Plains Cotton Growers Implements Two New
Communications Tools Facebook and Twitter

Lubbock, April 29, 2011                      By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. earlier this week launched two new communications tools a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.

These tools are not meant to replace any of PCG's current methods of communication, but to enhance them and offer the opportunity to reach out to those in the social media community. Articles, photos and other information can be posted and shared immediately and "fans" or "followers" can then comment and ask questions, and re-tweet or share the post with their contacts.

An additional benefit is that through Facebook and Twitter, PCG can monitor other businesses, organizations and individuals to gather and distribute news pertinent to the industry.

PCG's Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/plainscottongrowers. The Twitter feed is at http://www.twitter.com/pcgnews. Both also can be viewed at our website at http://www.plainscotton.org.

 

Cottonseed Insurance Endorsement Provides
Affordable Coverage For Cotton Producers

Lubbock, April 29, 2011                            By Shawn Wade

      The Federal Crop Insurance Program's new Cottonseed (Pilot) Endorsement has been well received by growers during its inaugural year of availability according to reports from the USDA Risk Management Agency.

      A summary of the number of cottonseed endorsements sold through April 22, 2011 shows that the cotton policy add-on has been purchased in conjunction with almost 29 percent of the eligible cotton insurance policies sold nationally.

      Closer to home, Texas cotton farmers have selected the new cottonseed endorsement at an impressive rate of 41.93 percent as of April 22. According to the latest USDA figures, Texas accounts for approximately one-half of all 2011 cotton insurance policies sold through the federal crop insurance program.

      Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. developed the Cottonseed (Pilot) Endorsement as a tool through which cotton producers could easily extend federal crop insurance coverage to the valuable cottonseed co-product that they also produce alongside their cotton lint.

      "It is extremely gratifying to see that, without much fanfare, cotton producers across the U.S. have recognized the role the new cottonseed endorsement fills as an affordable extension of their risk management program," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said.

      "From a grower's perspective," Verett added, "the cottonseed endorsement is a welcome addition that adds an extra layer of protection to our risk management portfolio and increases the level of protection we have when the weather decides to deal us a losing hand."

      The April 22 USDA cottonseed endorsement totals could still increase slightly as the last of the 2011 cotton policies are finalized and reported to USDA RMA by approved insurance providers (AIPs).

      For more information about the Cottonseed (Pilot) Endorsement go to the Plains Cotton Growers website at: http://www.plainscotton.org

      The table below shows the number of eligible policies sold by State for 2011 and the number of cottonseed endorsements that were purchased through April 22, 2011.

 

Cottonseed (Pilot) Endorsement Summary

Updated through April 22, 2011

 

 

State

Eligible

Cotton Policies

Cottonseed Endorsements

Adoption Rate (%)

Alabama

3,503

407

11.62%

Arizona

1,378

34

2.47%

Arkansas

386

36

9.33%

California

519

66

12.72%

Florida

691

63

9.12%

Georgia

7,872

1,415

18.00%

Kansas

3,130

115

3.67%

Kentucky

1

0

0.00%

Louisiana

2,156

74

3.43%

Mississippi

884

9

1.13%

Missouri

2,409

74

3.07%

New Mexico

3,997

773

19.36%

North Carolina

424

134

31.60%

Oklahoma

3,108

592

19.05%

South Carolina

1,183

311

26.29%

Tennessee

1,482

87

5.87%

Texas

40,616

17,030

41.93%

Virginia

553

97

17.54%

Total

74,292

21,321

28.73%

Source: USDA Risk Management Agency

 

HPWD Board Of Directors Consider Public Comments
On Initial Draft Rule Amendments

Lubbock, April 29, 2011                            By Carmon McCain

      The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 Board of Directors held an April 19 work session to review, discuss, and consider public comments received on its initial draft rules amendments.  

      The Board received recommendations from General Manager Jim Conkwright at the work session on moving forward with the rules amendments and responding to public comments.  The recommendations included the following:  Raise the proposed annual allowable production rate to 1.75 acre-feet per contiguous acre (21 inches per contiguous acre per year) and then lower the allowable production rate incrementally over a four-year period.

