Senate Ag Committee Leadership Clarified;
Stabenow Appears Ready To Top Ag Panel

Friday, November 19, 2010                       By Shawn Wade

      Statements issued by Ranking Democrats on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senator Kent Conrad (ND) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), appear to have clarified one of the bigger questions among agriculture groups headed into the 112th Congress.

      Conrad, the most senior Democratic member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced earlier today that he has decided to remain Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee instead of relinquishing that role to head the Agriculture Committee.

      Conrad's decision opens the door for Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to lead the Ag panel when the 112th Congress convenes in January 2011.

      In his statement Conrad explained, "As Chairman of the Budget Committee and a senior member of the Agriculture Committee, the people of North Dakota will be best represented in negotiations on the next Farm Bill, legislation to reduce our dependence on foreign energy, and renewed efforts to put our nation's fiscal house in order."

      In discussing the decision Conrad said, "Even though we are about to write a new Farm Bill - and chairing the Agriculture Committee would be something I would very much enjoy - most everyone has concluded that I am in a very strong position to affect the outcome of the next Farm Bill by remaining a senior member of the Agriculture Committee and retaining the Chairmanship of the Budget Committee."

      Senator Conrad further cited his ability to shape the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills from his position as Chairman of the Budget Committee and as a senior member of the Agriculture Committee as important factors in his decision.

      The resulting vacancy at the top of the Agriculture Committee appears now to be headed to Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

      In a statement released shortly after Conrad's announcement, Stabenow said, "I am ready to lead the Senate Agriculture Committee in the 112th Congress. Agriculture is critical to Michigan's economy, employing a quarter of our workforce. Not only does agriculture create jobs and feed our families across America, but it is also helping us develop new fuels and energy sources.

     "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as we begin writing a new farm bill that once again recognizes the importance of America's agricultural economy and rural communities," concluded Stabenow.

      Stabenow has served on the Agriculture committees in the Michigan legislature, U.S. House of Representatives and currently the U.S. Senate. During the 2008 Farm Bill debate Stabenow worked for the inclusion of a new fruit and vegetable title to the Act.

 

Cotton Harvest Approaching The Home
Stretch Across The Texas High Plains

Friday, November 19, 2010                       By Shawn Wade

      So far the cotton harvest season on the High Plains of Texas has progressed rapidly after getting off to what seemed to be a rolling start around the first of October.

      Thanks to mostly favorable weather, growers have been able build on that early momentum and appear to be on-track to have well over 80 percent of the region's 3.5 million acres of cotton off the stalk and ready for ginning by the Thanksgiving holiday.

      Area gins have also been working at break neck speed since early October to process the crop and it now appears that as much as 50 percent of what could still be a record-breaking High Plains crop will have been ginned by Thanksgiving as well.

      According to the latest USDA Crop Production report, the Texas High Plains region is on-track to produce a crop totaling some 5.74 million bales, slightly more than the regions previous record crop of 5.6 million bales produced in 2007.

      With mostly favorable weather during the later half of the growing season and during harvest, the 2010 High Plains crop has also extended the region's growing reputation for the production of high quality fiber.

      According to the latest reports from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) Cotton Classing offices in Lubbock and Lamesa, over 80 percent of the region's crop is averaging Color Grade 21 or better and more than 80 percent of the bales registering Staple lengths in excess of 35 (1-3/32 inch).

      In addition, Micronaire values at both offices are averaging above 4.0, with only around 10 percent of bales classed to date falling into the discount Micronaire range below 3.5.

      The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2010 production season.

2010 High Plains Cotton Quality Summary

 

Current Week:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

110,493

21+ - 86.2%

31 - 8.2 %

2.18

35.35

Lubbock

351,802

21+ - 84.4%

31 - 10.9%

2.39

36.19

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.46

29.65

80.82

7.8%

Lubbock

4.01

30.45

80.72

7.6%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

525,835

21+ - 82.2%

31 - 12.1%

2.34

35.26

Lubbock

1,733,237

21+ - 85.8%

31 – 8.8%

2.41

35.96

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.43

29.53

80.76

8.1%

Lubbock

4.01

30.30

80.65

7.5%

Source: USDA AMS

 

 

The COTTON USA Advantage

CCI FAX - November 18, 2010

 

U.S. Cotton Industry Hosts Japanese Fiber Education Tour

      Nine Japanese retailers and trading companies toured the U.S. Cotton Belt to learn about the benefits of U.S. cotton fiber in finished apparel during the COTTON USA Fiber Education Tour. The textile sales of companies participating in the Tour totaled $14.9 billion in 2009.

      The group toured the research and promotion headquarters of Cotton Incorporated in NC; the National Cotton Council headquarters and the USDA cotton classing office in TN; and the cotton production and ginning facilities of California's San Joaquin Valley. The group also met with Supima to conclude the Tour.

      This was CCI and Cotton Incorporated's third time to bring Japanese retailers and trading companies to the United States under the Fiber Education Tour initiative to: 1) heighten their awareness of U.S. cotton's types/qualities and the industry's technological advantages; 2) to observe U.S. cotton sustainability practices; and 3) enhance their relationships with U.S. exporters. With cotton prices setting records and supplies tight, this was also an excellent time to reassure large users of cotton that the United States will remain a reliable and long-term supplier of their fiber needs.

      Apparel and home furnishing products made in China now dominate the Japanese retail market. Retailers and trading companies are striving to distinguish themselves through better quality. They are doing so, in part, by demanding more input into the supply chain, and by specifying fiber content and fiber origin from their manufacturers. The COTTON USA Fiber Education Tour was designed to fill a knowledge gap for those buyers sourcing cotton apparel and to instill a preference for U.S. cotton fiber.

      Participants included the following top retailers and trading companies in Japan: AEON Retail Co., Ltd.; AIC Inc.; Akachan Honpo Co., Ltd.; Eddie Bauer Japan Inc.; ITOCHU Corporation; Sojitsu Infinity Inc.; Sumitex International Co., Ltd.; and UNY Co., Ltd.

 

 

THE HAND THAT FEEDS U.S.

http://www.thehandthatfeedsus.org/