2015 Seed Cost Calculator Now Available

Friday, February 20, 2015                          By Shawn Wade

      The 2015 version of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Seed Cost Calculator is ready and available for download from the PCG website at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      The PCG seed cost calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices. The calculator has become a popular tool among producers interested in comparing seed and technology prices as they work to finalize their cotton variety selections.

      The 2015 version of the spreadsheet includes listings for 90 conventional, Roundup Ready FLEX, XtendFlex, GlyTol, Bollgard II, TwinLink, and Widestrike varieties, including numerous stacked gene versions of these technologies that will be available for sale in West Texas in 2015.



Friday, February 27: Deadline to update yield history or reallocate base acres

Tuesday, March 31: Deadline to choose Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC)


Texas Cotton Acreage Expected to Drop in '15

Friday, February 20, 2015                    By Mary Jane Buerkle

      As the 2014 High Plains cotton crop draws closer to completion, conversations now revolve around prospective plantings for 2015 and how producers across the Cotton Belt plan to address current conditions.

      Results from the National Cotton Council's Planting Intentions Survey suggested that producers in the United States will plant about 9.2 million acres of upland cotton in 2015, down 15.2 percent from 2014. The largest decreases were in the West, primarily in Arizona and California.

      Texas growers, according to the NCC survey, could plant about 5.34 million acres of upland cotton in 2015, down 13.8 percent from 2014 and the least since 2009. The acres shifting from cotton in West Texas are split between wheat, corn, and grain sorghum, the NCC reported.

      Although it is likely that less High Plains acres will go into cotton this year, that doesn't necessarily mean less production, especially if Mother Nature plays nice. Growers report excellent soil moisture in some areas, with a few saying they're in the best shape they've been in, at this point, in the last several years. However, some parts of the PCG service area are still in extreme to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

      Producers also are closely watching the cotton market, which has been on a slight uptick in the past several days. December futures at press time were around 65 cents, which is important since February is the projected price discovery period for the March 15 closing date for crop insurance for cotton.

      It also should be noted that Friday, February 27, is the final day to update yield history or reallocate existing base acres for covered commodities under the 2014 Farm Bill. Landowners and/or producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible before Friday, February 27, to complete the process or schedule an appointment if they have not done so already.

      Remember, though, that since upland cotton is no longer considered a covered commodity, upland cotton base acres on the farm have been re-designated as "generic" base acres and cannot be reallocated. Producers may receive ARC/PLC payments on generic base acres only if those acres are planted to a covered commodity.

      March 31 is the deadline for choosing between Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage. For more information, contact your local FSA office.



Gary Adams Elected NCC President/CEO

Monday, February 9, 2015 From the National Cotton Council

      Dr. Gary Adams, who has served as the National Cotton Council's vice president of Economics and Policy Analysis since 2002, was elected by the NCC's board of directors to be the organization's president and chief executive officer.

      Adams, elected at the NCC's 2015 Annual Meeting held February 6-8 in Memphis, replaces retiring NCC President/CEO Dr. Mark Lange who served in that role since 2003.

      In his new role, Adams will play a pivotal role in guiding the industry's seven segments to reach consensus on critical policies affecting U.S. cotton - with the overall mission of helping each of the U.S. cotton industry's seven segments compete effectively and profitably in global markets.

      Previously, Adams had responsibilities that included producing an economic outlook for global cotton markets, as well as analyzing the impacts of farm and trade policies as they relate to the U.S. cotton industry. He represented the cotton industry on USDA's Advisory Committee on Trade from 2005 through 2011 and the National Agriculture Statistics Service Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics from 2003 through 2009.

      Prior to joining the NCC, Adams was a research assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri. His primary responsibilities included policy analysis and market outlook for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

      Adams holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri. He and his wife, Carol, have four children.

      In addition, the NCC board re-elected Reece Langley as the NCC's vice president, Washington Operations. Langley, who has been serving in that post since last fall, will be responsible for coordinating the NCC's Washington activities.

