet includes listings for 109 conventional, Roundup Ready, Roundup Ready FLEX, GlyTol, Liberty Link, Bollgard II and Widestrike varieties, including numerous stacked gene versions of these technologies that will be available for sale in West Texas in 2010.

      Please note that as of January 29, Bayer CropScience has not announced official pricing for two new GlyTol, glyphosate resistant, cottonseed varieties that will be available for purchase in 2010. An announcement of these prices is expected in early February and this information will be incorporated into a revised version of the 2010 PCG Seed Cost Calculator and posted on PCG's website as soon as it becomes available.

      The PCG seed cost calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices.

SURE Benefit Estimator version 3.0

      The Texas AgriLIFE Extension SURE Benefit Estimator was last updated on November 24 and anyone using this or another previous version of the spreadsheet is encouraged to download the new version 3.0 file as soon as possible.

      With an official release date of January 25, 2010, key changes made in version 3.0 include the incorporation of input spaces for data included on a producer's Farm Service Agency SURE Interim Report and a producer's crop insurance premium information on a unit-by-unit basis.

      Another useful adaptation included in version 3.0 is the ability to toggle the Summary page to display the estimated amount of benefit payable through the Farm Service Agency's initial sign-up procedure or an estimation of the total amount of SURE benefit that might be payable once all SURE program features are implemented.

      These changes will allow the spreadsheet to more accurately calculate SURE guarantee amounts, including adjustments provided through implementation of provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the amount of crop insurance premium a grower may deduct from their calculated total revenue.

      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.

      Like the original, version 3.0 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, and from the South Plains Profitability Project website located at: A copy of Microsoft Excel is required to view and use the estimator.

      The 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.

      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 somewhat from the calculation a producer obtains from FSA for a variety of reasons.

      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 High Plains Cotton Quality Summary

            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.


Current Week:









21+ - 74.4%

31 – 17.8%





21+ - 33.2%

31 – 52.3%




















Season Totals To Date:









21+ - 72.5%

31 - 24.5%





21+ - 50.2%

31 - 41.6%


















Source: USDA AMS


Texas AgriLife Extension To Offer Numerous
Continuing Education Opportunities In 2010

      Texas AgriLife Extension Service conferences provide growers multiple opportunities to gather useful production information. Heading into the 2010 growing season producers attending the conferences can also earn valuable continuing education unit (CEU) course credits, necessary to maintain private and commercial applicator licenses.




      The CEU credits are for private pesticide applicator license-holders, who are required to receive 15 hours of continuing education units prior to license recertification, which occurs every five years.

      A list of the Texas AgriLife Extension production conferences and meetings, along with other industry production conferences and meetings, will be published over the course of the next several weeks to assist growers in identifying educational opportunities in their area.



The Cotton USA Advantage
CCI-FAX -- January 28, 2010

      U.S. Department of Agriculture announces full MAP and FMD funding in FY 2010. The Market Access Program (MAP) is funded at $200 million annually and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program at $34.5 million annually, as authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. The allocation of $234.5 million to 70 U.S. trade organizations, including CCI, will help promote U.S. food and agricultural products overseas. As in FY 2009, CCI is the recipient of the largest allocation of MAP funds and the second largest allocation of FMD funds. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) administers both MAP and FMD funding.


2010 Production Conference & Meeting Dates




Feb. 2

Sandyland Ag Conference, Seminole.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Gaines County, 432-758-4006.

Feb. 3

Commercial Turf & Ornamental Workshop, Lubbock.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Lubbock County, 806-775-1680.

Feb. 9

Llano Estacado Corn Conference, Castro County Exposition Building, Dimmitt.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Castro County, 806-647-4115.

Feb. 9

SW Farm & Ranch Classic Farm Show, Lubbock Civic Center.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Lubbock County, 806-775-1680.

Feb. 10

South Plains Ag Conference, Brownfield.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Terry County, 806-637-4060.

Feb. 10

Cottonseed Variety Meeting, Farwell.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Parmer County at 806-481-3619.

Feb. 10

Hale/Swisher Crops Conference, Ollie Liner Center, Plainview.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Hale County, 806-291-5267.

Feb. 11

Cotton Production Meeting, Lamesa.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Dawson County, 806-872-3444.

Feb. 22

Cotton Production Meeting, Tahoka.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Lynn County, 806-561-4562.

Feb. 23

Cotton Variety Selection, Cotton Outlook and Fertilizer Management, Brownfield.

Contact AgriLife Extension office in Terry County, 806-637-4060.


Want the facts about the U.S. farm policy.

Get what you need at: