Friday, July 2, 2010                                   By Shawn Wade

      Members of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness will gather at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock on Friday, July 9, 2010 to celebrate the organization's 3rd Annual Meeting. SWCA is a regional organization supported by agribusiness, financial institutions, and commodity groups from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

      SWCA Executive Director Jimmy Clark notes that this year's meeting has been divided into three parts. The first two will constitute the meeting portion of the day's activities with the third an evening banquet featuring remarks from current Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.

      Anyone interested in learning about the issues facing agriculture in the Southwest region and about the Southwest Council of Agribusiness are encouraged to attend the SWCA 3rd Annual Meeting. The meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. and conclude at approximately 4:30 p.m. Attendance is free.

      That evening a banquet hosted by the Southwest Council of Agribusiness will feature remarks by Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and provide an opportunity for members and friends of the SWCA to interact with one another.

      Registration and attendance at the SWCA Banquet is also encouraged. A limited amount of seating at the banquet is still available at a cost of $125 per seat. Anyone interested in attending should contact SWCA Executive Director Jimmy Clark at 806-853-8488 or by email,, no later than Wednesday, July 7.

SWCA Annual Meeting Schedule

      The SWCA Annual Meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Horizon Ballroom at the Overton Hotel. The meeting will begin with membership and financial reports and the election of new SWCA Board members.

      Following the business portion of the meeting attendees will benefit from a presentation by Dr. Danny Klinefelter, Professor and Extension Economist from Texas A&M University. Dr. Klinefelter will discuss the state of the agricultural economy and the economic outlook for producers and agribusiness.

      Following Dr. Klinefelter is a pair of panel discussions covering the farm bill and environmental issues. The first panel will discuss farm bill issues and be moderated by Tom Sell, Combest Sell & Associates, of Lubbock. Discussion by the panel will focus on potential program changes that could be considered during the 2012 farm bill debate as well as sharing thoughts on possible opportunities and pitfalls that exist within the debate.

      Participants in the Farm Bill Panel will be: Dr. Darren Hudson, Larry Combest Endowed Chair in Agricultural Competitiveness from Texas Tech University; Kody Bessent, Texas Wheat producers Association; Wayne Cleveland Texas Sorghum Producers Association; David Gibson, Texas Corn Producers Association; Jimbo Grissom, Western Peanut Growers Association; and, Steve Verett, Plains Cotton Growers.

      The second panel will focus on environmental issues and be moderated by Jeff Harrison, Combest Sell & Associates, from Washington, DC. Discussion by the environmental panel will touch on the potential impacts of proposed "Cap & Trade" legislation and regulatory issues brought on by recent court rulings impacting implementation of the Clean Water Act.

      Participants on the Environmental Panel include: Dr. Joe Outlaw, Co-Director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Professor and Extension Economist from Texas A&M University; Charles Maguire, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Dee Vaughan, Vice President, Southwest Council of Agribusiness; and Josh Winegarner, Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

SWCA Banquet To Feature Sen. Blanche Lincoln

      Capping off the days events is a banquet featuring current Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. The banquet will be held at the Overton Hotel and begin at 6:00 p.m.

      Lincoln, who is often described as one of the staunchest and most influential members of the U.S. Senate on matters of agricultural policy, will discuss her thoughts on the Washington legislative environment and how it will impact the 2012 farm bill development process she expects to oversee as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

      Senator Lincoln, who presided over the Senate Agriculture Committee's initial 2012 Farm Bill hearing earlier this week was praised by one of her Republican counterparts on the Committee, Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, as delivering what he says was one of the best agriculture hearing opening statements ever delivered in either the House or the Senate.

      Lincoln's statement is available from the Senate Agriculture Committee website at .



Friday, July 2, 2010                                   By Shawn Wade

      The June 30 USDA Planted Acreage report didn't exactly catch High Plains crop watchers by surprise, but it did cement in their minds the outstanding potential that exists for the 2010 crop in the United States largest cotton production region.

