Cotton Crop Progressing Toward Harvest
Friday, September 4, 2015 By Mary Jane Buerkle
The Texas High Plains cotton crop generally has continued to benefit from the warm, open weather over the past couple of weeks, but the lack of rainfall has begun to take its toll in many fields, particularly on dryland acreage.
Reports indicate that bolls are beginning to open in some fields, and that the 90-degree days have encouraged a fair amount of the crop to catch up developmentally from its late start. Some producers with irrigated acreage will begin to terminate irrigation within the next couple of weeks.
However, particularly in the northern portions of the PCG service area, the crop needs another 30 to 45 days to finish, further illustrating the fact that crop progress area-wide certainly varies. September weather will be a key factor for everyone.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service will release their September crop production report next Friday, September 11. Some say that the Texas High Plains, barring any catastrophic weather event between now and harvest, could approach the 4-million-bale production mark.
Upcoming Area Field Days
September 15 – All-Tex/Dyna-Gro Field Day, 9 a.m., 1921 West Avenue, Levelland. Lunch served at noon. Questions: Cody Poage, 806-894-4901.
September 16 – Texas Tech University – Quaker Research Farm Field Day, 200 N. Quaker, Lubbock. Registration at 8 a.m., tours begin at 9 a.m. Lunch served at conclusion. Questions: Reagan Anders, 806-239-5604.
September 16 – Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Field Day, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Floyd County Unity Center in Muncy. Lunch served at noon. More information: http://www.tawc.us/
September 30 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, location in the Lubbock area to be determined. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Questions: contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative.
October 6 – Americot Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas Tech Quaker Farm (Lubbock County North). Questions: Chiree Fields, 806-793-1431.
October 7 – Americot Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas Tech Quaker Farm (Lubbock County South). Questions: Chiree Fields, 806-793-1431.
October 7 – Deltapine Field Day, 10 a.m., Nichols Barn in Seminole. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.
October 8 – Deltapine Field Day, Noon, Steve Chapman Farm near Lorenzo. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.
Friday, August 28, 2015 From the National Cotton Council
NCC officers, directors and advisors, along with other industry leaders attending the NCC's Mid-Year Board Meeting in Charleston, S.C., heard updates on farm law implementation and other key issues important to the U.S. cotton industry.
In the NCC Chairman's report, Sledge Taylor said the NCC's agenda in 2015 has included work on a wide range of issues, including work on numerous trade and regulatory issues and a strong focus on various aspects of farm bill implementation - an ongoing task but one in which the NCC was successful in convincing policy makers of the importance of getting the bill's insurance provisions implemented with the 2015 crop.
He said the NCC has been very active in the appropriations process to secure funding for the industry's priority programs and to oppose any amendments that would reduce funding for agricultural programs or adversely impact farm policy and crop insurance. He noted that the appropriations process in the House also provided a legislative vehicle for including a provision that would direct USDA to allow the use of commodity marketing certificates for purposes of redeeming commodities from the marketing loan program.
On the trade front, he reported that the NCC worked closely with the National Council of Textile Organizations to defeat amendments of concern to the cotton and textile industries during Congressional consideration of Trade Promotion Authority. As negotiations continue on the Trans Pacific Partnership, the NCC continues to support the textile industry's efforts by urging the U.S. Trade Representative to insist that a yarn forward rule of origin be required for products granted preferential access to the U.S. market. The NCC also continues to be heavily involved in the Turkish anti-dumping investigation, rebutting Turkish government claims and holding numerous meetings with the Administration and Congressional Members to raise the profile on this issue and make sure they are aware of the critical importance of this market.
Taylor reported that a NCC contamination elimination initiative is focusing on pre-harvest, in-season and post-harvest measures for preventing contaminants from getting into seed cotton and baled lint. He noted that the NCC's Quality Task Force is being re-established not only to monitor ongoing quality control issues but to stay abreast of contamination incident reports. He also stated that the NCC is continuing efforts to improve U.S. cotton flow with educational efforts underway with shippers, cooperative marketing associations, warehousemen and ginners - about the importance of using the Batch 23 process.