      He replaces the retiring John Maguire, who served in that post since 1986 and who had worked for the NCC since 1979.

      Prior to joining the NCC, Langley served for nearly a decade as vice president of Government Affairs for the USA Rice Federation, the trade association representing rice producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses. Before joining USA Rice, Langley was agricultural legislative assistant to Rep. Terry Everett (R-AL) from 2001 through 2003.

      Langley was raised on his family's farm in Athens, Ala., where he remains involved. He earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, and an MBA, both from Auburn University.

      He and his wife Kerri have one son and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.




PCG's 58th Annual Meeting

Friday, April 10

Lubbock Memorial Civic Center

9 a.m.-Noon


More information coming soon!


"America's Farmers Grow Rural Education"

Program Promotes Math, Science

      Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education continues to be a priority for U.S. school districts. Investing now is vitally important, as the fastest-growing occupations require STEM proficiency. However, securing financial support to expand curricula and provide hands-on learning opportunities can be challenging, especially in rural areas. Public school districts in rural communities can help prepare their students for future academic and career success by applying for $2.3 million in math or science grants from America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

      It all starts with the farmers in those communities. Between now and April 1, 2015, farmers can nominate a public school district in their community to apply for a $10,000 or $25,000 grant. Nominated school districts can then submit grant applications, through April 15, 2015, to compete for the funds to enhance their math or science programs.

      "Grow Rural Education is our way to partner with farmers across rural America to provide top-quality education to students in their local communities," said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer.  "Helping students acquire proficiency in math and science will assist in creating the next generation of problem solvers."

      America's Farmers Grow Rural Education launched nationally in 2012 after a successful pilot. Since that time, it has awarded more than $7 million to more than 500 school districts, leading to innovations and improvements in math and science education across rural America. Texas school districts have received $370,000 in grants from the program over the past three years.

      School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD).  School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region. All applications will be evaluated based on merit, need and community support. The America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications that will be announced in August.

      America's Farmers Grow Rural Education is part of the America's Farmers initiative. Since 2010, the America's Farmers campaign and programs have advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society's needs through agriculture.  Today, consumers are more interested than ever in agriculture and how food is grown. Consider joining the conversation and helping to raise awareness about agriculture. Learn more at fooddialogues.com.

      For more information about the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit GrowRuralEducation.com.



Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

      February 25 – Sandyland Ag Conference, Seminole. Contact Terry Millican, CEA-AG, (432) 758-4006.

      February 27 - Ornamental and Turf Conference, 9 a.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Amarillo. Contact Nathan Carr, CEA-AG, (806) 373-0713.

      February 27 – Other than Cotton Meeting, Lamesa. Contact Gary Roschetzky, CEA-AG, (806) 872-3444.

      March 4 – Gray County Ag Conference, Pampa. Contact Brandon McGinty, CEA-AG, (806) 669-8033.

      March 5 – Sorghum Production Meeting, Morse. Contact Kristy Slough, CEA-AG, (806) 878-4026.

      March 6 – Beef and Range Meeting, Lipscomb. Contact J.R. Sprague, CEA-AG, (806) 862-4601.

      March 6 – Cover Crops Seminar, Lubbock. Contact Mark Brown, CEA-AG, (806) 775-1680.

      March 11 – Cotton Market Outlook and Risk Management Seminar, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Floyd County Unity Center, Muncy. Contact Cristen Brooks, CEA-AG, (806) 983-4912.

      March 11 – Pest Control Meeting, Castro County. Contact Nancy Andersen, CEA-AG, (806) 647-4115.

      March 24 – Sorghum Meeting, Perryton. Contact Scott Strawn, CEA-AG, (806) 435-4501.

      March 25 – Oldham County Field Day, Vega. Contact Austin Voyles, CEA-AG, (806) 267-2692.

      A complete list of meetings is at http://bit.ly/cottonmeetings.