Worsham, Adams, Neugebauer, Hocutt Set to

Speak at PCG's 58th Annual Meeting

Friday, March 20, 2015                     By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The slate of speakers has been finalized for the 58th Annual Meeting of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., which will be Friday, April 10, in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

      PCG's Annual Meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will start promptly at 9 a.m. The meeting is held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, April 9 and 10 in Lubbock.

      Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated, will focus on cotton research and promotion. Almost 50 years ago, producers from the Texas High Plains helped create Cotton Incorporated petitioning Congress to pass the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966. The Act established a funding mechanism, based on producer assessments, for the purpose of conducting a wide scale effort to recapture cotton's market share. Since then, Cotton Incorporated has celebrated numerous successes and continues to pioneer progress in the cotton industry through research and promotion efforts.

      Dr. Gary Adams, who recently was named President and CEO of the National Cotton Council, will update attendees on the various activities of the NCC and address issues related to policy.

      "All of our organizations have been working on behalf of our producers, especially during these tough times, and we wanted to highlight some of those efforts at this meeting," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said.

      U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer also will address the group, as will Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt, who will discuss the Celebrate Cotton game and continuing the relationship between the cotton industry and Texas Tech.

      Current PCG president Shawn Holladay, who farms near Lamesa, Texas, will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. An award recognizing the 2014 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year also will be presented at the meeting.

      A buffet breakfast will be served from 7:30-8:30 a.m. in the Civic Center Banquet Hall, sponsored by Monsanto and Deltapine. Breakfast will be provided free to all PCG Annual Meeting participants. Immediately following the PCG Annual Meeting will be the annual FiberMax Cottonseed Luncheon for PCG Annual Meeting participants and members of the FiberMax "One Ton Club." Lunch will be served in the Civic Center Banquet Hall.

      There is no cost to attend and an RSVP is not necessary. For additional information, call PCG at (806) 792-4904 or visit http://www.plainscotton.org.


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Cotton Incorporated to Host Price Risk

Management Seminar in Lubbock

Friday, March 20, 2015                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Cotton Incorporated, in cooperation with PCG, will host a Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar in Lubbock on Wednesday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center, located at 2322 Mac Davis Lane.

     The seminar will address how to use market-based strategies to manage price risk for the 2015 crop season, as well as market outlook discussions. Topics of discussion for the seminars include: why options on cotton futures are critical to your business; what and how options can work for you; and how to use actionable hedging strategies based on various price scenarios.

      There is no fee to attend and lunch will be provided for all participants. Registration is recommended. Contact Lynda Keys at Cotton Incorporated by phone (919) 678-2269 or email lkeys@cottoninc.com. Space is limited so please register as soon as possible.




Tuesday, March 31

Deadline to update yield history or reallocate base acres Deadline to choose Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC)

Contact your local FSA office today!


Our View: America's Farmers Have

Answered the Call for Budget Cuts

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 From Farm Policy Facts

      Recently, during a congressional hearing to examine the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, one of the witnesses recounted a story about the simple advice he received when he first started farming. An older family member, who is also a farmer, offered this: "farming is a tough life and you're not going to make a lot of money. Good luck."

      This advice was given nearly two decades ago, but it is timeless. Farmers work at the mercy of Mother Nature, compete with trade-distorting policies of foreign governments, and must manage the vagaries of the marketplace. It is no coincidence that less than one percent of the population feeds the remainder. Farming is a tough life.

      Just consider recent economic data on the farm economy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service, net farm income is down nearly 43 percent due to weak exports and plunging commodity markets. Farm sector debt as a percentage of assets is expected to increase three percent.

      According to one index from Creighton University, February marked the 19th straight month that farm equipment sales dropped. Additionally, farmland prices decreased for the 15th straight month.

      Beyond this reality, a farmer's worries extend to policymakers in Washington who have the ability to make an already tough life worse.

      This week the House and Senate Budget Committees are expected to unveil, consider, and pass their respective budget resolutions. The president already targeted agriculture in his budget proposing significant cuts to the key component of the farm safety net: crop insurance. There is chatter that legislators will likely offer similar proposals adding more anxiety to farmers and their lenders.

      It's a good time to mention that when the Agricultural Act of 2014, otherwise known as the farm bill, was enacted last February, it was estimated to save $23 billion. As former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-Tex.) pointed out in a recent column for The Hill, new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released last week now predict the farm bill, which includes nutrition and farm policy, will save an additional $5 billion.

      What is more incredible is the fact that the farm bill is such a tiny piece of the overall budget. The USA Today recently illustrated this point with a snapshot graphic showing where tax dollars were spent. Out of every $100 of federal spending, only 70 cents was devoted to agriculture. This figure includes more than just farm policy, such as the functions and operations of agricultural-related agencies like USDA, but regardless, just 70 cents ensures we have an affordable and secure national food supply.

      Taken together, it would seem that America's agricultural producers are the gift that keeps on giving. They produce the crops that feed, clothe, and fuel the nation and they produce the budget savings that contribute to deficit reduction.

      Yet, somehow this is never enough for farm policy critics who are relentless in crying for more cuts. Let it be known, farming is a tough life and tough times are on the horizon for America's farmers and ranchers, but they have answered the call for fiscal discipline.

      In times like these, Washington should be applauding the agricultural community for the contributions it has already made, not working to make things even harder by jeopardizing the one thing farmers should be able to count on: the just-passed farm safety net.


Want the facts about the U.S. agriculture and farm policy?



Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

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

      March 26 – Sorghum Meeting, Dimmitt. Contact Nancy Andersen, CEA-AG, (806) 647-4115.

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

      March 30 – Pre-Plant Meeting, Lamesa. Contact Gary Roschetzky, CEA-AG, (806) 872-3444.

      April 1 – Lower Rolling Plains Ag Conference, Scurry County Coliseum, Snyder. Contact Greg Gruben, CEA-AG, (325) 573-5423.

      April 6 – Sorghum Meeting, Levelland. Contact Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Hockley County, (806) 894-3159

      April 7 – Beef Grid Marketing, Miami. Contact Michael Wilkes, CEA-AG, (806) 868-3191.

      April 10 – Beef Management & Brush Control, Canadian. Contact Andy Holloway, CEA-AG, (806) 323-9114.

      April 14 – Hale/Swisher Crops Conference, Plainview. Contact John Villalba, CEA-AG, (806) 995-3721.

      April 21 – Spring Ag Conference, Tulia. Contact John Villalba, CEA-AG, (806) 995-3721.

      April 23 – Forage Management Meeting, Post. Contact Greg Jones, CEA-AG, (806) 495-4400.

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



North Plains Groundwater Conservation

District Proposes New Rules

Thursday, March 19, 2015 Information from North Plains GCD

      The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, which includes counties in the northern portions of the PCG service area, has scheduled meetings for stakeholders to provide feedback on a new set of proposed rules for the District. The proposed rules would replace the current rules if approved.

      In the proposed rules, the District has: reorganized the current rules; revised certain current rules including well spacing, well construction and well density; added a rule for auxiliary wells; clarified the District's conservation reserve rule; deleted the term "property" and replaced it with the term "groundwater production unit"; and incorporated the District's "Metering Manual" into the proposed rules.

      All interested parties are encouraged to attend one of the following meetings:

      Monday, March 23 – Perryton: Ochiltree County Expo, 402 Expo Drive

      Tuesday, March 24 – Dumas: Hampton Inn Meeting Room, 2010 S. Dumas Avenue

      Thursday, March 26 – Dalhart: Rita Blanca Coliseum (middle building), 1219 W. FM 281

      All meetings will be held at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the District website at http://www.northplainsgcd.org.