Dotray Named to EPA Ag Science Committee

Friday, October 7, 2016                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

Dr. Peter Dotray, Leidigh Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University, recently was invited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to serve on their Science Advisory Board's Agricultural Science Committee. Dotray's term began October 1 and will run through September 2018.

Dotray also has a joint appointment with the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service and serves as an Extension Specialist in Weed Science.

"It is an honor to accept this appointment," Dotray said. "This is a very important time to let our voices be heard, and I look forward to working with the EPA on various issues that directly impact agriculture."

In the official invitation letter sent to Dotray, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy noted that Dotray's "expertise in agronomy and weed science would be a great asset to the committee."

PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett commended the EPA for selecting Dotray to the committee.

"Dr. Pete Dotray is one of the most talented researchers and noted experts in the field of agronomy and weed science, and his participation on this committee will be good for our growers and the entire agricultural industry," Verett said.



2016 High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

Now Available at


USDA Issues Safety-Net Payments to Farmers

in Response to 2015 Market Downturn

Tuesday, October 4, 2016                                   From USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that beginning today (October 4), many of the 1.7 million farms that enrolled in either the Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs will receive safety-net payments due to market downturns during the 2015 crop year.

"This fall, USDA will be making more than $7 billion in payments under the ARC-County and PLC programs to assist participating producers, which will account for over 10 percent of USDA's projected 2016 net farm income. These payments will help provide reassurance to America's farm families, who are standing strong against low commodity prices compounded by unfavorable growing conditions in many parts of the country," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "At USDA, we are standing strong behind them, tapping in to every resource that we have to help. So far in 2016, this has included creating a one-time cost share program for cotton ginning, purchasing about $800 million in excess commodities to be redirected to food banks and those in need, making $11 million in payments to America's dairy farmers through the Dairy Margin Protection Program, and reprogramming Farm Service Agency funds to expand credit options for farmers and ranchers in need of extra capital. As always, we continue to watch market conditions and will explore opportunities for further assistance in the coming months. For producers challenged by weather, disease and falling prices, we will continue to ensure the availability of a strong safety net to keep them farming or ranching."

Unlike the old direct payment program, which issued payments during both weak and strong market conditions, the 2014 Farm Bill authorized the ARC-PLC safety net to trigger and provide financial assistance only when decreases in revenues or crop prices, respectively, occur. The ARC and PLC programs primarily allow producers to continue to produce for the market by making payments on a percentage of historical base production, limiting the impact on production decisions.

Nationwide, producers enrolled 96 percent of soybean base acres, 91 percent of corn base acres and 66 percent of wheat base acres in the ARC-County coverage option. Producers enrolled 99 percent of long grain rice and peanut base acres and 94 percent of medium grain rice base acres in the PLC option. Overall, 76 percent of participating farm base acres are enrolled in ARC-County, 23 percent in PLC and one percent in ARC-Individual. For other program information including frequently asked questions, visit

Payments are made to producers who enrolled base acres of barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, wheat and canola. In the upcoming months, payments will be announced after marketing year average prices are published by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the remaining covered commodities. These include long and medium grain rice (except for temperate Japonica rice), which will be announced in November, remaining oilseeds and chickpeas, which will be announced in December, and temperate Japonica rice, which will be announced in early February 2017. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, requires USDA to reduce 2015 ARC and PLC payments by 6.8 percent. For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. To find a local FSA office, visit


PCG Board of Directors To Meet October 12

Friday, October 7, 2016                          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 12, 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 Craig Brown with the National Cotton Council will update the group on NCC activities. Other items include 2017 Business Director Nominations, the Nominating Committee Election and an update on the status of PCG finances. For more information, call PCG at (806) 792-4904.