2015 Upland Cotton Loan Chart Now Available

Friday, April 24, 2015                                      By Shawn Wade

      The United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency released the 2015-crop Upland Cotton Loan Premium and Discount tables on April 15. The new charts provide a general improvement in both premium and discount levels for many Color/Leaf/Staple combinations. Unfortunately, the improvements occurred everywhere except where growers needed them the most – high-grade cotton with Color grades 11, 21 and 31 and Leaf Grades 1-3.

      Although not severe, virtually all of the declines occurred in the 20 or so Color/Leaf/Staple combinations that are supposedly the most coveted by the market.

      For these top end Color/Leaf combinations the trend will be slightly lower premiums for all Staple lengths 34 and up. Shorter staple cotton with Leaf grades 4 and lower in the 11, 21 and 31 Color grades will see more premium and less discount in 2015.

      Positive changes in the 2015 Loan chart are the rule in just about every other Color/Leaf/Staple combination, with the exception of pockets of higher discounts in several Color/Leaf combinations for Staple 34 cotton. With the exception of this isolated anomaly, most quality combinations will have higher loan values due to premiums increasing or discounts decreasing from 0-30 points.

      Changes in the 2015 premiums and discounts for Bark and Extraneous matter, Micronaire, Strength, and Length Uniformity continued the confounding trend established in the top-end Color/Leaf/Staple combinations with higher value measurements seeing no change or small premium decreases, while lower level measurements for these categories will see better value in 2015 due to discounts getting smaller by 5-25 points.

      The most noticeable change in this section are the lower discounts for Strength readings below 26, lower Micronaire discounts outside of the range from 3.3 to 4.9 and the lowering of premiums for Uniformity measurements of 82 and 83. Strength premiums were lowered 5 points for values between 29 - 32 grams per tex (g/tex).

      The table below provides comparisons between 2014 and 2015 loan values for White Grades 11-41 and Light Spot grades 12-42, Staple 34 through 38 and higher.

      Complete 2015 Loan Premium and Discount tables and loan charts with calculated values based on the 2015 schedule of premiums and discounts will be posted on the Plains Cotton Growers website at: http://www.plainscotton.org.


Kevin Brinkley Named President & CEO

of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association

Friday, April 24, 2015                                           From PCCA

 The Board of Directors of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association today named Kevin Brinkley as president and chief executive officer of the Lubbock-based, farmer-owned cooperative effective July 1, 2015.  The announcement was made by PCCA Chairman Eddie Smith following a nationwide search to replace Wally Darneille who retired on Feb. 28, 2015.

"We are very pleased to announce the selection of Kevin to lead PCCA's cotton marketing, warehousing and software services for our members and customers," Smith said, "and we are excited by the level of experience he brings to the job.  He is well known and respected in the cotton industry and will complement PCCA's management team."

Originally from Burnet, Texas, Brinkley attended Texas Tech University where he graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics.  Upon graduation, he joined the staff of the National Cotton Council in 1989 as field representative for the Texas High and Rolling Plains.  In 1990, he was promoted to an economist position in the Council's Memphis, Tenn., headquarters where he conducted farm policy analysis and provided marketing support for Cotton Council International's efforts to promote U.S. cotton.

Brinkley joined the staff of The Seam as marketing manager when the company was created in 2000 to offer the world's first completely online, neutral exchanges for cotton trading.  In 2003, he was promoted to vice president of marketing and business development, and The Seam added other commodities such as grains, peanuts and dairy to its trading platform.  The company also began offering food trading platforms for major manufacturers and reverse auction procurement systems for USDA.  In 2011, he was promoted to senior vice president to oversee all daily operations of The Seam and was named its chairman and chief executive officer in January 2015.

"PCCA is a stalwart of the U.S. cotton industry," Brinkley said. "My vision is to serve our members by continuing to provide the quality of service and value that have made the cooperative the supplier of choice for customers around the world," he added, "and we will continue to look for new innovations that increase the value of our members' cotton."

Founded in 1953, PCCA today is owned by approximately 15,000 cotton producers in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico and is one of the largest originators of U.S. cotton to textile mills worldwide.  The cooperative also owns six cotton warehouse facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas with combined capacity to store more than one million bales and provides software services to gins and producers.


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ACP Meeting Focuses on Key Issues

Friday, April 17, 2015              From the National Cotton Council

The American Cotton Producers, chaired by Bowen Flowers, Clarksdale, MS, held its spring meeting recently in Dallas to discuss several key issues facing the producer sector.

NCC Chairman Sledge Taylor provided the opening address and briefly reviewed NCC efforts to address the cotton industry's priorities.

Dr. Jody Campiche, the NCC's director of Economic Services, provided a cotton economic overview. That was followed by a detailed Washington report by Reece Langley, NCC's vice president, Washington Operations, which included an update on the makeup of the 114th Congress and agriculture committees, budget and appropriations legislation, trade and regulatory issues, marketing loan gain payment limits, and proposed changes in actively engaged requirements for program eligibility.

Darryl Earnest, deputy administrator of USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Cotton Division, presented a detailed report on its cotton classing operations.

NCC President/CEO Gary Adams reported on the topics discussed at a NCC Crop Insurance Implementation Working Group session that convened prior to the ACP meeting. His report covered recommendations for several changes in the implementation of the Stacked Income Protection Plan and other crop insurance provisions, including opposition to proposed prevented planting coverage levels. He stated that these recommendations would be forwarded to USDA's Risk Management Agency.

The ACP discussed in detail possible cotton policy options to improve cotton's profitability. Based on the discussion, it was recommended that Chairman Flowers re-appoint the ACP Farm Policy Task force to evaluate these ideas and develop recommendations to the ACP.



2015 P.I.E. Program Tour Dates Set

Friday, April 10, 2015              From the National Cotton Council

 The National Cotton Council has scheduled tour dates and locations for the 2015 Producer Information Exchange Program.

The P.I.E. program provides cotton producers the opportunity to maximize production efficiency and improve yields and fiber quality by gaining new perspectives in fundamental practices.

This season, Southeast producers will see operations in California on July 12-17; Mid-South producers will travel to Texas on July 26-31; Western producers will visit Georgia on August 2-7; and Southwest producers will travel to Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi on August 16-21.

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. is now in its 27th year and has exposed more than 1,100 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own. The NCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer interest organizations, conducts the program, including participant selection.