Baron Batch to Address PCG Annual Meeting

Friday, March 8, 2013                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Baron Batch, running back for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers and veteran Texas Tech Red Raider, will be one of a dynamic group of speakers at the 56th Annual Meeting of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., scheduled for Friday, April 5, 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, April 4-5, 2013, in Lubbock.

      Perseverance, diligence, and survivor are only some of the words that describe Baron Batch. Born and raised in West Texas, Baron and his siblings faced hardship. In the midst of a childhood that looked nearly impossible to overcome, Baron strived; he did not let adversity hold him back. After many successful football seasons at Midland High School, Baron received a scholarship from Texas Tech and the opportunity to play on the team. Life, however, did not get easier from there. Because he suffered from broken bones and multiple surgeries, football seemed like a closed door. But today, Baron is able to do what he loves and continues not to let obstacles hold him back.

      U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer is confirmed to join Batch on the PCG program to discuss the Farm Bill and other pressing issues facing Congress. More speakers have been invited and their appearances are in the confirmation process.

      Current PCG president Craig Heinrich of Slaton, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. The 2012 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year will be presented during the meeting.

      A buffet breakfast will be served from 7:00-8:30 a.m. in the Civic Center Banquet Hall sponsored by Monsanto and Deltapine. Breakfast will be provided free to all PCG Annual Meeting participants. Immediately following the PCG Annual Meeting will be the annual FiberMax Cottonseed Luncheon for PCG Annual Meeting participants and members of the FiberMax "One Ton Club." Lunch will be served in the Civic Center Banquet Hall.

      Additional information about PCG can be found online at



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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 2013 crop season.

      One of the Cotton Price Risk Management Seminars will be held in Lubbock on Wednesday, April 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 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.

      Part of the Cotton Price Risk Management and Pricing Strategies seminar series, the one-day workshop is designed to help cotton producers increase their understanding of what options on cotton futures contracts are and what they can do to help increase their returns from cotton. Sessions will cover the basics of cotton futures and options, specific hedging strategies involving the use of cotton options contracts, producer perspective, and a market outlook.

      Primary instructors for the seminars will be Dr. Carl Anderson and Dr. John Robinson, with Mr. Joe O'Neill providing additional information and market outlook.

      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 Space is limited so please register as soon as possible.



USDA Conducting 2013 Planting

Intentions Survey

Friday, March 8, 2013       From the National Cotton Council

      Over the next several weeks, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey tens of thousands of growers about their 2013 planting intentions. The survey results will help all participants in the agriculture sector determine what to expect this growing season after a drought-hampered 2012 season.

      "The information we collect from producers during the first two weeks of March establishes a trend that we're likely to see in the entire growing season," said Bob Bass, NASS' National Operations Division director. "This year, after a weather-plagued 2012 season, it's more important than ever to understand planting intentions for this year."

      Most survey participants should already have received their questionnaires in the mail and can now respond via NASS's secure website or by filling out and mailing the forms back. Trained NASS interviewers will visit those who do not respond to answer any questions they may have and to help them fill out their survey forms.

      NASS keeps all individual responses confidential. The published reports will include only national and state aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operations can be identified.


Ronnie Hopper new HPWD Precinct 5 Director

Tuesday, March 5, 2013    From the High Plains Water District

      Ronnie N. Hopper of Petersburg was appointed March 5 to fill the vacant Precinct Five District Director position for the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 (HPWD).  He serves until Nov. 2014.

      Judge Ruben G. Reyes of the Lubbock County 72nd District Court administered the Oath of Office to Hopper following the special HPWD Board of Directors meeting.  

      A graduate of Petersburg High School, Hopper attended Texas Tech University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy in 1969.

      Hopper is a farmer in the Petersburg area.  He has served in numerous capacities on cotton-related organizations including former chairman of Texas Cotton Producers, former board member and ag committee chairman of the Cotton Board, as well as past president and former board chairman of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      He currently serves on the Panhandle-Plains Land Bank Board of Directors, the Plains Cotton Growers Water Advisory Committee, and the High Plains Water District's Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

      He was named outstanding conservation farmer in Hale County in 1992 and received the Gerald W. Thomas Award for Outstanding Agriculturist from the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2001.

      Citing health reasons, Bruce Rigler of Plainview resigned from the HPWD Board earlier this year after 18 years of service. He was re-elected in Nov. 2010 to serve a four-year term as Precinct Five District Director representing residents in the portion of Floyd County within the district, all of Hale County, and all of Swisher County.

      The HPWD Board of Directors held public meetings in mid-February at Muncy, Tulia, and Plainview to outline the procedure to appoint a new director to fill the unexpired term in accordance with Chapter 36.051(c) of the Texas Water Code.

      Interested candidates were encouraged to file applications for appointment with the HPWD Board of Directors prior to the Feb. 21 deadline.

      In addition to Hopper, other candidates included: Ray Brady of Floydada, geologist; Hulon Carthel of Floydada, retired farmer/businessman; J. O. Dawdy of Floydada, farmer; and Glenn Schur of Plainview, farmer/landowner. Brent Wilhelm of Happy submitted an application but was disqualified since he resides in Castro County, which is in District Director's Precinct Three.

      HPWD Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo thanked the candidates for their interest in serving as Precinct Five District Director.

      Tate also expressed appreciation to the residents in the three counties who attended the public meetings to learn about the appointment process and to suggest/support potential candidates.


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Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

      NOTE: A complete list, along with program agendas when made available, can be found on the Plains Cotton Growers website at

      March 20 - Corn Conference, Ochiltree Expo, Perryton - Contact Scott Strawn, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-435-4501.

      March 25 - Beef Cattle Short Course, Post - Contact Greg Jones, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-495-4400.

      March 26 - Rebuilding the Cow Herd, Rita Blanca Coliseum, Dalhart - Contact Mike Bragg, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-244-4434.

      March 26 - Business Expo, Mallet Center, Levelland - Contact Kerry Siders, Extension Agent-IPM, for more information at 806-894-3159.

      March 27 - Pre-Plant Cotton Update, Tahoka - Contact Bryan Reynolds, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-561-4562.

      March 28 - Beef Issues Meeting, Clarendon - Contact Leonard Haynes, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-874-2141.

      March 29 - Prepping for Peanut Workshop, Brownfield - Contact Chris Bishop, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-637-4060.

      If you have another conference to add to this list, or if you have an agenda you'd like to link, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904.