Haldenby Says Decision Opens New
Opportunities To Promote West Texas Cotton

Friday, January 14, 2011                           By Shawn Wade

      For roughly a third of his life Roger Haldenby has been serving the High Plains cotton industry in one capacity or another.

      Come March 1, 2011 Haldenby will embark on a new phase of both his life and his service to the High Plains cotton industry when he leaves the employ of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. and once again flies across an ocean to, at least partially, reinvent himself half a world away.

      Haldenby notes that his decision to make a change wasn't an easy one, but that the combination of new opportunities and an ability to introduce and promote High Plains cotton to a growing and hungry customer base in another part of the world eventually proved irresistible.

      According to PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett, Haldenby may soon be less of a daily fixture for many in the industry, but he will not be dropping completely off the radar screen any time soon.

      Haldenby will continue to work directly with PCG on an interim basis to ensure a smooth transition for the organization internally and externally.

      "There is no doubt that we will miss him in many ways, and probably in a few that we haven't even thought of yet," says Verett. "Fortunately, the end result is that High Plains cotton and cotton producers will soon have one of their biggest fans on the ground overseas expounding the virtues of the cotton produced in the biggest cotton patch in the world to a hungry and growing customer base."

      Making a fresh start is nothing new to Haldenby. The first time he did it he was a man crisscrossing the globe on the wings of innumerable aircraft who eventually landed in America, a place that he first eagerly wanted to explore and then quickly determined was the type of place that he wanted to make his home.

      It was during this time of discovery that Haldenby first found himself on the High Plains of Texas and came to appreciate the land and the people who populated it. Not long afterward he became a United States citizen, embracing the freedom and opportunity that his new home provided.

      Often noting that even though he wasn't born in Texas he got here as quickly as he could, Haldenby made himself a home within the High Plains cotton industry first as a commercial spray applicator and later as leader of the region's long-standing fight against a devastating interloper that also wanted to establish itself in High Plains cotton – the boll weevil.

      His selection by Plains Cotton Growers as the man to lead the High Plains Boll Weevil Diapause Control Program in 1989 was the start of Haldenby's PCG career and led to his becoming one of the most recognized faces and voices within the High Plains cotton industry.

      Since joining PCG, Haldenby's record of service is dotted with lasting evidence of the many ways that he has helped advance the High Plains cotton industry. Initially his work and leadership played a significant role in ousting the boll weevil as a serious threat to the High Plains cotton farmer.

      In more recent years he has coupled putting the finishing touches on the eradication of the boll weevil with a focus on promoting the benefits and value of High Plains cotton to customers foreign and domestic.

      Throughout its history, PCG has made the promotion of High Plains cotton a key part of the service it provides to producers. In fact PCG has always shared a close working relationship with Cotton Council International, joining with the organization to host CCI Trade Missions and travel with CCI to other parts of the world to sell the benefits of U.S. cotton.

      That relationship has been strengthened in recent years through PCG's financial support of CCI.

      Verett notes that he and Haldenby have met with CCI Trade Missions and Orientation groups from spinning mills in many countries, and that both have made many contacts and friends in places around the globe.

      It was the result of these new friendships in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and elsewhere that ultimately prompted Haldenby to take his efforts in promotion of High Plains cotton in these countries to a new level.

      Haldenby will be starting a consultancy to advise and help mill buyers and spinners in the Asia/Pacific area to better obtain and use the cotton fiber produced on the Texas High Plains.

      "Taking into account a resume that includes banker, crop duster and salesman the thing that just about everybody agrees on is that one of the best words to describe Roger is the term communicator," says Verett. "Roger's unique blend of natural talent and life experience make him one of our industry's most effective advocates. His dedication to this industry has helped to make the job of growing cotton on the Texas High Plains just a little easier and his continued efforts on our behalf will help to make us just a little more profitable in the years to come."

 

2010 Crop Defies Prediction To The End;
January 2011 Crop Estimate At 5.56 Mil. Bales

Friday, January 7, 2011                             By Shawn Wade

      In cotton, like other crops, "What if's?" are the stuff of coffee shop talk and friendly debate focused on topics that keep people at every level of the industry engaged in the process of producing, predicting or second-guessing a crop.

