AMERICA'S HEARTLAND TO HIGHLIGHT COTTON IN
EPISODE TO BEGIN AIRING DECEMBER 27

Friday, December 17, 2010                       By Shawn Wade

      America's Heartland, the only nationally distributed program celebrating American agriculture, is set to take a detailed look at the role that cotton plays in all our lives.

      Most people think about cotton as simply a fabric, but cotton is also used in creating unique cooking oils, animal feed, and much more. America's Heartland takes viewers to the cotton fields of Louisiana; fabric-making plants in North Carolina; and a special dairy down south, where cotton is one of the key ingredients in the production of ice cream.

      The America's Heartland episode "Cotton-America's Heartland Crop" begins airing across the U.S. the week of December 27, 2010.

      In the episode reporters Sarah Gardner, Jason Shoultz and Rob Stewart take an indepth look at different phases of cotton's journey from raw commodity to finished products.

      First, Gardner travels to Newellton, Louisiana, where grower Jay Hardwick raises cotton on more than seven thousand acres. The stop highlights the modern technology growers use in the production and harvesting of cotton on the farm.

      Advanced technology also plays an important role in the creation of cotton yarn for a variety of clothing and household goods. North Carolina's Parkdale Mills has been producing cotton yarn since 1916. Reporter Jason Shoultz discovers the steps involved in turning out nearly a billion pounds of yarn each year.

      Finally, reporter Rob Stewart takes viewers to Lubbock, Texas, where PYCO Industries turns cotton seed into cattle feed, cotton oil, and cotton stuffing materials that may end up in your mattress.

      This special America's Heartland theme show also looks at how farmers use cotton seed to add protein and fiber to the diet of dairy cattle. And, viewers will discover how one restaurant in Texas uses cotton seed oil to create the distinctive flavors of their chicken and catfish dishes.

      Produced by KVIE Public Television and launched in 2005, the award-winning America's Heartland travels throughout the U.S., introducing non-farm viewers to the men and women who provide the food, fuel, and fiber we use and consume daily.

      Distributed by American Public Television, the series is seen on more than 230 PBS stations covering 60% of the U.S. America's Heartland also reaches viewers in rural communities with primetime broadcasts on RFD-TV.

 

CONGRESS PASSES TAX BILL EXTENDING NUMEROUS
PROVISIONS THAT BENEFIT AGRICULTURE

Friday, December 17, 2010                       By Shawn Wade

      The House of Representatives voted late Thursday night on passage of the much anticipated tax bill H.R. 4853 (officially titled the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III).

      The bill extends a plethora of tax cuts set to expire December 31 and cleared easily without amendment despite an attempt to revise parts of the deal related to estate taxes. The final vote was 277-148. The Senate passed the same measure on December 15 with a vote of 81-19. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill on Friday, December 17.

      The bill includes extensions of several tax relief measures enacted under the Bush Administration that have been generally popular among taxpayers and modifies others.

      While the provisions related to individual taxes are important to agriculture, provisions like the reworked estate tax rules and expanded depreciation allowances that were part of the package are important to the business side of agriculture.

      The following items are considered to be particularly important to agricultural producers and agribusiness:

Extension of modified individual tax brackets and personal exemption/itemized deduction provisions.

Extension of lower capital gains and dividend tax rates.

Inclusion of an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch provision.

Estate Tax Relief provisions (essentially the compromise developed by Sen.Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)/ Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ))

Bonus Depreciation extension and Section 179 depreciation provisions.

A Social Security Payroll tax holiday.

Numerous energy incentive provisions (including biodiesel, the alternative fuels credit, the ethanol blenders credit, and several others).

Extension of the ability to deduct State and local general sales taxes; Extension of provisions encouraging contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes; and other Individual Tax Relief provisions.

Exclusion of small business capital gains and other Business Tax Relief provisions.

