Key Customers to See U.S. Cotton's Advantages

Friday, September 25, 2015 From Cotton Council International

      Textile manufacturing executives representing 18 countries will visit the U.S. Cotton Belt September 27-October 3 to get a close look at how U.S. cotton is produced, processed and marketed. This biennial COTTON USA Orientation Tour is sponsored by Cotton Council International, the export promotions arm of the Memphis-based National Cotton Council.

      CCI President Dahlen Hancock, a Ropesville, Texas, cotton producer, said, "For nearly half a century, the Orientation Tour has been an excellent vehicle for furthering the U.S. cotton industry's reputation as a reliable supplier and for helping U.S. cotton capture additional market share. I believe this year's tour will help the participating foreign textile manufacturers develop an even deeper appreciation for U.S. cotton fiber quality and our industry's timely delivery system."

      Represented on this 39th Orientation Tour will be executives from 29 companies from Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. These companies are expected to consume about 3.1 million bales in 2015 while U.S. cotton exports to those companies are estimated at about 1 million bales.

      The represented countries consume about 96.5 million cotton bales per year in their textile mills, which represents about 84 percent of the world's consumption. The countries import about 29.4 million bales annually or about 85 percent of the world's total cotton imports.

      The Tour participants will visit a cotton farm and gin in the Mississippi Delta, observe cotton research in Mississippi and North Carolina, and see the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, Tennessee. They will meet with exporters in the four major Cotton Belt regions and get briefings from CCI, the NCC, Cotton Incorporated, the American Cotton Shippers Association, the Texas Cotton Association, the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, AMCOT, the American Cotton Producers, the Delta Council, the Southern Cotton Growers Association, the Plains Cotton Growers Association, the Western Cotton Shippers Association, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association and Supima.

      More than 800 textile executives from more than 60 countries have participated in CCI's Orientation Tour, which was initiated in 1968. Major Tour objectives are to increase U.S. cotton customers' awareness of the types/qualities of U.S. cotton, help them gain a better understanding of U.S. marketing practices and enhance their relationships with U.S. exporters.



ARC and PLC Signup

Wednesday, September 30

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Upcoming Area Field Days

      September 30 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Cotton Production Field Day, CAP Plot, 1251 W. Loop 289 at East 12th, Lubbock. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Lunch to follow. 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.


NCC: Report on U.S. Cotton Policies Misleading

Friday, September 18, 2015 From the National Cotton Council

      The National Cotton Council says numerous invalid assumptions severely limit the credibility of The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development's (ICTSD) recent paper entitled, "The 2014 Farm Bill and its Effects on the World Market."

      While the ICTSD described its paper - which includes a significant focus on crop insurance, including the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) - as an "impartial, evidence-based assessment," NCC President/CEO Dr. Gary Adams said the paper is very misleading and "does not capture the realities of today's cotton market or global cotton policies. Cotton growers in the United States respond to market signals, not government programs, when making planting decisions."

      Adams said that the ICTSD report: 1) fails to accurately model current cotton policies; 2) imposes crop insurance purchase decisions on the model that are not in line with historical experience; and 3) inflates impacts by overestimating expected benefits from insurance.

      The ICTSD report stands in contrast to a 2014 Congressional Research Service report that stated "... total indemnity payments under both STAX and any other cotton-specific crop insurance are prohibited from exceeding the value of the insured crop, thus further minimizing any potential production incentive."

      Another evaluation of the 2014 farm law's cotton provisions conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development concluded that "... the incentives to produce cotton in the United States will be weaker than they were during previous decades." The report also found that "... expenditures under STAX are estimated at about one eighth of the cotton subsidies paid under the 2002 Farm Bill and about one third of the subsidies paid under the 2008 Farm Bill."

      Adams said the ICTSD paper also misrepresented the marketing loan program by failing to incorporate the modifications of the upland cotton marketing loan included in the 2014 farm law.

      "Under low price scenarios, the report does not allow the marketing loan rate to adjust lower as dictated in current legislation," Adams said.

      Adams said the ICTSD report exaggerates crop insurance usage and inflates crop insurance benefits. For example, for the 2015 crop year, approximately 25 percent of cotton acreage is covered with a STAX policy - far below the author's 100 percent assumption. The authors also calculate expected net indemnities of $734 million for STAX (with a $0.70 per pound futures price) - which is 2.4 times larger than the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of $300 million.

      The ICTSD report also attempts to dismiss the findings of a World Trade Organization panel that rejected Brazil's attempt to assign production and price effects to the presence of crop insurance products. They overstate the changes in crop insurance products, Adams said, when in reality premium subsidy rates for individual coverage policies did not change between the 2008 and 2014 farm bills.


PCG Board of Directors To Meet October 7

Friday, September 25, 2015                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 7, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, located at 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Lubbock. Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.

      Joe Nicosia, executive vice president of Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC, will join the group by phone to give a cotton market report and Tom Sell with Combest, Sell & Associates will give a legislative update. Craig Brown with the National Cotton Council will update the group on NCC activities.

      Other items include 2016 Business Director Nominations, the Nominating Committee Election and an update on the status of PCG finances through the first three months of the fiscal year.

      For more information, contact PCG at (806) 792-4904.


TDA Announces Boll Weevil Eradication Successes in Texas

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 From Texas Dept of Agriculture

      Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently announced an update to the status in the fight against boll weevils in Texas. Commissioner Miller is excited to report the West Texas Maintenance Area has been declared eradicated, and the Northern Backlands, Southern Backlands, Upper Coastal Bend and South Texas Winter Garden zones have been deemed functionally eradicated. Texas ranks No. 1 nationally for cotton production, and this announcement comes as a milestone in the efforts to eliminate the boll weevil from Texas.

      "Historically, the boll weevil has been the most costly pest to our cotton producers, and the destruction these pests cause has resulted in millions of dollars lost to the Texas economy," Commissioner Miller said. "I sincerely congratulate and honor the Texas cotton industry, the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and Texas cotton farmers on this monumental success. We will continue to support efforts to eradicate boll weevils from the state entirely."

      The Texas Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, assists cotton farmers in increasing efficiencies, eliminating duplication of efforts and streamlining the process of cotton stalk destruction — all of which work to eradicate boll weevils from Texas' cotton crop. Prior to the eradication efforts, boll weevils caused an estimated $200 million in losses per year to Texas farmers. Since 1996, the cumulative benefits of the eradication program have reached nearly $3 billion.

      Parts of Texas bordering with Mexico continue to battle the boll weevil, where the effects of border violence and funding hardships for Mexico's eradication programs create challenges in the much-needed progress towards eradication. The continued collaborative efforts of industry leaders, farmers, TBWEF, USDA and TDA are key to future successes in these areas.

      For more information about the TBWEF and the boll weevil eradication program, visit