Parts of High Plains
Friday, May 4, 2012 By Mary Jane Buerkle
Significant precipitation fell on the High Plains on Sunday evening, although the system brought high winds and large hail with it, causing property damage.
Some parts of Hockley, Lynn and Lubbock counties received up to five inches of rainfall in a very short time, causing farm-to-market roads to flood. South of Wolfforth, producers reported losing center pivots in the reported 90-plus mph straight-line winds. Rainfall totals ranged anywhere from two to five inches in some areas south and east of Lubbock.
Hail up to the size of baseballs plagued the region as well. In Lamb County, one grower reported that they only received about two-tenths of an inch of rain out of storms that moved over that area, but the hail was intense.
ÒIt was really weird to watch because it hailed with no rain for quite awhile, and the dust was flying up from the hail stones hitting the ground,Ó PCG past president and Littlefield grower Brad Heffington said. Some photos and video Heffington took during the storm have been uploaded to PCGÕs Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/plainscottongrowers.
Growers have begun planting cotton, and the rain shouldnÕt be too much of a setback, for now. However, some parts of PCGÕs service area are still extremely dry, missing out altogether on the weather events.
Current forecasts call for cooler temperatures next week, along with chances of rain and thunderstorms almost every day.
National Cotton Council Issues Statement
on Trade Preferences, Contract Defaults
The National Cotton Council has consistently pursued a yarn forward rule of origin for textile and apparel products, according to NCC President/CEO Mark Lange.
He said this rule was adopted in the several hemispheric trade agreements during the past 15 years. The goal was to stem the losses in the U.S. cotton spinning industry, as textile import quotas were phased out beginning in 1995 and China was granted full accession rights to the World Trade Organization in 2001. The yarn forward rule encouraged the formation of textile and apparel manufacturing facilities across Central America and Caribbean regions creating several hundred thousand hemispheric jobs as the U.S. spinning industry adjusted to the onslaught of Chinese products in the U.S. domestic market.
"The U.S. and hemispheric textile and apparel investment, jobs and trade relations will be severely damaged if the trade preferences created by the yarn forward rule of origin are undermined in wider trade agreements," Lange stated.
He noted that the NCC sent a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk to discuss the cotton contract defaults in Peru and Vietnam during the next round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Textile mills in those countries have defaulted on millions of dollars of raw cotton contracts that resulted in severe economic losses for U.S. cotton merchants and marketing cooperatives.
"The U.S. government should carefully consider allowing preferential trade provisions for countries whose corporations willfully ignore commercial commitments," Lange said. "Contract sanctity is a fundamental building block of trade relations and widespread disregard of the principle should sound a loud warning to the extension of trade preferences."
Farm Service Agency Offers Producers Free
Online News Service
Farmers and ranchers in Texas now have a more efficient, timely option for receiving important FSA program eligibility requirements, deadlines and related information.
"FSA is now offering free online communications through our GovDelivery electronic news service," said James B. Douglass, USDA Texas FSA Acting Executive Director. "News will now be sent via e-mail right to your home or farm office or to your Smartphone Ð allowing you to receive immediate notification of farm program news that is pertinent to your agricultural operation."
Through FSAÕs GovDelivery electronic news service, producers can establish subscriber preferences by choosing to receive federal farm program information by topic, by state and/or by county. Producers can select as many subscriber options as they want, which allows producers who farm in multiple counties or across state lines to receive updates from each county in which they operate or have an interest.
According to Douglass, GovDelivery is a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date USDA program information.
"If, after using this online system, producers no longer wish to receive hardcopy newsletters from their local county office, they should contact the office and make their preferences known," said Douglass.
To begin using GovDelivery, subscribe online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe or contact your local office for subscription assistance.
Please contact your local FSA office if you have questions regarding FSAÕs GovDelivery electronic news service.