Warm, Dry Weather Encourages
Texas High Plains Cotton Harvest Activity
Friday, October 21, 2016 By Mary Jane Buerkle
Unseasonably warm weather and dry conditions allowed for cotton producers to ramp up their harvesting efforts over the past week, causing "an avalanche" of cotton to come into the Lubbock Classing Office after a gradual start, area director Danny Martinez said.
Thus far, quality issues mostly have eluded producers, save for some micronaire measurements that were a little low or high. Leaf grades are right around 2, which on average is optimal. Predominate color at both the Lubbock and Lamesa offices is 21.
"We're pretty much in full swing now," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said regarding this year's harvest. "What's not being harvested right now most likely is being prepared for harvest, although some producers will choose to wait on the first freeze instead of applying a harvest aid."
According to the forecast, that first freeze is not expected to arrive anytime soon in Lubbock, as temperatures should be in the 80s with lows in the 50s over the next week. Only very slight chances of rain are in the forecast. Amarillo's forecast is similar.
Eliminating Farm Policy Punishes America
and Rewards Foreign Competitors
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 From National Crop Insurance Services
The news has been full of foreign subsidy stories lately - whether it's the trade case America filed against China for excessive corn, wheat and rice subsidies, complaints about Thailand's sugar subsidy scheme, or the WTO reporting growth in trade restrictions around the globe.
It is under this backdrop that some of U.S. agriculture's fiercest critics have begun lobbying for the complete elimination of America's crop insurance system, which was made the centerpiece of U.S. farm policy during the 2014 Farm Bill. In other words, getting rid of America's farm safety net at a time when our foreign competitors are expanding their subsidies.
So what would such a scenario look like if it were to come to fruition?
Art Barnaby, an economist with Kansas State University, and Levi Russell, an economist with the University of Georgia, provided a pretty good snapshot in a peer-reviewed paper that they recently wrote for Choices Magazine.
Among their findings:
Land values would fall.
America would have fewer farmers as consolidation would be inevitable.
Beginning and young farmers would suffer the most due to limited equity.
America would be less competitive on a global scale as foreign nations would continue to subsidize and erect barriers to U.S. farm goods.
Regulatory burdens on U.S. producers, such as EPA regulations, would disadvantage American producers even more.
As for the critics' hypothesis that a new private-market insurance system would be there to pick up the slack, the authors warn:
"It's unlikely that a free market crop insurance industry would form unless all government subsidies were eliminated. Few farmers would be willing to pay the higher premiums required by a fully-private market as long as the USDA infrastructure is in place for some future Congress to provide ad hoc disaster aid or other cash transfers to farmers. Congress would need to close all forms of support including commodity program payments, disaster payments, and conservation payments. If not, producers would be reluctant to pay unsubsidized premiums for fully-private insurance and would instead push for the reinstatement of disaster payments using the existing infrastructure."
Put another way: Be careful what you wish for.
Eliminating U.S. farm policy in isolation would have devastating consequences for the rural economy and America's efficient agricultural sector, while rewarding bad actors on the global stage who are eager to seize U.S. market share with the aid of subsidies.
October 2016 From Cotton Council International
While continuing to promote U.S. cotton and offer sourcing support to major apparel industry players at the Texworld and PremiĆre Vision trade shows in Paris, COTTON USA provided information on responsibly-produced U.S. cotton and global cotton market developments.
COTTON USA exhibited with Supima at Texworld and jointly exhibited with Cotton Incorporated at PremiĆre Vision. The shows – representing the largest combined exhibition of the world's apparel manufacturers – provided a venue for COTTON USA to promote U.S. cotton and its global marketing and licensing program. Seven companies from China, India, Turkey and Malaysia expressed interest in becoming COTTON USA licensees.
In addition to sourcing support and COTTON USA licensing, the booths also supplied information on the Cotton LEADS¬ program and global developments in the cotton and apparel sectors. Various segments of the cotton textile supply chain met at the booths, and COTTON USA helped buyers and manufacturers looking for cotton garments and cotton yarn suppliers to identify new business contacts.
Approximately 70,075 visitors from 126 countries attended both fairs, with a total of 2,885 exhibitors from more than 60 countries.