Friday, May 3, 2013 By Mary Jane Buerkle
Two High Plains cotton producers and a warehouseman are part of an 11-member group that is the inaugural class of the National Cotton Council's Emerging Leaders Program. The list of participants was announced on Monday.
The three chosen for the program from the High Plains are Johnie Reed, a producer from Kress; Jon Jones, a producer from Floydada; and Matt Simpkins, a warehouseman with Lov-Cot Warehouse in Lubbock.
Sponsored by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto, the Emerging Leaders Program not only will provide class participants with an in-depth look at the U.S. cotton industry infrastructure and the business and political arenas in which it operates, but also give them intensive professional development training, including communication skills enhancement. Class members will participate in three sessions throughout the year-long program.
Reed currently serves as PCG's Secretary-Treasurer and is involved with Cotton Incorporated and the National Cotton Council. He farms with his three brothers and a nephew on their family farm, which began in the 1890s in Swisher County. Reed believes the biggest challenge facing the U.S. cotton industry is the WTO Brazil case, and believes that the industry should work together to pass a farm bill that resolves the issue.
Jones farms about 5,000 acres of cropland in Floyd County. A former county commissioner, Jones is active in numerous community organizations and initiatives in his area. He said he will use the knowledge and skills gained from the program to be a more informed, educated, trained, and productive cotton producer and a more active participant in the cotton industry.
Simpkins is the manager of Lov-Cot Warehouse, L.P., in Lubbock, directly supervising 54 employees. He has been active in the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, the Cotton Warehouse Association of America, the Texas Cotton Association, Texas Cotton Ginners Association, and numerous other cotton-related organizations.
The eight additional class members are Marvin Beyer, Jr., a Taft, Texas, producer; Lee Cromley, a Brooklet, Ga., producer; Ben Evans, a ginner with Coffee County Gin & Four Corners Gin, Douglas, Ga.; Matt Hyneman, a Jonesboro, Ark., producer; Jeff Johnson, a merchant with Allenberg Cotton Company, Cordova, Tenn.; Erin Langston, a ginner with Langston Enterprises, Blytheville, Ark.; Kent Smith, a Rocky Mount, N.C., producer; and Davis Warlick, Jr., a manufacturer with Parkdale Mills, Los Angeles, Calif.
"We congratulate everyone in this first class of the Emerging Leaders program," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "This is an extremely worthwhile initiative that will help continue to grow leaders in the U.S. cotton industry, and we're proud to have three of our own in the class."
Friday, May 3, 2013 By Mary Jane Buerkle
As if a lack of moisture wasn't enough, many producers are being kept out of the field by below-normal temperatures that have temporarily delayed planting efforts during the first week of May.
Highs in the 40s and overnight lows dipping below freezing have kept soil temperatures at the eight-inch depth lower than usual at this time of year. Ten-day average minimums ranged from the mid- to upper 50s in northern portions of the PCG service area to upper 60s to the south and southwest. The rule of thumb is a 10-day average minimum of 60 degrees at the 8-inch depth.
Weather forecasts call for warmer temperatures over the next 10 days. Some sources even include slight chances of rain. Weather information is available by clicking the "PCG Weather Pages" link at http://www.plainscotton.org.
Markets are another factor influencing planting, in addition to the weather. December futures have remained around the 85-cent mark, with slight dips and upswings throughout the past week. Overall, analysts say the market is on a downtrend, despite a rally over the past couple of days.
Current expectations still place 2013 cotton acreage on the Texas High Plains just below 4 million acres. However, based on the factors noted above, this number remains somewhat fluid.
Enrollment Opens for Texas International
Cotton School in Lubbock
Friday, May 3, 2013 From the Texas International Cotton School
Registration is now open for the 33rd session of the Texas International Cotton School, scheduled for August 5-16, 2013, in Lubbock.
The intensive two-week program covers all aspects of cotton, from field to fabric. Since its inception, the school has been a collaboration between the Texas cotton merchants who make up the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the faculty and staff of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University.
"Those interested should register early, because the class size is limited and last year's class was near the maximum that can be handled in our facilities," said Dean Ethridge, managing director of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. "The size and diversity of the class stimulates learning and results in friendships that may extend years into the future."
During the two weeks of the school, more than 30 experts from across the United States teach the students. The curriculum covers the entire cotton production and marketing chain – including seed breeding, farm production, harvesting, ginning, warehousing, merchandising, and textile manufacturing. All aspects of U.S. and global trade of cotton are covered, so students obtain an understanding of what is required to successfully participate in the U.S. cotton market and deliver the cottons needed in diverse export markets. They learn about the important quality attributes of cotton fibers and how these translate into processing efficiency and textile product quality. Throughout the program, they have opportunities to interact with the cotton merchants of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the fiber and textile experts of Texas Tech University.
For more information, including tuition and curriculum, visit http://www.texasintlcottonschool.com or call Christi Chadwell, TICS coordinator, at (806) 742-2838 Ext. 233.
NCC Testifies on China Policies
Friday, April 26, 2013 From the National Cotton Council
At a hearing held by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in Ames, IA, NCC President/CEO Mark Lange presented testimony on the current situation regarding cotton trade with China and the impacts of China's cotton policies.
During a hearing covering a range of agricultural products, Dr. Lange stressed the importance to U.S. cotton of open and transparent market access. He noted that China stands in stark contrast to other cotton-importing countries by closely controlling their imports. The testimony also described China's current policies for supporting prices and building government reserves. While the build-up of government stocks has provided some short-term support to world prices, the longer-term implications of the policies are very concerning.
Dr. Lange testified that by supporting cotton prices at levels well above manmade fiber, China's policies are having a detrimental effect on demand as cotton is losing market share to polyester and other synthetic fibers. He concluded by cautioning the Commission that the "uncertainty with Chinese policy has the entire cotton world on edge." The full NCC testimony is on the NCC's website and can be accessed at http://www.cotton.org/issues/2013/upload/13langetestuscc.pdf.
The Commission was created by Congress in 2000 with the mandate to monitor, investigate and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.