      In that regard the 2010 High Plains cotton crop is really not much different from any other cotton crop grown since farmers planted the first seeds of cotton in the area over a century ago.

      In fact, even though the 2010 High Plains cotton crop will be fondly remembered for many great things, it probably produced almost as many "What if?" questions that will spark discussion about what might have been had the region gotten one more timely rain or one less untimely storm.

      Certainly facts such as 2010 producing the second biggest crop ever grown on the High Plains, unique weather and record-low acreage abandonment, good yields and excellent fiber quality, and record high prices will be hard to embellish or impugn down at the coffee shop for years to come.

      What may ultimately become the most talked about aspect of the 2010 High Plains cotton crop was how hard it was to figure out just how much cotton was in the pipeline during the growing season and then through harvest and ginning. Just about every person that tried to figure out how much cotton was in the field was deceived by a 2010 crop that showed more than it delivered almost every time.

      The high-water mark for 2010's ambiguity was early October 2010 when the crop was forecast at 6.16 million bales, the third consecutive month it was believed to exceed 6 million bales.

      Less than a month later it was clear that something wasn't quite right as reports from the field indicated the crop just wasn't making what growers thought it would. Perception quickly became reality in the form of a significant 420,000-bale drop in the High Plains production estimate in the November 2010 USDA Crop Production report.

      In the December 2010 USDA Crop Production report the High Plains numbers were scaled back another 200,000 bales to 5.54 million, 620,000 bales and ten percent below what almost everyone in the industry thought was in the pipeline just eight weeks before.

      This week's USDA Crop Production report held the line on that thinking and set the latest forecast at 5.56 million bales after incorporating a modest 20,000-bale net production increase. The increase was the result of adjustments to both acreage and yield in Texas crop reporting Districts 1-N and 1-S.

      What caused the 2010 crop to defy prediction? More than likely we will never really know exactly why the crop turned out the way it did, but there is no doubt that cotton folks will be eager to talk and debate their own theories about what did or did not contribute to the final outcome.

      Maybe the fact that there will always be an open question about why a 2010 crop that set records in many categories fell just short of setting a record for total production is just how it ought to be.

      About the only thing that everybody knows for certain about growing cotton or predicting its fortunes here in the biggest cotton patch in world is that we really don't know much of anything for certain.

 

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2010 Crop 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

58,093

21+ - 77.9%

31 - 16.2%

1.93

35.35

Lubbock

96,595

21+ - 74.8%

31 - 22.9%

2.11

35.86

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.22

29.29

80.48

10.0%

Lubbock

4.11

29.90

80.53

15.8%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

1,238,296

21+ - 83.9%

31 - 11.2%

2.16

35.35

Lubbock

3,831,268

21+ - 84.6%

31 - 11.8%

2.31

35.98

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.35

29.59

80.67

8.3%

Lubbock

4.02

30.26

80.59

8.6%

Source: USDA AMS

 

2011 Production Conference & Meeting Dates

Date

Event

Jan 17

West Plains Cotton Conference,

South Plains College, Levelland

Jan 19

Cotton Meeting, Perryton Expo.,

Perryton

Jan 20

Variety Performance in Cotton,

Terry County Coop Gin, Brownfield

Jan 21

Llano Estacado Cotton Conference,

Coliseum, Muleshoe

Jan 21

Risk Management Workshop,

Morton

Jan 24

Southern Mesa Ag Conference,

Lamesa

Jan 24

Permian Basin Ag Conference,

Stanton

Jan 25

Caprock Crop Production Conference,

Floyd County Friends Unity Center, Floydada

Feb 8

Cotton Production Meeting,

Wellington

Feb 9

Southwest Farm & Ranch Classic,

Civic Center, Lubbock

Feb 9

Cotton Planning Conference,

Groom

Feb 10

South Plains Ag Conference,

American Legion, Brownfield

Feb 10

Hale/Swisher Crops Conference,

Ollie Liner Center, Plainview

Feb 11

Cotton Conference,

Hereford

Feb 21

Cotton Variety Meeting,

Farwell

Feb 22

Sandyland Ag Conference,

Seminole