Friday, February 3, 2012 By Shawn Wade
The 2012 version of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Seed Cost Calculator is ready and available for download from the PCG website at http://www.plainscotton.org.
The PCG Seed Cost Calculator has become a popular tool among producers interested in comparing seed and technology prices as they work to finalize their cotton variety selections.
The 2012 version of the spreadsheet includes listings for 106 conventional, Roundup Ready FLEX, GlyTol, Liberty Link, Bollgard II and Widestrike varieties, including numerous stacked gene versions of these technologies that will be available for sale in West Texas in 2012.
The PCG seed cost calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program general signup, beginning on March 12 and ending on April 6.
CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Producers with expiring contracts and producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP. Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP's other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, signup basis.
Currently, about 30 million acres are enrolled in CRP; and contracts on an estimated 6.5 million acres will expire on Sept. 30, 2012.
Offers for CRP contracts are ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. Each eligible offer is ranked in comparison to all other offers and selections made from that ranking. FSA uses the following EBI factors to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered: wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage; water quality benefits from reduced erosion, runoff and leaching; on-farm benefits from reduced erosion; benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period; air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion; and cost.
For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.
The following area ag conferences have been scheduled for February:
February 6 Ð Grain Sorghum Conference, Claude Ð Contact Whitney White, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-226-3021.
February 6 Ð Seed Variety Selection and Economics, Farwell Community Center Ð Contact Benji Henderson, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-481-3619.
February 7 Ð Cotton Conference, Hereford Ð Contact Rick Auckerman, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-364-3573.
February 8 Ð SW Farm & Ranch Classic, Lubbock Memorial Civic Center - Contact Mark Brown, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-775-1680.
February 9 Ð South Plains Ag Conference, Brownfield Ð Contact Chris Bishop, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-637-4060.
February 9 Ð Crop Producers Conference, Dalhart Consumers Coop Ð Contact Michael Bragg, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-244-4434.
February 10 Ð Swisher/Hale County Ag Day, Plainview Ð Contact David Graf, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-995-3726. February 13 Ð Irrigation Meeting, Panhandle Ð Contact Jody Bradford, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-537-3882.
February 23 Ð Range Workshop, Lipscomb County Ð Contact J.R. Sprague, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-862-4601.
February 27 Ð Irrigation Strategies, Moore County Ð Contact Marcel Fischbacher, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-935-2594.
February 28 Ð Sandyland Ag Conference, Seminole Ð Contact Terry Millican, County Extension Agent-AG, 432-758-4006.
February 29 Ð Gray County Ag Conference, Pampa Ð Contact Brandon McGinty, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-669-8033.
February 29 Ð Ag Production Meeting, Turkey Ð Contact Josh Brooks, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-259-3015.
If you have another conference to add to this list, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904 and ask for Mary Jane Buerkle or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete conference list is at http://www.plainscotton.org/agconferences.html.