Every cotton crop ultimately faces its own unique set of challenges depending on circumstance. Knowing that, High Plains cotton growers understand that maximizing the potential of their 2010 cotton will depend on the in-season management decisions they will make over the next 4-6 weeks.
As growers discuss these challenges it is easy to mistake the litany of issues and concerns they can list for pessimism. That would be a mistake.
Despite facing an uncharacteristic set of management challenges, High Plains cotton producers are still generally optimistic about their cotton prospects in 2010.
Crop reports from producers throughout the 41-county Plains Cotton Growers service area verify the tremendous potential that is out there. Those reports also make it clear that the real challenge for growers will be managing their way through the remainder of the season in an environment that is quickly proving itself perfect for a multitude of disease, insect and weed pests to flourish.
For growers wanting some additional information to help make some of these decisions the best source of information is definitely the "FOCUS on South Plains Agriculture" newsletter published by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service at Lubbock.
Published weekly, the latest issue of FOCUS can be viewed online or downloaded in PDF format for printing at the Lubbock Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center website (http://lubbock.tamu.edu/focus/).
A Different Set of Challenges
Growers have quickly realized that managing what is, in many instances, a lush 2010 High Plains crop in an environment that is also optimized for disease, insect and weed development means overcoming issues they usually don't have to deal with and also addressing problems that typically occur later in the season.
On the insect front, weather conditions thus far have allowed many pests to establish themselves at a faster pace than they typically do. Texas AgriLife Extension Entomologist Dr. David Kerns is working hard to address these concerns through FOCUS.
In both the July 16 and 23 issues Dr. Kerns addressed the early buildup of aphids and provided some guidelines for making treatment decisions in pre-bloom and early blooming cotton. He also covers identification and control of other insect pests that are presently making their presence know such as lygus, bollworm and cotton square borers, stink bugs, and spider mites.
Balancing Costs Versus Returns
The potential cost of meeting these challenges is a significant concern for all producers. Their decisions, which will ultimately impact their overall yield potential, will ultimately have to be balanced against the timing and benefit that can be derived.
With so many potential threats to the crop building as the month of July comes to a close, it is important to remember that the High Plains cotton roller coaster is only partway down the track.
This year's ride, which has started well, still has a long way to go before it's done and High Plains growers are working hard to stay one step ahead of the curve.
Friday, July 23, 2010 By CCI Staff
Textile executives from five Bangladeshi and three Pakistani textile mills will tour the U.S. Cotton Belt July 25-August 2 to get more familiar with U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing and to meet with U.S. exporters.
This and all COTTON USA Special Trade Missions are aimed specifically at building trading ties between the U.S. cotton industry and key textile manufacturing leaders - with an overall goal of helping U.S. cotton capture additional market share overseas.
Pakistan is the world's third largest cotton consumer - 11.6 million bales estimated for the 2010 marketing year - while Bangladesh is the world's sixth largest consumer and is estimated to consume 4.25 million bales this year.
"The United States supplies more than half of the cotton that these eight textile participating manufacturers import each year," said Wallace L. (Wally) Darneille, a Lubbock, Texas, cooperative official and president of Cotton Council International (CCI), which sponsors the trade mission. "This is a wonderful opportunity to give these important U.S. cotton customers an intimate look at our industry infrastructure and our commitment to reliably supplying quality fiber to the world marketplace."
The participants will participate in an ICE Futures seminar; visit a farm and gin in the Corpus Christi, TX, area; observe cotton research in North Carolina, and tour the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, Tenn. They will meet with exporters in the four major Cotton Belt regions and get briefings from CCI, the National Cotton Council, the American Cotton Producers, Cotton Incorporated, the American Cotton Shippers Association, the Texas Cotton Association, the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, the Western Cotton Shippers Association, the Southern Cotton Growers Association, the Plains Cotton Growers Association, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.
Friday, July 16, 2010 By Brad Robb
As Certified Importer and Producer Organizations caucus this summer to nominate candidates for leadership positions within the Cotton Research & Promotion Program, board diversity will be an important priority as the Secretary of Agriculture considers potential appointees to the Cotton Board.
In a letter to commodity boards earlier this year, the Secretary of Agriculture outlined his policy to increase diversity on boards and requested that nominations reflect diversity, taking into account the diversity of the population served, size of operations, diversity of experience, methods of production, distribution, marketing strategies, etc.
USDA believes the pursuit of diversity in board membership is an opportunity for embracing new ideas and growth that will enable boards to serve its respective industries better. Central to this effort is the goal of identifying leadership, which reflects diverse perspectives and opinions. In addition, members should possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to represent a diverse population.
The Cotton Board is pleased to join USDA to encourage and support diversity among those nominated to serve as members of the Program's appointed leadership. If you are interested in serving on the Cotton Board please contact your local CPO/CIO or contact the Cotton Board for more information at (901) 683-2500.
July 16, 2010
COTTON USA promotes U.S. cotton-rich bed linens in Germany. COTTON USA-licensed terry and bed linen products from ten brands and suppliers out of Europe and Turkey were highlighted during the three-week promotion in May and June, supported by Betten Rid - the leading German home furnishings retail chain for high quality home products. The promotion marked the 10th anniversary of Betten Rid's partnership with COTTON USA and ran consecutively at all five Betten Rid stores in Frankfurt, Munich and Sulzbach.
The effort included a direct mailing, sales brochures, newspaper inserts and newspaper ads in all three German promotion cities. Betten Rid requests COTTON USA from their brand suppliers, and CCI's Supply Chain Marketing (SCM) program assisted Betten Rid in finding the right suppliers for their high quality private label brand "Rid Collection." Within the last 10 years, Betten Rid's private label business increased to using 50 percent U.S. cotton.
Sourcing USA Summit VI to be held in California Nov. 9-12. The 2010 Sourcing USA Summit, organized by Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, will be held at Terranea¨ in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. The U.S. cotton industry, Cotton Council International, and Cotton Incorporated have hosted the Sourcing USA Summit on a biennial basis since 1999 in an effort to increase cotton fiber exports and further develop the cotton fiber export market.
This Summit will again draw together global cotton industry leaders for interactive business forums and unique networking opportunities. Attendance at the Summit is by personal invitation only. Organizers estimate some 400 of the world's leading cotton mill executives and top executives of leading U.S. cotton export companies will attend.
In addition to information regarding cotton production, processing and trade, the Summit will offer world-class speakers to examine broad economic and social issues affecting the future of the cotton and textile industries.
Key topics at this year's Summit include: the global consumer today and tomorrow, with a focus on growing markets in Asia; the effect of the credit crisis on the global cotton supply chain; economic analysis of world fiber, commodities and products markets; a "Bull and Bear" simulation with leading cotton trade experts; U.S. cotton's quality and traceability; and an examination of "sustainability" in the marketplace. For more information on the Summit, please visit http://www.sourcingusasummit.com.
Global consumers visit COTTON USA Taiwan website. From July 2009 to June 2010, www.cottonusa.org.tw received 1.25 million hits, an average of about 3,400 hits per day. The site received the most visitors during a peak period from May to June, amidst COTTON USA promotional events in Taiwan. In addition to visitors from Taiwan, a website report shows traffic from the U.S., China, Japan and Hong Kong.