Plains Cotton Growers Approves Motion to

Support HPWD's Proposed Rule 5

Friday, July 11, 2014                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The board of directors of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., on Wednesday approved a motion to support proposed amendments to Rule 5 of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1. The vote was unanimous with one abstention.

      "This is a reasonable proposal that adequately addresses the need to conserve our water resources while protecting property rights," PCG Chairman Craig Heinrich said. "We recognize that this is a delicate balance, but our board believes that this proposal achieves that goal."

      According to the HPWD, highlights of the proposed revisions to Rule 5 include:

      Allowable Production Rate: Beginning January 1, 2015, the allowable production rate per contiguous acre will be 1.50 acre-feet (18") per year.
 A contiguous acre may be counted only 1 time.

      Conservation Reserve: A well owner or operator may reserve all or a portion of their annual Allowable Production Rate by adhering to prescribed application and reporting requirements. Beginning on January 1, 2015, eligible well owners or operators shall have an initial groundwater reserve of 0.50 acre feet (6") per acre.

      Recording and Reporting by Owner or Operator:      
Options include but are not limited to:

       Meters measuring aggregate production from well systems, individual wells, sprinklers or drip systems.

       One Irrigated Crop planted and harvested in a calendar year. Conservation cover crops are allowed. Second crops are allowable in case of crop loss to weather.

       Energy Consumption Records.

       Nozzle Packages measuring flow rates and hours of use.

       Alternative data gathering devices such as PivoTrac, AgSense or WagNet.

       CAFO multiplier formula based on gallons per head per day.

       Contiguous acres with production rates of less than .93 gallons per minute per acre will be deemed unable to exceed the Allowable Production Rate. Once verified by the District, they are exempt from reporting.

       Other reporting methods may be considered through an application process.

      Optional Meter Installation and Sealing: If any owner or operator chooses to report through the use of meters, they will be responsible for the purchase, installation, operation, maintenance and repair of meters associated with a well or well system. Meter readings shall be recorded and groundwater production reported as required by District Rules. District staff may inspect and seal meters.

      Production Reports
: Meter readings or readings from alternative measuring methods must be recorded prior to January 15 of each year and be included in the District-approved production report submitted to the District no later than March 1 of each calendar year.

      PCG has been monitoring the activities of the HPWD with regard to Rule 5 since the board unanimously voted in January of 2012 to submit requests for information and recommendations for changes to the rule.

      "We appreciate the HPWD board and staff for listening to their constituents and working with them to create a proposal that does not cause them economic hardship, but encourages conservation," Heinrich said. "We especially are encouraged by the reactivation of the HPWD county committees, which has allowed for direct input from constituents all over the district."


Celebrate Cotton Tickets On Sale

Friday, July 11, 2014                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Those in the cotton industry who want to see the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Celebrate Cotton game on Saturday, September 13, have a special opportunity for early access to purchase tickets to that game.    Between now and August 15, you can be sure you have your game tickets by doing one of the following:

       Visit and enter COTTON

       Call Paul Ables at (806) 834-2256

       Call Ryann White at (806) 834-0149

       Call Rodrick Evans at (806) 834-1741

      Individual tickets are $85 each, and game time currently is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Season tickets already have sold out, and it is expected that tickets for this game will sell out as well, so be sure and order yours between now and August 15, before the block is released to the public!

      PCG has proudly partnered with Texas Tech Athletics to establish this fun event that puts the High Plains cotton industry on a national stage. Cotton will be everywhere before and throughout the game, from displays around the stadium to promotion, special graphics and fun cotton facts during the game.

      Special gameday T-shirts will be distributed (first-come, first-serve!) and cotton bales will line each entrance to the stadium, each with signage talking about what the cotton in that bale can make or how it impacts our economy.

      Presenting sponsors for Celebrate Cotton include AgTexas Farm Credit Services, Bayer CropScience, City Bank, Crop Production Services, Deltapine, Dodge Ram, PhytoGen, and Warren CAT.

      For more information, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904. Spread the word! Let's make this game a huge success for cotton!