PCG Executive Committee Proposes

Recommendations on Water Usage Regulations

Friday, December 23, 2011           By Mary Jane Buerkle


      In a meeting earlier this week, the Executive Committee of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., discussed current issues regarding agricultural water usage, particularly rule amendments for the High Plains Underground Water District No. 1.

      The HPWD board approved the rule amendments earlier this year for the purpose of meeting the HPWD's 50/50 Desired Future Condition for underground water resources within the HPWD service area. A copy of the rule amendments is available at http://www.hpwd.com.

      After a lengthy examination of questions raised by producers concerning the amendments, the committee formed recommendations to the HPWD to modify some of the rule amendments, particularly in governance and implementation.

      The proposed recommendations will be presented to the PCG Board of Directors at their meeting on January 11, where the board will have the opportunity to determine whether or not to accept the recommendations as PCG policy.

      "Our goal is to work with the existing authority to protect landowner rights while recognizing the importance of conservation for the future," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We believe that producer input is vital to finding a solution that will demonstrate responsible stewardship of our water resources without causing undue economic hardships for our irrigated agriculture producers."

      In addition to the recommendations to be presented for board consideration and action, PCG President Brad Heffington also has indicated his intent to appoint a committee to study and recommend additional modifications to HPWD's rule amendments. The committee will consist of PCG board members operating in the counties represented by the HPWD. All counties served by the HPWD also are served by PCG.



NCC Mails 2012 Planting Intentions Survey


      The National Cotton Council's annual survey of 2012 planting intentions has been mailed to upland and extra-long staple (ELS) cotton producers across the Cotton Belt.

      The survey, conducted each year to aid with industry planning and policy deliberations, provides the basis for the economic outlook presented to delegates during the NCC Annual Meeting in early February in Fort Worth, Texas.

      Survey results will be presented during the Joint Meeting of Program Committees on Saturday morning, February 11.

      To enhance the survey's accuracy, producers are encouraged to respond by the January 24 deadline.

      The current survey will be distributed through a combination of regular mail and e-mail with the intent of reaching all cotton farms across the Belt.

      Growers who do not receive a survey may contact the NCC via email at econsurvey@cotton.org for survey instructions.



Caprock Crop Production Conference

Scheduled for January


      The Texas AgriLife Extension Service offices in Crosby and Floyd counties will conduct their Caprock Crop Production Conference from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, January 24, at the Floyd County Friends Unity Center.

      The center is six miles from Floydada on U.S. Highway 70 between Floydada and Lockney.

      Caitlin Jackson, AgriLife Extension agent in Crosby County, said the conference will feature a number of agricultural updates crucial to this area, noting that representatives from the Texas Comptroller's office will be on site to explain and issue the new Ag and Timber Tax registration numbers. Attendees also can get information on the High Plains Water District water meter requirements and visit a trade show.

      Jackson said the conference is open to all area producers and those interested in the South Plains crop production industry.

      "We'll also have commercial booths with exhibitors on hand to introduce the latest in technology and equipment," she said.

      Other topics will include a general crop disease update, drift minimization and equipment calibration, 2012 Farm Bill and conservation reserve program update, and updates on risk and pest management and crop insurance.

      Seven Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be available for those with a pesticide applicators license 0.5 drift minimization, 3.5 general, two integrated pest management and one laws and regulations. Seven certified crop advisor credits will also be available.

      Individual preregistration is $35 by Jan. 20 and $45 thereafter. The fee includes lunch, conference cap and educational materials. Organizers also will be giving away an iPad 2 as a door prize.

      For more information or to preregister, call the AgriLife Extension offices in Crosby County at 806-675-2347 or Floyd County at 806-983-4912.