U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway To Address

PCG Annual Meeting March 30

Friday, March 2, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) will be the keynote speaker at the 55th Annual Meeting of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., scheduled for Friday, March 30, in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

      PCG's Annual Meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will start promptly at 9 a.m. The meeting is held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, March 29-30, 2012, in Lubbock.

      Serving in his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Conaway represents the 11th Congressional District of Texas consisting of 36 counties in Central and West Texas including Midland, Odessa and San Angelo. He currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee, where he is Subcommittee Chairman of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Rep. Conaway also serves on the Intelligence, Armed Services, and Ethics Committees.

      Preceding Rep. Conaway on the PCG program are Mark Lange, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council of America, and David Earley, Senior Director, Supply Chain Marketing with Cotton Incorporated, who will share the story of the newly formed relationship between Under Armour and the cotton industry, resulting in the creation of their "Charged Cotton" line of apparel.

      Lange will update the PCG membership on the current legislative climate in Washington, including farm policy and the development of the 2012 Farm Bill.

      Current PCG president Brad Heffington of Littlefield, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities.

      During the PCG meeting, awards recognizing the 2011 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year and the winners of the recently completed FFA West Texas Cotton Video Contest sponsored by Deltapine will be presented. Cash attendance prizes will be given.

      Additional information about PCG and the Annual Meeting can be found at http://www.plainscotton.org.


RMA Sets Final 2012 Cottonseed, Lint Prices

Friday, March 2, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Producers considering their options for 2012 regarding crop insurance now know the national cottonseed and projected cotton lint prices for 2012, which have been approved at 11 cents per pound or $220/ton, and 93 cents/pound for counties with March 15 sales closing dates, respectively.

      The cottonseed price is two cents higher per pound than the 2011 price, but the lint price is 30 cents lower per pound than the $1.23 growers had in 2011.

      On the Texas High Plains, March 15 is the federal crop insurance sales closing date for initiating or cancelling insurance coverage. The projected price for cotton lint is calculated using the average closing price of the December 2012 contract for the month of February.

      More than 54 percent of all cotton lint policies sold in Texas in 2011 incorporated the new Cottonseed Endorsement Program, and it is expected that even more producers will add this option to their risk management strategy in 2012.

      Under the endorsement cottonseed is insured against yield losses that might occur during the growing season. There is NO revenue component attached to this program.

      "We are hopeful that we'll see some significant moisture over the next several weeks going into planting season so our producers can have some relief and a positive outlook toward the 2012 crop," PCG's Executive Vice President Steve Verett said.

      Final classing results are in for the 2011 crop, and in Lubbock, 1,502,539 samples were classed this season. Almost 84% for the season were color grade 21 and better. Average leaf for the season is 2.16, with average length 35.07. In Lamesa, 334,360 samples were classed this season. Just more than 86% for the season were color grade 21 and better. Average leaf for the season is 1.96, with average length 34.48.


FCC Extends Comment Period for Blockage of

LightSquared Network to March 16

      In the latest turn of events regarding LightSquared and their proposed wireless network's impact on GPS systems, the Federal Communications Commission has extended a public comment period to March 16 so citizens can address the FCC's withdrawal of the January 2011 waiver that allowed LightSquared to proceed with its planned wireless network, and to modify LightSquared's satellite license to prohibit LightSquared from building any ground-based wireless network.

      PCG urges anyone following this issue to submit public comment applauding the FCC for taking these measures, which ultimately help ensure the future of GPS.

      The Coalition to Save Our GPS (http://www.saveourgps.org) suggests to include the following points in submitted comments: How you use GPS technology in your business and/or personal life; What would happen to your business/personal life if GPS became unavailable or unreliable; While more capacity for wireless broadband services is important, it should not come at the expense of GPS, which is critical to our country's economy; All of the engineering studies conducted, including those recently released by the government agency in charge of federal radio spectrum management, clearly show that LightSquared's proposed network causes interference and that there are no remedies to fix this interference; The FCC should formally adopt its proposed recommendations and deny LightSquared the authority to offer any ground-based wireless network.               

      Here's how you can tell the FCC to save GPS:

      (1) Click on this link for the FCC's Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS):

      (2) In the box which says "Proceeding Number," type: 11-109. It is important to include this docket number with your comments.

      (3) In the designated boxes, enter (a) your name or your company's name, and (b) your mailing address/city/state/zip.

      (4) In the box which says "Type in or paste your brief comments," do so. Click "Continue".

      (5) A review page will load listing all of the information entered. If correct, click "Confirm."

      (6) If you have trouble, contact the FCC ECFS Helpdesk at 202-418-0193 or e-mail at ecfshelp@fcc.gov

      To view comments submitted by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., please visit http://www.plainscotton.org.


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Cotton Incorporated to Host Price Risk

Management Seminar in Lubbock

      Cotton Incorporated is set to host a series of basic and intermediate workshops addressing topics such as market-based strategies for how to manage price risk for the 2012 crop season and tactics for integrating crop and revenue insurance.

      The Cotton Price Risk Management Seminars will be held in Maricopa, Arizona; Coalinga, California; and Lubbock, Texas.

      The Lubbock seminar will be Wednesday, March 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center, 2322 Mac Davis Lane. This seminar is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated in cooperation with Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      The Arizona seminar will be Wednesday, February 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center, USDA, 21881 North Cardon Lane, Maricopa, AZ. Market outlook will be given by Mr. Jarral Neeper, President, Calcot, Ltd. and Dr. O.A. Cleveland, Cotton Marketing Specialist. This seminar is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated in cooperation with Calcot, Ltd.

      The California seminar will be Thursday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Harris Ranch, Coalinga, CA. Neeper will give the market outlook there as well. This seminar is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated in cooperation with Calcot, Ltd.

      At all seminars, instructors Dr. Carl Anderson and Dr. John Robinson will discuss when and how to use a variety of option strategies including: fences, 3-ways and calendar back spreads.

      No attendance fees are required to attend the seminars and lunch will be provided. To register, contact Kay Wriedt at Cotton Incorporated by phone 919-678-2271 or email kwriedt@cottoninc.com. Space is limited so please register as soon as possible.


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Area Ag Conferences Scheduled

The following area ag conferences have been scheduled for early March:

      March 5 Grain Sorghum Conference, Perryton Expo Contact Scott Strawn, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-435-4501.

      March 6 Range Recovery Workshop, Post Contact Greg Jones, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-495-4400.

      March 9 Water Harvest Meeting, Potter County Contact Brandon Boughen, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-373-0713.

      March 27 Hockley County Ag Exposition, Mallet Event Center, Levelland Contact Robert Scott, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-894-3159.

      March 29 Turf Management, Wellington Contact Josh Brooks, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-259-3015.

      March 29 Range Sustainability Workshop, Lipscomb Contact J.R. Sprague, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-862-4601.

      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 maryjane@plainscotton.org. A complete conference list is at http://www.plainscotton.org/agconferences.html.