      The report indicates that High Plains farmers have planted 3.83 million acres of cotton in 2010, the largest acreage devoted to the fiber crop since 2006 when a slightly higher 3.89 million acres were planted. What appears to make 2010 unlike the 2006 crop, however, is the number of acres that will ultimately make it to harvest.

      Dry conditions put the non-irrigated portion of the 2006 behind the eight ball early and eventually contributed to more than 1.25 million acres being abandoned before harvest. The 2010 outlook for harvested acreage is drastically different with abandonment to date estimated to be less than five percent of the planted acreage.

      Experienced crop watchers will tell you that on July 2 there is still a lot that has to happen for the 2010 to ring the bell in terms of making top yields. Fortunately, the moisture situation that was already pretty good in almost every corner of the region appears to be getting better over the long Fourth of July weekend.

      The June Acreage report is based on producer surveys of actual planted acreage information. It is the market's first glimpse of how many acres have actually been planted to various crops during the current growing season and sets the stage for evaluating where the crop stands at this point. Up until now acreage discussions have been based on survey results designed to get a handle on producer intentions before they had actually put a seed in the ground.

      Early intentions surveys indicated an increase in cotton acreage, although the amount of that increase was open for debate. This week's report eliminates most of that uncertainty, at least in the High Plains region.

      With crops looking good in the rest of Texas as well, it appears the state is heading towards what could be another significant production year. Closer to home, the question of whether the High Plains can break through the 5 million bale production level will rest on the fortunes the crop receives later in the season.

      Good weather and an average finish will set the stage for another record-setting High Plains production year, and possibly the third 5-plus million bale crop since 2005.




CCI-FAX – June 28, 2010

      CCI, Cotton Incorporated and the COTTON USA Sourcing Program sponsored the Western Hemisphere Sourcing Fair in Cancun, Mexico. In pursuit of stronger business within the region, the COTTON USA Sourcing Program brought together 11 U.S. mills, ten uniform retailers, eight fashion retailers and 44 apparel manufacturing companies from Mexico and the Andean and Central American regions for the Sourcing Fair. The event included a conference session with a panel of experts who addressed important textile and apparel trade issues such as: the cotton price situation, the relevance of sustainability for the textile industry and U.S. market outlook and trends.

      The conference benefitted from presentation by Alston & Bird LLP, International Development Systems, Yiyang Trading LLC, Wakelyn Associates, LLC and the O'Rourke Group Partners. Following the seminar, participating U.S. mills and retailers met with CBI, Mexican and Andean textile and apparel executives in private meetings to discuss business opportunities. Some 700 individual meetings took place, resulting in an efficient and productive Sourcing Fair. Cotton Incorporated supported the event with a mini-stand presenting cotton product developments.

      CCI Taiwan sponsors 21st Golden Melody Awards in Taipei. Consumers received tickets to the show, similar to the Grammy Awards in the U.S., by purchasing COTTON USA products. The COTTON USA Mark was featured on TV, websites, the red carpet and the live broadcast of the awards ceremony. The Golden Melody's best female and male singers from last year designed COTTON USA bags. The cotton bags will be given to volunteer workers for the Taiwan Fund for children and family. CCI Taiwan expects to receive the equivalent of $1.5 million in third-party contributions for this event.

      COTTON USA secures widespread media coverage from high profile consumer competitions in the UK. The competitions highlighted the quality of U.S. cotton and included the participation of COTTON USA licensees Marks & Spencer and Christy. The event was featured four times in the national newspaper, The Times, as well as in high-value online websites including Handbag, InStyle and Glamour, reaching a record 16.8 million people, delivering more than $1 million in earned advertising value.

      CCI Colombia launches COTTON USA "Sleeps with You" consumer advertising campaign. COTTON USA launched a campaign in response to strong competitive actions against cotton fiber in mattresses, and in support of COTTON USA mattress producers Americana de Colchones and Colchones Spring. The new ads featuring cotton's benefits, will be used for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV through July. The COTTON USA message will reach 13.4 million consumers. Sales teams from Colombian mattress producers were trained about the goals of the campaign in order to answer consumers' questions in-store. Americana de Colchones and Colchones Spring will contribute $170,000 to the promotion.