Texas Cotton Production Estimates Drop

Friday, November 9, 2012                   By Mary Jane Buerkle

      As expected, the National Agricultural Statistics Service lowered their production estimate for Texas in their November report to 5.9 million bales. District estimates are not included in this month's report.

      In October, NASS projected Texas production to be at 6.1 million bales. Their last estimate for the High Plains, which was released last month, was 3.96 million bales. At this point, based on reports from area gins, PCG projects the 2012 High Plains cotton crop to be somewhere in the vicinity of 3.4 to 3.5 million bales.

      Thanks to optimal harvest weather, a significant percentage of the High Plains crop is off the stalk, and many producers could be finished by the Thanksgiving holiday.

      As of Thursday, the USDA-AMS Cotton Classing Office in Lubbock had classed 817,699 bales, 298,050 of those within the last week. Quality continues to improve, with almost 84 percent of cotton classed this past week at color grade 21 or 11. Average Staple was 35.77, Strength 30.74 g/tex, Uniformity 79.95 percent and Micronaire 3.86 for the week. Leaf grade for the week was 2.64.



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Tate, Beauchamp Elected to HPWD Board

Friday, November 9, 2012                   By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Voters in Precinct Three and Four of the High Plains Underground Water District No. 1 elected new directors for that board on Tuesday, according to unofficial results.

      Mike Beauchamp of Friona defeated fellow Friona resident Carroll Cook, who currently serves as the board's vice president, for the Precinct Three seat, bringing in 3,265 votes to Cook's 1,216. That precinct includes all of Bailey and Parmer counties and a portion of Castro County within the district.

      In a tighter race, Lynn Tate of Amarillo defeated incumbent and current HPWD board president Robert Meyer of Canyon for the Precinct Four seat, 14,023 to 12,653 votes. That precinct includes portions of Armstrong, Deaf Smith, Potter and Randall counties that are in the HPWD service area.

      Both gentlemen will serve four-year terms. The HPWD board will canvass election returns and declare official results at a meeting to be held Thursday, November 15, at 10 a.m.

      Tate and Beauchamp both look forward to serving on the board, but noted that they will face significant challenges, especially in light of rule amendments recently adopted by the district.

      "I'm very interested in the rules that HPWD has implemented and feel like some changes need to be made in order to make them work for the producers out here," Beauchamp said. "It's going to be a slow process, but I want to work with groups like Plains Cotton Growers and other producer organizations to gather knowledge and ideas."

      Tate farms cotton, sorghum, corn and wheat, and has a cattle operation. Although he is an attorney for the Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo, he said he spends about half of his time on the farm, doing what he loves. He believes that blend will serve the district well, being able to directly understand the needs of producers while having experience in interpreting laws and regulations.

      Beauchamp, who grows cotton, corn and wheat and is involved in the cattle industry, has been farming for 40 years and has a significant amount of irrigated acreage.

      Both men said that one of the most significant aspects of their service will be the opportunity to rebuild producers' confidence in the High Plains Water District and its board.

      "We have all these people who are frustrated, who have lost trust in the water district, " Tate said. "They've got to start having confidence in the people involved. We've got to do all we can to restore that credibility."

      Beauchamp echoed those sentiments.

      "I want to work with the board on bringing back a positive attitude from the producers toward the water district," he said. "I look forward to the challenge, and it will be one. We need the whole (agricultural) industry's support."



Texas Commodity Symposium Set for

November 28 in Amarillo

      The twelfth annual Texas Commodity Symposium will be held Wednesday, Nov. 28, in Amarillo in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show in the Grand Plaza Room at the Amarillo Civic Center. The free event will begin at 9:30 a.m.

      The symposium, which is hosted by the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Grain Sorghum Association, Texas Peanut Producers Board, Texas Wheat Producers Association and Southwest Council of Agribusiness, will conclude with the annual Ag Appreciation Luncheon, presented by the symposium and the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Ag Council.

      "This year's program offers relevant information on a variety of topics that will not only affect the agricultural industry, but everyone in our state," CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson said. "We encourage both farmers and those in agribusiness to attend the event."

      David Wasserman with The Cook Political Report will present the symposium's keynote address during the Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Wasserman is responsible for handicapping and analyzing U.S. House races for the publication, and will provide an overview of the 2012 elections and their potential implications.

      "The Cook Political Report has always provided knowledgeable insight on elections," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Area producers and business persons will both be able to gain a lot of valuable information by attending the symposium."

      Additionally, the symposium will examine a variety of issues that impact producers and the agribusiness sector. Featured topics this year include the farm bill and agricultural policy, establishment of a state grain indemnity fund, water technology, and program updates from NRCS and FSA.

      The Water Conservation Advisory Council also will recognize its 2012 Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture recipients at the event.

      "This is a great opportunity to hear a diverse group of speakers addressing key issues affecting Texas agriculture," TWPB Executive Vice President Rodney Mosier said.

      For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please call 800.647.CORN (2676) or email info@texascorn.org.


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NCC Launches Emerging Leaders Program

Friday, November 9, 2012 From the National Cotton Council

      The National Cotton Council has launched the Emerging Leaders Program, an effort aimed at ensuring the U.S. cotton industry benefits from a continuity of sound leadership.

      The project, sponsored by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto, not only will provide participants with an in-depth look at the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the business and political arenas in which it operates but give them intense professional development training, including communication skills improvement.

      "We are grateful to Monsanto for agreeing to provide financial support for this important endeavor," NCC Chairman Chuck Coley said.  "This program will help identify and train those who are committed to taking on the challenges of guiding this great industry in the future. The Council relies on highly effective industry leadership to communicate cotton policy and issues to Congress, the media and other agricultural groups. That's why we need industry members who are willing to step up and assume greater responsibilities."

      Among Emerging Leaders Program objectives will be to help participants gain a better understanding of: 1) the NCC's role, including its programs, policy development and implementation process; 2) Cotton Council International's role in developing and maintaining export markets for U.S. cotton, manufactured cotton products and cottonseed products; 3) the broad spectrum of issues that affect U.S. cotton's economic well-being; and 4) the U.S. political process. The program also will encourage participants to increase their involvement in these and other NCC activities.

      This leadership initiative also will focus on helping participants improve their communications skills, including presentation and business etiquette, instruction for engaging with the news media, and utilizing social media tools and tactics.

      Each class will consist of eight to 10 industry members and class members will participate in three sessions during the year.

      The first session will provide a NCC orientation, professional development/communication skills and a briefing on agribusiness. The second session will enable participants to see policy development at the NCC's Annual Meeting while the third session in Washington, D.C., will focus on policy implementation and international market development.

      There is no age limit for program candidates whose primary livelihood must be derived from at least one of the seven raw cotton industry segments. Nominations will be made by one of the following: a certified interest organization, NCC officer or NCC director. Selections will be made by the NCC chairman in consultation with the NCC President's office and NCC Member Services.

      PCG EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are interested in participating, or know someone who would be a good candidate, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904.