2016 PCG Seed Cost Calculator Now Available

Friday, February 19, 2016                    By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The 2016 version of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Seed Cost Calculator is ready and available for download from the PCG website at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      The PCG seed cost calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices.

      The calculator has become a popular tool among producers interested in comparing seed and technology prices as they work to finalize their cotton variety selections.

      The 2016 version of the spreadsheet includes listings for more than 90 conventional, Roundup Ready FLEX, XtendFlex, GlyTol, Bollgard II, TwinLink, and Widestrike varieties, including numerous stacked gene versions of these technologies that will be available for sale in West Texas in 2016.


New AgriLife Extension Entomologist

Fills South Plains Post

Tuesday, February 9, 2016      By Steve Byrns, AgriLife TODAY

      Texas A&M University's department of entomology and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology project group announced the hiring of Dr. Suhas Vyavhare as the new AgriLife Extension cotton entomologist serving the South Plains.

      Vyavhare started Feb. 1 and is headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock. The center is headquarters for AgriLife Extension's 20-county South Plains District that Vyavhare serves.

      Dr. Charles Allen, state integrated pest management coordinator at San Angelo, said Vyavhare earned a bachelor's in agriculture from Mahatma Phule Agricultural University, Rahuri, India, and a master's in plant, soil and environmental science from West Texas A&M University at Canyon. He then earned a doctorate in entomology from Texas A&M University at College Station.

      Previously, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Beaumont, Allen said. While there, Vyavhare was in charge of implementing, managing and supervising applied research addressing entomological issues in soybeans, rice, sugarcane and sorghum. He also designed and conducted various field trials evaluating performance of crop protection products.

      Prior to working in Beaumont, Vyavhare was a teaching assistant in the department of entomology at Texas A&M.

      "We are looking forward to watching Dr. Vyavhare continue on the path of excellence he has charted thus far in his career as he takes on the responsibility of working with AgriLife Extension agents and farmers to help them manage cotton insects on the Texas High Plains," Allen said.


Farm Press Editor Ron Smith to Keynote

Lubbock Chamber "Salute to Ag" Luncheon

Friday, February 19, 2016  From the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce

      The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce will host a "Salute to Ag" Luncheon on Thursday, March 10, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture.

      The Salute to Ag Luncheon recognizes and celebrates the abundance provided by agriculture and is held during the month of March on or around the time of National Ag Day.

      The Chamber's Salute to Ag Luncheon will feature guest speaker Ron Smith, Editor of Southwest Farm Press. Ron is a true friend to agriculture and has visited with countless Texas High Plains farmers over the years. With more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture, Smith began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a master's degree in English. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 to 1989. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism.

      The serving line will begin at 11:45 a.m., with the program beginning promptly at 12 p.m. Tickets for the luncheon are $35. Chamber members get a discounted price of $25.

      Reservations are required by noon Thursday, March 3. Register at http://www.lubbockchamber.com or by calling the Chamber at (806) 761-7000.


Save the Date!


PCG's 59th Annual Meeting

Friday, April 8

Lubbock Memorial Civic Center 9 a.m.-Noon


Keynote Speaker: David Wasserman

The Cook Political Report


Ports-to-Plains, LEDA to Host

Energy and Ag Summit

Friday, February 19, 2016  Information from Ports-to-Plains

      The Ports-to-Plains Alliance and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance will co-host the 2016 Ports-to-Plains Energy and Ag Summit March 30-31 at the Arbor Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock.

      "This is quite a volatile time for energy and agriculture, which are the industries that are critical to the economies throughout the Ports-to-Plains Corridor region," Ports-to-Plains President Michael Reeves said. "That is why we think it is so important for business and community leaders to learn as much as possible about the key issues we are facing so that we can overcome challenges, identify opportunities and thrive economically."

      "The dynamic changes in our energy sector right now are of major interest to Lubbock businesses, as those changes drive business decisions both short-term and long-term," Lubbock Economic Development Alliance CEO John Osborne said. "Likewise, agriculture continues to be the cornerstone of our community and an industry that will continue to drive Lubbock's economy for years to come."

      The two-day conference will feature speakers from throughout the Ports-to-Plains region that stretches from Alberta, Canada to Mexico. Former House Ag Committee Chairman Larry Combest will give an overview of critical issues in agriculture. PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will discuss the cotton industry's impact on the Ports-to-Plains region. Representatives from Monsanto and Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest will give updates on their recently announced projects that will be significant job creators on the South Plains.

      Energy presentations will showcase the region's diverse and productive energy production portfolio from oil and gas to renewable sources such as wind and solar. Consul General of Canada Sara Wilshaw will discuss trade opportunities with the United States largest trade partner and northern neighbor, while presentations from Ports-to-Plains partners in Mexico will share the developments in Texas' largest foreign trade market.

      A strong transportation infrastructure is critical to moving the region's ag and energy products to market, and these issues will be featured as well. Lubbock Mayor and Ports-to-Plains Treasurer Glen Robertson will give an update on efforts to extend Interstate 27. Carolyn Mays, Manager of the Freight Transportation Planning Branch of the Texas Department of Transportation will speak on the Texas Freight Mobility Plan and what it means for the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

      "We are putting together a great agenda that can provide critical insights for our region," said Reeves.

      Registration is required and information and full details about the Energy and Ag Summit are available on the Ports-to-Plains website at http://www.portstoplains.com.

      Ports-to-Plains is a grassroots alliance of more than 275 communities and businesses, including alliance partners Heartland Expressway, Theodore Roosevelt Expressway and Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor Coalition, whose mission is to advocate for a robust international transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America's energy and agricultural heartland including Mexico to Canada. Additional information on the Ports-to-Plains Alliance is available at http://www.portstoplains.com.


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California Cotton Grower Mark Watte

Elected as Cotton Incorporated Chairman

Tuesday, February 16, 2016                From The Cotton Board

      Mark Watte, a Tulare, California cotton producer, was elected chairman of Cotton Incorporated at the joint Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Board meeting in December, 2015. Watte, who succeeds outgoing chairman B.B. Griffin of North Carolina, has served as a director on the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors for over 20 years, and is active in many cotton organizations including the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association. 

      "Mark's experience as a cotton grower and as an officer in numerous cotton organizations gives him a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities for cotton at this point in the industry's history," says J. Berrye Worsham, president and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.

      Mark Watte is a partner in George Watte & Sons, a 3,000-acre mixed crop farm in Tulare, California, Since graduating from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Osispo with a degree in Agricultural Business in 1974, Watte has distinguished himself as a leader within the California agricultural community and the U.S. cotton industry.

      Currently, Watte shares his knowledge and leadership through participation in local organizations, such as: the Consolidated Peoples Ditch Co; the Friant Water Authority; the Tulare Board of Public Utilities; and the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, on which he serves as Vice Chair.

      Over the course of his career Watte has received numerous recognitions, including:  2000 Tulare Farmer of the Year (an award shared with his brother and business partner, Brian Watte); 2013 Tulare Man of the Year; Tulare County Agriculturist of the Year; and is a recipient of the 2015 High Cotton Award, presented by Delta Farm Press.

      Mark Watte and his wife Joanne have been married for more than 42 years, have three daughters and ten grandchildren.

      Watte will serve a two-year term as Cotton Incorporated Chairman.

      Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton.  The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.