He reported on recent NCC efforts on a range of regulatory issues including his testimony regarding the proposed rule by EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to define the waters of the U.S. During a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee's Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, the NCC's testimony provided the opportunity to emphasize that the "waters of the U.S." proposal would require costly federal permits for many commonplace and essential farming practices.
"In addition to this testimony," Taylor noted, "we have been very active on this issue, as part of a large coalition that had submitted extensive comments to this rule and supporting legislation that would prohibit these agencies from moving forward with this rule."
Reece Langley, NCC's vice president for Washington Operations, reported on farm policy, crop insurance, trade, regulatory and tax issues, and the Congressional outlook for the remainder of 2015. He said when Congress returns on Sept. 8, its focus will be on approving a short-term continuing resolution to fund all of the federal government beginning with the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. The CR is necessary because none of the 12 individual appropriations bills have been enacted. It is expected that a long-term omnibus appropriations bill that includes all 12 spending bills will be approved by the end of 2015 to fund the remainder of FY16. Efforts will continue to ensure NCC's priorities are included in the omnibus bill, including reauthorizing the use of marketing certificates for the marketing loan program.
Langley also reported on NCC's requests of the Risk Management Agency to provide additional enhancements for the STAX policy in 2016. The NCC also is working with RMA in response to proposals on both prevented planting payment rates and skip row factors to address the industry's concerns.
Langley also updated the group on trade issues including the status and recent activities in the Turkey antidumping case against U.S. cotton, the recent Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and possible timeline for conclusion, and the upcoming World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Kenya. Leading up to this WTO meeting, there continues to be a focus on U.S. cotton and cotton policy, with other countries and WTO officials calling for there to be even more "outcomes" on cotton that can be agreed to at the December ministerial. The NCC is working with the Administration and Congressional allies to ensure that U.S. trade negotiators defend U.S. cotton and not agree to any further concessions.
In regard to regulatory issues, Langley said the NCC is focused on efforts to move the process forward with EPA for pesticide label language approval of dicamba and 2,4-D for use over the top of cotton varieties with these recently deregulated traits. Also, he said the NCC continues to be active in a broad coalition of groups to address concerns with the "waters of the U.S." rulemaking, pollinator health issues and the impact on pesticide use, and passage of a food labeling bill in the Senate to establish federal pre-emption for the labeling of genetically-modified organisms and non-GMO products. On tax issues, he said the NCC continues to push for Congressional approval of tax extenders legislation that will restore the $500,000 Section 179 expensing and 50 percent bonus depreciation provisions and urge their enactment on a permanent or long-term basis instead of the recent norm of late year retroactive extensions.
In her economic update, Jody Campiche, NCC's director, Economics & Policy Analysis, told attendees that 2015/16 world production is expected to be the lowest in five years mostly due to lower production in the United States and China. She said USDA has projected an increase in world mill use for 2015/16, but this will be a number to watch through the marketing year.
"At this point, the increase in world mill use seems optimistic given the trend in recent years and the uncertainty in the global economy," she said. "Competition from manmade fibers remains strong, and global GDP growth faces a challenging environment in the coming year."
USDA has estimated a 2015/16 U.S. crop of 13.1 million bales, down 19.8 percent from last year. Campiche said the markets were surprised by that number, and it is possible that actual yields may come in a bit higher than the USDA estimate. It is important to note, she stated, that these production estimates are based on the first producer survey and actual production could vary significantly from the August estimate which is facing increased uncertainty because of this year's late crop.
Bill Norman, the NCC's vice president, Technical Services, reported on the implementation status of China's revised bale packaging standard along with providing an update on the NCC's and Cotton Incorporated's involvement in Field to Market.
Details on CCI, NCC and Cotton Incorporated efforts at advancing U.S. cotton's sustainability message through the Cotton LEADS™ program were provided in another report by Cotton Incorporated CEO Berrye Worsham.