Wasserman, Langley to Speak at

PCG Annual Meeting April 8

Friday, April 1, 2016                            By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Keynote speaker David Wasserman, House Editor for The Cook Political Report, will present "An Insider's Guide to the 2016 Election" at Plains Cotton Growers' 59th Annual Meeting on Friday, April 8, 2016 in the Banquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. The keynote presentation is sponsored by Farmers Cooperative Compress.

      Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will start promptly at 9 a.m. The meeting is held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, April 7-8, 2016, in Lubbock. For more information on the TCGA Annual Meeting and Trade Show, visit http://www.tcga.org/.

      Wasserman is responsible for handicapping and analyzing U.S. House Races for The Cook Political Report. He has served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2014, 2012, 2010, and 2008, and has appeared on NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, C-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. He is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com and his commentary on House races has been cited in numerous print and online publications including Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and RealClearPolitics.com.

      Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council, also is scheduled to update attendees on the NCC's activities. Langley is responsible for coordinating the Washington activities of the Council, including working with Congress and the Administration, with the overall mission of helping each of the U.S. cotton industry's seven segments compete effectively and profitably in a global market.

      The program will feature an update on the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. PAC and an announcement about the 2016 Celebrate Cotton Game. In addition, both candidates for U.S. House District 19, Jodey Arrington and Glen Robertson, will speak briefly at the meeting.

      Current PCG president Shawn Holladay will preside over the meeting and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCG operations and activities. Lubbock Cotton Exchange President Darren Newton will discuss the Texas International Cotton School. PCG will present the 2015 High Plains Cotton Agent of the Year award.

      Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., sponsored by Deltapine. Lunch, sponsored by Bayer Crop Science/FiberMax/Stoneville, will follow the meeting.

      There is no charge to attend and no RSVP is necessary. Additional information about PCG and the Annual Meeting can be found at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      The meeting also will be broadcast live on All Ag, All Day at 900 AM KFLP, (Floydada-Lubbock) 800 AM KDDD (Dumas-Amarillo), and at http://www.allagnews.com.



USDA's Prospective Plantings Report

Reveals Cotton Acreage Increase

Friday, April 1, 2016                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Texas cotton growers are expected to plant about 5.3 million acres of upland cotton in 2016, up 10 percent from 2015 but still less than the 6.2 million acres planted in 2014, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's Prospective Plantings Report released on Thursday.

      Growers on the Texas High Plains usually plant about two-thirds of the state's acreage, which places the estimate for PCG's 41-county area at about 3.5 million acres, which is close to the long-term average.

      Nationwide, the USDA says that upland cotton producers intend to plant 9.3 million acres, up 11 percent from 2015. Texas growers are expected to plant more than 56 percent of the nation's cotton acreage in 2016.

      The largest drops by percentage are expected to be in North Carolina and South Carolina. Those two states, along with California and Virginia, are the only states in the Cotton Belt that are not expected to see an increase in cotton acreage for 2016.

      The USDA estimates are slightly higher than those in the National Cotton Council's 35th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey, which was released in early February. The NCC survey indicated that growers would plant 8.9 million acres of upland cotton nationwide, and just more than 5 million in Texas.

      "These estimates are very much in line with what we were expecting, based on what we are hearing from our growers," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We expect to see a slight increase in acreage on the Texas High Plains, particularly in our northern areas where we saw a significant decrease last year. Rainfall in April certainly would get the 2016 crop off to a good start."


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Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to Host

Cotton Grower Meeting on April 6

Friday, April 1, 2016                            From AgriLife TODAY

      The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a cotton marketing workshop from 1:30-4 p.m. April 6 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane.

      The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Rooms 107-108 of the center.

      AgriLife Extension and Bayer CropScience/FiberMax are co-sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners' Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, said Dr. Jackie Smith, AgriLife Extension economist at Lubbock.

      Topics to be discussed include a cotton and grain market outlook, pricing strategies, and options available to growers in the 2014 Farm Bill.

      Smith will be joined by Dr. John Robinson, AgriLife Extension cotton marketing economist, and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grain marketing economist, both members of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University, College Station.  

      For more workshop information, contact Smith at (806) 746-6101 or j-smith34@tamu.edu.


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CCI Chairman Hancock Represents U.S.

Cotton Industry at Bremen Conference

Friday, March 25, 2016     From Cotton Council International

      Cotton Council International Chairman Dahlen Hancock and CCI Senior Advisor Allen A. Terhaar participated in the 33rd International Bremen Cotton Conference and related meetings representing the U.S. cotton industry in Bremen, Germany, from March 13 – 19. This conference provided a good venue for networking and discussing U.S. cotton issues with scientists, the trade and industry experts. 

      CCI Chairman Hancock, a cotton producer from the New Home, Texas area, gave a keynote address at the Bremen Cotton Conference on responsible cotton production and sustainability efforts on a U.S. cotton farm, as well as sustainability in the industry. His presentation left a strong positive impression about U.S. cotton industry efforts and achievements in environmental responsibility, and he fielded numerous questions following the session and throughout the conference. 

      Terhaar chaired a general session of the Bremen Cotton Conference on new technologies in seed breeding.  The session provided reasons for optimism on the future of cottonseed technology, but also indicated likely resistance from European non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and possibly consumers, to many of those technologies. 

      Hancock and Terhaar also participated in an all-day forum on natural fibers put together by the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) of the German government. The session brought together cotton production experts from around the world to discuss standards for the effort that the German government started two years ago. The overarching objective of the Textile Partnership is to demonstrably improve social, economic and environmental conditions along the entire supply chain in the textile and apparel sector. 



House Ag Committee Chairman Conaway

to Speak at Lamesa Cotton Growers Meeting

Friday, April 1, 2016    By Russel Skiles, Lamesa Press-Reporter

      Congressman Mike Conaway, chairman of the Agriculture Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, will be the guest speaker for the Lamesa Cotton Growers annual meeting on Wednesday, April 6.

      Following that meeting, the public is invited to hear Conaway (R-Midland) speak at a noon luncheon.  A free meal will be provided by the Lamesa Cotton Growers and Dawson County Farm Bureau.

      The Lamesa Cotton Growers meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Lee Roy Colgan Community Building on S. Houston Avenue.

      Also on the agenda is a panel discussion featuring Conaway and Craig Brown, vice president of producer affairs for the National Cotton Council; Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers; and Shawn Holladay, president of Plains Cotton Growers and board member of the National Cotton Council.

      The meeting will include a Lamesa Cotton Growers report from President Johnny Todd, a Plains Cotton Growers report from Holladay, and a National Cotton Council report from Brown.

      The noon luncheon will be at the Forrest Park Community Building.  Everyone planning to attend the luncheon is asked to RSVP by calling the Dawson County Extension office at 872-3444.



High Plains Water District Accepting

RFP's for Research

Friday, March 25, 2016                             From the HPWD

      The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) is accepting requests for proposals for funding of water conservation research, demonstration, and educational efforts in fiscal year 2017.

      "The HPWD Board of Directors encourages persons working in these respective areas to submit proposals for funding no later than May 2. This will allow consideration of the projects for the following budget cycle that begins October 1," said General Manager Jason Coleman.

      Coleman said the highest priority will be given to proposals relating to the Dockum Aquifer, rainwater harvesting, agricultural water conservation, and groundwater reuse.

      Additional information is available by clicking on the 2017 Research Proposal Request Criteria link at www.hpwd.org/grants/ or by calling the district office at (806) 762-0181.  Email delivery of proposals is preferred and should be sent to jason.coleman@hpwd.org.