 

Want the facts about the U.S. farm policy. Get what you need at:
http://www.farmpolicyfacts.com

 

COTTON QUALITY REPORT

      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

110,636

21+ - 86.3%

31 - 10.4%

1.92

35.39

Lubbock

355,387

21+ - 84.0%

31 - 14.4%

2.19

36.01

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.25

29.58

80.50

7.3%

Lubbock

4.02

30.12

80.48

9.7%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

967,185

21+ - 83.9%

31 - 10.7%

2.21

35.33

Lubbock

3,168,850

21+ - 86.2%

31 - 9.8%

2.33

35.98

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.38

29.61

80.71

7.9%

Lubbock

4.01

30.28

80.60

7.6%

Source: USDA AMS

 

USDA-NRCS REQUESTS PROPOSALS FOR
WATER AND LAND CONSERVATION PROJECTS

      The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking proposals for projects under two NRCS programs that will bring partners together to help farmers, ranchers and private nonindustrial forest landowners implement beneficial water and land conservation practices.

      Project proposals can be submitted under the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) and the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) programs. Project requirements can be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov. The NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers in approved project areas.

      Through AWEP, NRCS provides support for projects that conserve and improve water quality, use irrigation water efficiently, mitigate the effects of drought and climate change and take other actions that benefit water resources. NRCS enters into partnership agreements with federally recognized Indian Tribes, state and local units of government, agricultural and forestland associations, and nongovernmental organizations to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in designated project areas.

      Three projects approved for AWEP funding in fiscal year (FY) 2010 are supporting water conservation efforts in Texas. For example, the Ogallala Aquifer project, sponsored by the Texas Water Development Board, received $4 million in funding to address water quantity issues in the 49 Panhandle counties within the aquifer area.

      Through CCPI, NRCS and partners assist producers in implementing conservation practices on agricultural and nonindustrial private forestlands. NRCS leverages financial and technical assistance with partners' resources to install soil erosion practices, manage grazing lands, improve forestlands, establish cover crops, and reduce on-farm energy usage and other conservation measures. CCPI is open to federally recognized Tribes, state and local units of government, producer associations, farmer cooperatives, institutions of higher education and nongovernmental organizations that work with producers.

      Proposals for AWEP and CCPI projects must be received by NRCS by January 28, 2011.

 

The COTTON USA Advantage

CCI FAX – December 9, 2010

COTTON USA Supply Chain Marketing Program Yarn Buyers Tour to Thailand

      Fourteen of Thailand's spinning companies welcomed yarn buyers from across Asia last week during the COTTON USA Yarn Buyers Tour to Thailand. CCI recruited yarn importing companies with manufacturing facilities in Asia to meet with customers of U.S. cotton. The tour highlighted the advantages of sourcing U.S. cotton-rich yarns to regional buyers through some of Thailand's best spinners.

      The tour started with a briefing session providing introductions to CCI and Cotton Incorporated; an industry overview and introduction to the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries (AFTEX); mill introductions; a cotton economic report on U.S. and global cotton production, supply and demand; and a presentation on Asian textile trade trends.

      CCI organized five different mill tours for the buyers. Additionally, buyers had opportunities during the week to network individually with the yarn manufacturers.

      CCI will survey buyers and sellers to evaluate the impact of this project; however, initial reports show that all buyers have requested samples and are already planning follow-up meetings later in the year.

      This event was the highlight of CCI's new Supply Chain Marketing program in Thailand, which has a total of 19 member mills.

      The Supply Chain Marketing (SCM) program is designed to create demand for U.S. cotton and products made with U.S. cotton throughout the entire supply chain from farm to retail shelf. CCI launched a special SCM program for the Thai spinners in 2010 due to their loyalty to U.S. cotton and desire to promote sales within Southeast Asia in an effort to bolster regional trade. For more questions about CCI's SCM program in Thailand, please visit http://www.cottonusasupplychain.com or http://www.cottonusa.org.