Keeping Track of 2013 ACRE

Program Parameters

Friday, November 15, 2013                    By Shawn Wade

      With harvest in full swing throughout the Texas High Plains and Rolling Plains regions, cotton producers who signed farms into the 2013 ACRE program are beginning to keep track of the various program parameters that will determine whether or not their 2013 ACRE farms will eventually qualify for a 2013 ACRE payment.

      Producers are reminded that two triggers must be met before an ACRE payment is triggered on a participating farm. The first is the State level trigger, which is met when actual State Revenue (State Average Yield times Market Year Average (MYA) Price Received) falls below the State Benchmark Revenue (90% times State Benchmark Yield times the ACRE Guarantee Price).

      The second trigger is calculated at the Farm level. The Farm level trigger is met when actual Farm revenue (Farm Actual Yield times MYA Price) falls below the Farm Benchmark Revenue (90% times Farm Benchmark Yield times ACRE Guarantee Price).

      Once both triggers are met, the payment rate for the ACRE program is the lesser of the difference between the state ACRE Guarantee and the Actual State Revenue, or 25 percent of the State ACRE Guarantee times the calculated farm productivity factor.

      Known 2013 ACRE Benchmark Yield and Price parameters for Texas Irrigated and Non-irrigated Cotton are included below. Farm benchmark yields are available from county USDA Farm Service Agency offices.

      The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes data used to calculate 2013-14 Upland Cotton Market Year Average Price Received by Growers. The final MYA price for Upland Cotton will be calculated after the end of the marketing year on July 31, 2014. The MYA Price estimated by USDA FSA and included in the table below is subject to change based on the actual number of bales marketed and prices reported during the course of the marketing year.


2013 ACRE Benchmark Yield and Projected Prices




Upland Cotton


Upland Cotton


2013 Benchmark Price * ($/lb.)



2013 Benchmark Yields



2013 Projected Benchmark Revenue* ($/ac)




Estimated Upland Cotton MYA Price* ($/lb.)



* = projected/established by USDA FSA




      Two important aspects of the ACRE enrollment decision were stressed during the various informational meetings held in advance of the 2013 ACRE sign-up deadline earlier this year. The first was the fact that when enrolling in ACRE growers were required to give up 20 percent of the 2013 Direct Payment. It should be noted that this reduction in Direct payments is somewhat offset through the corresponding increase in the 2013 ACRE pay limit.

      The second change is one that many 2013 ACRE participants are seeing the impact of at this time - the 30 percent reduction in the Upland Cotton base loan for cotton produced on an enrolled farm. With market prices currently above the level where Loan Deficiency Payments or Marketing Loan Gains would be available, the loan rate reduction will primarily manifest itself as short-term cash flow issue for ACRE participants as loan proceeds or marketing pool advances are limited to the lower initial loan value.

      With cotton prices expected to remain above the normal $0.52 base loan rate, this shortfall should eventually be made up when the cotton is marketed by the grower (with an appropriate allowance made to equity sales to reflect the difference in loan value and the sale price) or in subsequent marketing pool progress payments.

      Growers with questions about how the loan rate reduction will impact the marketing of their cotton are advised to contact their marketing pool or buyer for clarification.


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HPWD Extends Moratoriums Through 2014

Thursday, November 14, 2013 From High Plains Water District

      During their Nov. 12 regular meeting, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors voted 5-0 to extend current moratoriums in the district's rules through calendar year 2014. These moratoriums were set to expire at the end of 2013.

      In Feb. 2012, the HPWD Board approved moratoriums on enforcement and civil penalties for exceeding the district's allowable groundwater production rate (APR) during 2012-2013. 

      At that time, the Board of Directors also approved a second moratorium on enforcement and civil penalties for (1) failure to install meters on new wells or well systems and (2) reporting requirements for groundwater production.

      "After Tuesday's public hearing at which 12 persons offered comment, the HPWD Board approved extending the current moratoriums through calendar year 2014.  No fine will be assessed, presently or retroactively, for failure to install an approved meter on a new well, failure to submit a groundwater production report, or production of groundwater in an amount greater than specified in the HPWD rules," said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo.

      Tate said extension of the moratoriums will allow the five-member HPWD Board of Directors time to review current HPWD rules based upon feedback from stakeholder groups as well as the district's County Advisory Committees.

      "We want to take the time necessary to hear from all groundwater users in the district.  The Board can then make any needed revisions to the rules in order to get it right," he added.

      Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District is charged with conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater within its 16-county service area.


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Texas Commodity Symposium Scheduled for

December 4 in Amarillo

      The Texas Commodity Symposium will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, 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 and Texas Wheat Producers Association, will conclude with the annual Ag Appreciation Luncheon, presented by the symposium and the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Ag Council.

      "The program again brings pertinent information to those in the agricultural industry, as well as the local community," TGSA Executive Vice President Wayne Cleveland said.

     "Agricultural production plays an important role to the area's economy, as it brings in more than $12.2 billion to the High Plains," CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson said. "Events such as this symposium are a great way for us to provide pertinent information to farmers and ranchers, as well as the communities they support."

     Wyman Meinzer, the official photographer for the state of Texas, will present the symposium's keynote address during the Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Meinzer's photography is renowned, and in his more than 33 years as a photographer he has photographed and/or written 24 large format books and his work has been featured on the cover of more than 250 magazines.

     "Meinzer's work is nothing short of breathtaking, and his eclectic experience across the state brings a unique perspective and interesting tale," TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said.

     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, estate planning, and program updates from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency. Bob Maurer with Manduca Trading in Chicago will provide a market and weather outlook.

     Additionally, the Water Conservation Advisory Council will recognize its 2013 Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture recipients at the event.

     The event is made free of charge for attendees because of the generous support of the symposium's sponsors, including ARMtech Insurance Services, Bayer CropScience, DuPont Pioneer, High Plains Journal, Monsanto, and National Peanut Board.

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


Water Conservation Advisory Council honors

Floyd County's Eddie Teeter

Friday, November 15, 2013                 By Samantha Borgstedt

      Floyd County producer Eddie Teeter has been selected to receive the "Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture" from the Water Conservation Advisory Council, officials with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation announced recently. The Blue Legacy Award in Agriculture is an annual award that recognizes the outstanding water conservation efforts and successes of the agriculture community.

      Award winners are selected based on their demonstrated willingness and commitment to incorporate water conservation practices into their operations as well as their leadership to furthering water conservation in their communities or within the industry.

      Teeter, a long-time participant and supporter of the TAWC, has provided valuable insight for irrigation research through his conservation efforts and innovative farming practices. He has farmed in Floyd County for more than 45 years, held numerous leadership positions and supported conservation programs by playing an active role in their outreach programs to help educate him, as well as other producers on irrigation management.

      Officials noted that nominations for the award were reviewed by a three-person selection panel, which included Water Conservation Advisory Council representatives from Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. The Harlingen Irrigation District also was named a winner.

      The award, which was received by TAWC last year, will be presented during the 13th Annual Texas Commodity Symposium on Dec. 4, which will be held in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show. The free event begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Grand Plaza Room of the Amarillo Civic Center, and concludes with an Ag Appreciation Luncheon hosted by the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Ag Council.