USDA Announces 2015 Cotton

Loan Rate Differentials

Wednesday, April 15, 2015      From the Farm Service Agency

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency on Wednesday announced the 2015-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

      The differentials, also referred to as loan rate premiums and discounts, have been calculated based on market valuations of various cotton quality factors for the prior three years. This calculation procedure is identical to that used in past years. The Commodity Credit Corporation adjusts cotton loan rates by these differentials so that cotton loan values reflect the differences in market prices for color, staple length, leaf, extraneous matter, micronaire, length uniformity and strength.

      The 2015-crop differential schedules are applied to 2015-crop loan rates of 52.00 cents per pound for the base grade of upland cotton and 79.77 cents per pound for extra-long staple cotton. The loan rate provided to an individual cotton bale is based on the quality of each individual bale as determined by Agricultural Marketing Service classing measurements.

      The tables of these loan rate differentials are available on the FSA website at If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tiffany Arthur at (202) 720-4284 or by email at


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Rainfall Boosts Optimism For 2015 Crop

Friday, April 17, 2015                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Cotton planting time is rapidly approaching across the Texas High Plains, and recent weather events have boosted optimism for a successful start to the 2015 crop.

      As of Friday morning, every West Texas Mesonet station had recorded at least a bit of rainfall in the previous 96 hours. Most areas received anywhere from a half-inch up to between four and five inches this week. The highest totals, although relatively isolated, were to the southwest of Lubbock, and PCG received reports of up to eight inches in the Tokio area, between Plains and Brownfield.      However, the rainfall events came with severe weather in some portions of the PCG service area, particularly to the north and east. Tornadoes were spotted to the east and northeast of Amarillo, and large hail reportedly fell near Spur.

      As producers prepare to plant this year's crop, cottonseed sales are beginning to pick up, sales representatives say. Producers who would like guidance on planting seed decisions can download Plains Cotton Growers' Seed Cost Calculator at 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.

      Minimum average soil temperatures are beginning to edge into the lower 60-degree range across much of the region. The optimum planting target is to have a 10-day average soil temperature of 65 degrees at the eight-inch depth. Adequate soil temperatures coupled with adequate pre-plant moisture will encourage planting activity.

      Markets certainly are another factor for producers, with December futures at about 64 cents at press time. Some marketing experts say prices could inch upward toward 70 cents, although quality is a primary consideration.


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COTTON USA Respins 2015

Advertising Campaign

Thursday, April 9, 2015     From Cotton Council International

      COTTON USA expands on the universal truth that everyone loves cotton in its new global advertising campaign. COTTON USA plans to inspire consumers through the integrated campaign, both in what they wear and how they wear it, and further spread the benefits of U.S. cotton to markets throughout the world. The campaign slogan, "I Love My Cotton," encourages consumers and brands alike to connect with the campaign, and inspires them to share their own reasons for loving cotton.

      To demonstrate how U.S. cotton is a medium of personal expression through jeans, dress shirts and everything in between, COTTON USA cast five individuals from different corners of the globe, wearing cotton in different ways.

      "These portraits reflect the authenticity and passion unique to COTTON USA: the singular mark that symbolizes purity of fiber, quality of fabric and responsibility for the planet," said Cotton Council International President Dahlen Hancock.

      The Texas cotton producer said U.S. cotton sets the global standard for quality and purity. With this campaign, he said COTTON USA hopes to show that U.S. cotton is a premium fashion ingredient, pushing the COTTON USA logo to the forefront and encouraging the growth of U.S. cotton worldwide.

      Shot by renowned photographer Paola Kudacki and styled by the talented Karen Kaiser, cotton garments ranging from T-shirts to dress pants and jeans to towels are worn effortlessly by models Julia Hafstrom, Lais Oliveira, Gaspard Menier, Bregje Heinen, and young Caitlin Espirtu. Produced in-studio in New York City in July 2014, the campaign has a limitless quality and flexibility that allows it to be used in any market in any medium.