High Plains Cotton Crop Off to Slow Start

Friday, May 16, 2014                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Continued drought and cold spells have stunted planting progress across the High Plains, and although many producers are still optimistic, their patience is once again being tested as the month of May continues with little to no measurable rainfall in much of the PCG service area.

      Earlier this week, morning lows dipped below freezing to the northwest of Lubbock, near Muleshoe and Friona, and consultants reported that some cotton already was up. It is not yet known how much, if any, damage the freeze caused. In some areas, temperatures were below 32 degrees for a few hours. The final planting date for federal crop insurance purposes in that area is May 31.

      Weather forecasts for the next several days call for warm temperatures but still no rainfall until late next week, so planting activity is expected to increase significantly. Final planting date for the central portions of the PCG service area is June 5, and producers in the southern areas have until June 10. Some areas off of the Caprock have a June 20 final planting date.

      The majority of the PCG service area is in exceptional drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. However, rainfall over the past week in South Texas has put that area in fairly good shape for now. The Rolling Plains and Southern Rolling Plains also are mostly in extreme or exceptional drought.

      December cotton futures slipped this week, closing at 82.34 today, the lowest close since April 21, according to Duane Howell, DTN's Contributing Cotton Analyst.

      Several communities have hosted "Pray for Rain" events recently. Please notify PCG of any similar events by emailing maryjane@plainscotton.org or calling (806) 792-4904 for help in promotion.


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Cotton Council International Launches

New Brand Identity

      Cotton Council International is revitalizing and re-launching its 25-year old flagship brand, COTTON USA.

      Since 1989, over 50,000 product lines and 3 billion products have proudly carried the name COTTON USA. That translates into about 100 million bales of cotton.

      "Our brand has been highly successful," CCI President Jordan Lea said. "However, the global marketplace has changed dramatically and become more competitive because petroleum-based fibers are often cheaper. The new generation of consumers needs to hear why cotton is such a wonderful product and why U.S. cotton is the premier cotton."

      In addition to a new logo, the re-launch includes a revitalized brand vision emphasizing purity, quality and responsibility, as well as new promotional and merchandising tools, which will be rolled out in stages and globally over the next year.

      To develop and express its new brand identity, CCI worked with AR New York, a brand-focused agency that is part of the Publicis global network of agencies. AR's clients have included global companies such as Revlon, Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Valentino, Lands' End, DFS and Jimmy Choo.

      In conjunction with the National Cotton Council, CCI works to promote U.S. cotton exports through COTTON USA in more than 50 countries globally. With offices in Washington, Memphis, London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai and dedicated representatives in numerous other countries, CCI plays the lead role in educating and strengthening the market for U.S. cotton and U.S. cotton products around the world.

      For more information on CCI, please visit http://www.cottonusa.org.


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Work Beginning on Ag Appropriations

Friday, May 16, 2014         From the National Cotton Council

      The House Appropriations Committee announced plans to begin work on the FY15 agriculture spending measure. The announcement said the Agriculture Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), will mark up on May 20 at 10 a.m.

      The NCC continues to urge the Subcommittee's members to reject any amendments that change the provisions of the recently enacted farm bill; to include cost share funding to USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service for the cotton pests eradication program account in the amount of $11.52 million; and to provide full funding for international market development programs - Market Access Program ($200 million) and Foreign Market Development Program ($34.5 million). Cotton Council International is a major participant in the MAP and FMD programs and utilizes a significant amount of funding from MAP and FMD, which is combined with third party industry contributions, to conduct international market development activities on behalf of U.S. cotton.

      Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Mikulski (D-MD) said she is pushing the Committee to complete work on at least half of the 12 regular spending bills by mid-June in order to have them ready for the floor. She said the full Appropriations Committee will meet on May 22 to mark up the annual Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill, as well as the Agriculture spending bill, if it is ready. Chairwoman Mikulski said she has been promised time on the floor in late June for work on the annual appropriations measures.

      The NCC has delivered the same message as above to the members of the Senate Committee. Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) also said he has reserved two weeks in July for work on more appropriations measures. It is not certain when the Agriculture appropriations measure will be scheduled for floor consideration.