High Plains Cotton Crop Off to Good Start

Friday, June 12, 2015                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The final planting dates for most of the Plains Cotton Growers service area have come and gone, and most would agree that the potential for this year's crop is the best in the past several years.

      Abundant spring rainfall caused significant planting delays for growers, but most were able to finish by their respective deadlines. As always, there are exceptions, as some farmers still have standing water in their fields that likely will force them to take the prevented planting provision or choose an alternative crop, if it is possible for them to do so. Some with earlier deadlines and shorter growing seasons already have had to make those decisions. However, some opted to simply continue planting into their seven-day late planting period, accepting a reduction in crop insurance coverage of one percent per day.

      "We know there will be a decrease in cotton acreage here on the High Plains from previous years, but it's still too early to tell exactly how much," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said, noting that the USDA will issue a planted acreage report later this month. "Besides, less acreage doesn't necessarily mean less production overall, especially considering the improved growing conditions we have now as compared to the past several years.

      "However, we will need some additional rainfall and warm temperatures to help maximize the yield potential for this year's crop, and we certainly don't need severe weather," Verett said. "These next few months between now and harvest will be critical, especially given our late start."

      Growers are attacking weeds early, although winds this week have limited spraying activity in some areas. Fortunately, insect pressure has been relatively low so far.

      Growing conditions overall have been favorable for producers, but markets unfortunately have not. The week started with a slight rebound from the previous week, but at press time, December futures were trading at just under 65 cents, due in part to an announcement on Thursday that China would soon begin selling cotton from its massive stockpile.


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Farm Service Agency County Committee

Nomination Period Begins June 15

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency county committees begins on Monday, June 15, 2015.

      To be eligible to serve on a FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where they are nominated.

      Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2015 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 3, 2015.

      FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 9, 2015. Ballots will be due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 7, 2015. Newly elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2016.

      While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.


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Apparel Supply Chain Holds 800 Business

Meetings at COTTON USA Fair in Mexico

Friday, June 12, 2015        From Cotton Council International

      The COTTON USA Western Hemisphere Sourcing Fair, held in Cancun, Mexico from June 8-11, brought together textile mills, retailers and apparel manufacturing companies to increase sales of U.S. cotton products.

      Twelve U.S. mills, nine retailers from the United States, six Latin American retailers and 35 apparel manufacturing companies from Colombia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru participated in the event.

      The Sourcing Fair included a conference session with a panel of experts who addressed the cotton price situation, quantifying the value of time and trade policy updates. 

      Following the seminar, the U.S. mills and retailers met for two days with Central American, Mexican and Andean textile and apparel executives in private meetings to discuss business opportunities. Approximately 800 individual meetings took place.

      The U.S. mills that participated in the fair were: Alamac American Knits; Antex Knitting Mills; Buhler Quality Yarns, Corp.; CCW; Central Textiles/Cotswold Industries; Contempora Fabrics; Frontier Spinning Mills; Hamrick Mills, Inc.; Milliken; Parkdale; Swisstex Direct; and Tuscarora Yarns.

      Participating retailers and brands included: American Eagle Outfitters, Ascena Group/Lane Bryant, Charlotte Russe, Gander Mountain, LL Bean, Perry Ellis, Target, The Life is Good and Tommy John Wear from the United States; Chedraui and Sears from Mexico; Falabella from Colombia; Puma from El Salvador; Saga Falabella from Peru; and VF from Panama.