       Eliminate the designation of high decline areas within the district.  As a result, the proposed moratorium on drilling and the five percent production reduction in areas exceeding the allowable decline rate are eliminated as well.

       Refine language regarding contiguous controlled acres.

       Add option for "water banking" to allow the option of carrying forward an amount of water left over from the previous year's allowable production rate.

       Allow additional time to comply with District rules.

      The District staff is working to proceed as recommended and will develop rules amendments for the Board to review and discuss at the May 17 Board meeting.

      The District is amending its rules to implement the "50/50" management goal adopted by the District.  The "50/50" management goal refers to the desired future condition that has been established on a regional basis for the Ogallala Aquifer that at least 50 percent of the groundwater in the aquifer will still be available in 50 years.

      "After attendance at the public meetings and review of the public comments on the initial draft rules amendments, several areas of concern were indentified and revisions are being made to the next set of rules to address those issues," Conkwright said.

      The current timeline for rules development will result in a revised set of rules available for public review and comment on or about May 17. 

      The Water District will hold two public hearings on June 9 to receive comments about the revised set of draft rules amendments, with one hearing in the northern area of the District and the other hearing in the southern area of the District.  Once determined, the times and locations of the two public hearings will be made available to area news media, and will be posted to the District's web site at http://www.hpwd.com.  Written comments on the revised set of rules will be accepted at the District's Lubbock office until 5:00 p.m. on June 30.

      "The High Plains Water District Board of Directors appreciates the public input it has received regarding these rule revisions.  We encourage area residents to look over the next set of draft rules, when available, and offer any comments that they might have," Conkwright said.

            Created in 1951 by local residents and the State Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District is charged with conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater in a 16-county service area.

      Additional information about the rules amendments is available by contacting the High Plains Water District at (806) 762-0181 or on-line at http://www.hpwd.com.

 

Turkish Textile Manufacturers Touring U.S. Cotton Belt

      Eleven textile industry leaders from Turkey will tour the U.S. Cotton Belt on May 7-17 as part of a COTTON USA Special Trade Mission. The event, sponsored by the National Cotton Council's export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, is designed to build trading ties between the U.S. cotton industry and textile industry leaders from key Turkish mills.

 

 

      "These textile executives will view the advanced state of the U.S. industry and have the opportunity to meet with U.S. cotton exporters and other industry leaders," said CCI President John D. Mitchell, a Cordova, TN, merchant. "This is an important opportunity for U.S. cotton because the individual mills on the tour consume a total of more than 570,000 bales, with U.S. imports of about 345,000 bales."

      Mitchell noted that Turkey is: 1) the world's fourth largest cotton consumer with an estimated total domestic consumption of 5.9 million bales in 2010-11; 2) the world's third largest importer of cotton, with 3.2 million bales estimated for 2010-11; and 3) the second largest customer of U.S. cotton with the 2.2 million plus bales of U.S. cotton that country already has imported in the 2010-11 year exceeding their total 2009-10 U.S. cotton imports of 2.2 million bales.

      The Turkish group will begin their U.S. tour activities in New York City with a briefing from CCI on May 8 and a seminar with ICE Futures on May 9. Later that day in Raleigh, NC, they will meet with representatives of AMCOT, the Southern Cotton Growers, Inc. and Cotton Incorporated, whose headquarters in nearby Cary they will tour the next day.

      After attending the American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) annual meeting in Washington, DC, on May 11, the group will travel to Memphis where they will tour the USDA classing office and have meetings with NCC staff at its headquarters offices and with AMCOT. On May 13, the contingent will be in Lubbock, TX, for a meeting with the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, the Texas Cotton Association and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. The tour will conclude in California with a May 16 meeting in Bakersfield with the Western Cotton Shippers Association, AMCOT, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.

      The mills represented on the tour are Abateks, Aral Tekstil, Bossa, Gap Guneydogu, Has Cevher, Ilsan, Karacasu, Malatya Iplik, Markeks, Mina Texstil and Ozcicek.