Texas High Plains Producers Prepare to Plant

2016 Cotton Crop

Friday, April 29, 2016                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

Scattered rain showers boosted planting conditions in some portions of the PCG service area this week as cotton growers finish their preparations to plant the 2016 crop.

A few growers, like Barry Evans, already have started. Evans farms in Swisher County, between Lubbock and Amarillo.

"I usually try to start (planting cotton) the last week of April," Evans said. "This week, the forecast looked good and our moisture was good, and the best time to plant cotton is when you have good soil moisture and you can get it up and going, so we're getting after it."

PCG continues to field calls about the potential for short-term assistance from the USDA in the form of a ginning cost share program. Discussions are ongoing and no official announcement has been made as of press time.

"We are hopeful that Secretary Vilsack and the USDA will act soon on this short-term solution," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Another important thing to note is that we have not given up on the more permanent solution of designating cottonseed as an 'other oilseed' under Title 1 of the Farm Bill."

PCG has several resources available at http://www.plainscotton.org, including updated 2016 Loan Premium and Discount tables and loan charts with calculated values based on the 2016 schedule of premiums and discounts.


The EPA has extended the comment period on the use of dicamba herbicide

in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans to May 31.


To submit your comment about this new technology, visit




Enrollment Opens for

Texas International Cotton School

Friday, April 29, 2016  From Texas International Cotton School

      Registration is now open for the 36th session of the Texas International Cotton School, scheduled for August 1-12, 2016, in Lubbock.

      The Texas International Cotton School (TICS) is uniquely structured to provide an integrated understanding of the Texas cotton industry and how it interacts with the global cotton/textile complex. The intensive two-week program covers all aspects of cotton, from the field to the fabric. Since its inception, the school has been a collaboration between the Texas cotton merchants who make up the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the faculty and staff of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University.

      "Those interested should register early, because the class size is limited," said Dean Ethridge, Ph.D., managing director of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. "The size and diversity of the class stimulates learning and results in friendships that may extend years into the future."

      During the two weeks of the school, more than 30 experts from across the United States teach the students, who learn about the cotton marketing chain – including seed breeding, farm production, harvesting, ginning, warehousing, merchandising, and textile manufacturing. All aspects of U.S. and global trade of cotton are covered, so the students obtain an understanding of what is required to successfully participate in the U.S. cotton market and to deliver the cottons needed in diverse export markets. They learn about the important quality attributes of cotton fibers and how these translate into processing efficiency and textile product quality. Throughout the program, students have repeated opportunities to interact with the cotton merchants of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and the fiber and textile experts of Texas Tech University.

      "Our planning committee works diligently to ensure that our curriculum not only includes the fundamentals of the cotton industry, but also examines the latest issues and advancements," Lubbock Cotton Exchange President Darren Newton said.

      For more information, including tuition and curriculum, visit http://www.texasintlcottonschool.com or call Christi Chadwell, TICS coordinator, at (806) 834-8124.



May 16 Texas Ag Forum to Feature

Agricultural Transportation Issues

Thursday, April 28, 2016                     From AgriLife TODAY

      Agricultural transportation will be the focus of the 2016 Texas Ag Forum scheduled May 16 at the Hilton Austin Airport, organizers said. The forum will feature presentations from transportation experts and farm group representatives.

      "We thought it would be good to bring the agricultural and transportation experts together in one room to see where we are now and what the future holds," said Dr. Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist in College Station.

      Few people think about the transportation infrastructure that moves agricultural production to national and international markets and its economic impact, Outlaw said.

      "Texas' top agricultural exports are grain sorghum, beef and cotton," Outlaw said. "We are also a corn deficit-state, so we transport a lot of corn into Texas. It's critically important to the future of Texas agriculture that these products move smoothly and efficiently."

      The Hilton Austin Airport is located at 9515 Hotel Drive in Austin. Advanced registration is $125 through the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council in Austin.

      To register, call (512) 450-0555 and ask for Christy Lewis. Same day registration is $150. Seating is limited. Lunch and breaks will be provided.