Late Spring Rains Cause Floods, Could Delay

Planting Progress if Rain Continues

Friday, May 8, 2015                             By Mary Jane Buerkle

      It's been years since Texas High Plains farmers have seen a spring quite like this one.

      Soil moisture throughout the profile is at its best since 2010, and farmers across the area have their planters in position and ready to get this season's crop in the ground.

      However, Mother Nature had a different idea. Over the past week, rainfall totals exceeded 10 inches in some places, causing significant flooding of homes, businesses, roads, and fields. Every West Texas Mesonet station in the PCG service area recorded some precipitation within the past 96 hours at press time. Coverage was spottier in some locations, but most received anywhere from two to five inches, although extreme southern portions of the area largely missed out on this week's rain event. Severe weather accompanied many of the storms, bringing large hail, high winds, and a few tornado sightings.

      Some Texas High Plains farmers already had begun planting cotton, but the majority likely would have started this week. Fields being too wet at this point is a problem farmers gladly will accept, especially after four years of intense drought.

      "This is the planting rain we desperately needed, and it is beneficial, but flooding certainly is a concern in some locations, especially where so much rain fell in such a short period of time," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Fortunately, it's still early enough in the season that we have some time to dry out and, barring any additional significant rain events, get this crop planted on time. We're not too worried just yet, but if it continues to rain, we eventually could be dealing with the same delayed planting issues as cotton growers in South Texas have experienced."

      Forecasts call for a chance of thunderstorms going into the weekend, but clearing next week with high temperatures in the 70s.


USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify

Conservation Compliance by June 1 Deadline

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds farmers that the 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA service center by June 1, 2015, in order to become or remain eligible for crop insurance premium support.

      Most farmers already have a certification form on file since it's required for participation in most USDA programs such as marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance. However farmers, such as specialty crop growers who receive federal crop insurance premium support, but may not participate in other USDA programs, also must now file a certification form to maintain their crop insurance premium support.

      Producers should visit their local USDA service center and talk with their crop insurance agent before the June 1, 2015, deadline to ask questions, get additional information or learn more about conservation compliance procedures. Producers that file their form by the deadline will be eligible for federal crop insurance premium support during the 2016 reinsurance year, which begins July, 1, 2015. USDA will publish a rule outlining the linkage of conservation compliance with federal crop insurance premium support. Go to to view a copy of the rule.

      The Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form is available at local USDA service center or online at When a farmer completes this form, USDA Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff will outline any additional actions that may be required for compliance with highly erodible land and wetland provisions. USDA's Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, manages the federal crop insurance program that provides the modern farm safety net for America's farmers and ranchers.


Brands Source U.S. Cotton Textiles and

Garments at COTTON USA Fair in Istanbul

April 2015                    From Cotton Council International

      Nearly 150 top executives accelerated their normal sourcing process for U.S. cotton textiles and garments by attending the third COTTON USA Mediterranean Sourcing Fair, held in Istanbul from April 14-17. A record 1,277 personal meetings took place during the Sourcing Fair, matching buyers and sellers of yarn, fabric and garments. Participants included Turkish, European, and U.S. brands; Turkish, Egyptian, Moroccan and Tunisian garment manufacturers; and Turkish textile manufacturers.

      The COTTON USA Sourcing Fair featured briefings on: (1) the World Cotton Market by Jon Devine, Senior Economist, Cotton Incorporated; (2) the Turkish Garment Manufacturing Sector by Seref Fayat, President, Turkish Clothing Manufacturers' Association (TGSD); and (3) the African cotton textile and garment sectors by Belinda Edmonds, Executive Director African Cotton Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF). Following market briefings in an intensive one-and-a-half-day period, buyers and sellers scheduled personal meetings to conduct business.

      The COTTON USA Supply Chain Marketing Program coordinates events tailored to highlight the benefits of the local textile industry, with the main focus on allowing buyers and suppliers to meet. Cotton Council International selects buyers on an invitation-only basis and vets suppliers in order to ensure that they meet COTTON USA qualifications. For more information, please visit For details on the COTTON USA program in Turkey, please visit