Plains Cotton Growers Applauds USDA For
Agreeing to Implement APH Yield Exclusion
The board of directors of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., on Tuesday commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Risk Management Agency for announcing the implementation of a key provision in the 2014 Farm Bill that will help keep farmers in business.
The provision allows growers of select spring crops, including cotton, to adjust their Actual Production History (APH) yields to offset the impact of drought that devastated cotton and other crops throughout several states, including Texas, over the past three growing seasons. Producers can elect to exclude any yield from their APH database in years where the yield of their county or an adjacent county was 50% or lower than the 10-year average.
Drought reduced APH yields, coupled with the recent drop in commodity prices that threatens to further decrease insurance coverage by an additional 20 percent or more, have had growers concerned about their ability to secure adequate levels of risk protection via crop insurance in 2015. USDA originally had said it would delay the changes until 2016.
"We commend U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and RMA Administrator Brandon Willis for answering the call from farmers across the nation to get this done," PCG President Shawn Holladay said, noting that the Southwest Council of Agribusiness played an integral role, as did many Members of Congress and other organizations.
The provision was included in the crop insurance provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-OK) with the strong support of General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX). Many Members urged the provision's timely implementation, including especially notable efforts on the part of Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO); House Agriculture Committee members, Reps. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Filemon Vela (D-TX), and Pete Gallego (D-TX); and Appropriations Committee member Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
The fourteenth annual Texas Commodity Symposium will be held Wednesday, Dec. 3, 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," TWPA Executive Vice President Rodney Mosier 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."
Texas Country Reporter's Bob Phillips will present the symposium's keynote address during the Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Texas Country Reporter is a highly acclaimed TV program that celebrates the history, emotion and beauty that make Texas and Texans so unique. Since 1972, Bob Phillips has traveled the back roads of the Lone Star State and shared the stories of real Texans.
"Phillips has a long history of sharing the passions, interests and lifestyles of Texans across the state," TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said. "Without a doubt, his tales have something of interest for every Texan in the region."
Additionally, the symposium will examine a variety of issues that impact producers and the agribusiness sector. Featured topics this year include the farm bill implementation, a political outlook for the state, and program updates from NRCS and FSA.
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, BNSF Railway, Capital Farm Credit, DuPont Pioneer, High Plains Journal, Monsanto, National Peanut Board, and Syngenta.
For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please call (800) 647-CORN (2676) or email email@example.com.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming Farm Bill meetings:
Oct. 27 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Gaines County Civic Building, 402 NW 5th, Seminole. More info: (806) 758-4006.
Oct. 28 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Center for Housing and Community Development, 1400 Avenue K, Tahoka. More info: (806) 561-4562.
Oct. 29 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Lighthouse Electric Cooperative, Floydada (corner of Hwy 70 and Hwy 207). More info: (806) 983-4912.
Oct. 30 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Graham Community Center, FM 399 and FM 1313, West Garza County. More info: (806) 495-4400.
Nov. 3 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Hereford Community Center, 100 Avenue C, Hereford. More info: (806) 364-3573.
Nov. 4 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Rita Blanca Coliseum, Dalhart. More info: (806) 244-4434.
Nov. 6 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 9 a.m.-noon, Yoakum County Courthouse, 603 Cowboy Way, Plains. More info: (806) 456-2263.
Nov. 6 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., First Baptist Church, 123 S. Bernice, Spearman. More info: (806) 659-4130.
Nov. 6 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., Plains Cotton Cooperative Association Delegate Body Room, 3301 E. 50th St., Lubbock. More info: (806) 775-1680.
Nov. 12 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Hale County Justice Center, 225 Broadway, Plainview. More info: (806) 291-5267.
Nov. 12 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Moore County Community Building, 16th and Maddox, Dumas. More info: (806) 935-2594.
Nov. 13 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Sherman County Barn, 501 South Maple St. Stratford. More info: (806) 366-2081.
Nov. 17 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Wolf Creek Heritage Museum, Lipscomb. More info: (806) 862-4601.
Nov. 18 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd West, Amarillo. More info: (806) 373-0713.
Nov. 19 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Ochiltree County Expo Center, 402 Expo Drive, Perryton. More info: (806) 435-4501.
Nov. 20 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Randall County Extension Office, 200 Brown Rd. Canyon. More info: (806) 468-5543.
Nov. 25 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Pioneer Room at Silverton Happy State Bank, Main St., Silverton. More info: (806) 823-2522.
Dec. 4 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Hemphill Co. Exhibition Center, Canadian. More info: (806) 323-9114.
Dec. 8 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Armstrong County Activity Center, Claude. More info: (806) 226-3021.
Dec. 9 - National Cotton Council Farm Bill/STAX/SCO Meeting, 9 a.m., AgriLife Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Boulevard West, Amarillo.
Dec. 9 - National Cotton Council Farm Bill/STAX/SCO Meeting, 2:30 p.m. Plainview Country Club, 2902 West 4th Street, Plainview.
Dec. 10 - National Cotton Council Farm Bill/STAX/SCO Meeting, 8:30 a.m. Leroy Colgan Bldg., S. 10th St. & S. Houston St. at Forrest Park, Lamesa.
Dec. 10 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Oldham County Barn, Vega. More info: (806) 267-2692.
Dec. 10 - National Cotton Council Farm Bill/STAX/SCO Meeting, 1 p.m. Bayer Museum of Agriculture, 1121 Canyon Lake Drive, Lubbock.
Dec. 11 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., Roberts County Annex, 122 Water Street, Miami. More info: (806) 868-3191.
Dec. 16 - Farm Bill Decision Aid Tool Meeting, 10 a.m., War Memorial Building, Panhandle. More info: (806) 537-3882.
To add a meeting to this schedule, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete list of all of these meetings is available on the Plains Cotton Growers website at http://www.plainscotton.org/mj/agconferences/agconferences.html.
Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership
Class XIV Visits High Plains
Friday, October 24, 2014 By Mary Jane Buerkle
The Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program's Class XIV spent four days learning about agriculture on the High Plains last week.
TALL XIV participants, who are agricultural industry leaders representing 26 communities across Texas, toured several places in and around Lubbock, including PYCO Industries, a cotton field with drip irrigation, the Lubbock Cotton Growers gin, Llano Estacado Winery, and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. They also heard from PCG's Steve Verett and other commodity organizations before touring the Animal and Food Sciences building at Texas Tech and the USDA-AMS Cotton Classing Office. That evening, a reception was held for the group at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture where TALL alumni and others with an interest in the program had an opportunity to meet the class members. Dan and Linda Taylor received the TALL South Plains Agriculture Leadership Award at the reception.
Wednesday morning, the group traveled to Levelland to the Diamond Ethanol Plant and then went on to Muleshoe, where they visited Kettner Pumpkins, Ag Aviation Inc., Stonegate Farms Dairy, and Bamert Seed Co. The group also heard from Jason Coleman, general manager of the High Plains Underground Water District, before heading north to Cargill Cattle Feeders, Sweet Bran, and South Plains Compost.
The class spent the remainder of the week in the Amarillo area. Some of the visits included West Texas A&M University, Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital, Xcel Energy, High Plains Food Bank, Caviness Beef Packers, and Scott Seed. The group participated in a Roundtable Discussion with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in Amarillo and enjoyed another reception at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum on Thursday evening.
The two-year TALL program, led by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is an intensive study of agriculture worldwide which equips people in the agriculture industry to become leaders in their fields. The course focuses on international communications, ecology, government, policy, economics, social issues and education opportunities. For more information about TALL, see http://tall.tamu.edu.