Plains Cotton Growers Applauds Selection

Of Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue

as USDA Secretary Nominee

Thursday, January 19, 2017          From Plains Cotton Growers

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., is pleased that President-Elect Donald Trump and his transition team have selected former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to nominate as the nation's next Secretary of Agriculture.

      "We want to congratulate Governor Perdue, and we look forward to working with him as he leads the U.S. Department of Agriculture," PCG President Johnie Reed, a cotton producer from Kress, said. "He's a veterinarian and a successful agribusinessman who grew up on a traditional row-crop farm, a combination that undoubtedly gives him a wide understanding of many aspects of agriculture. That knowledge will serve agriculture and the USDA well.

      "Georgia is the No. 2 cotton-producing state in the nation, so as growers, we appreciate the fact that Perdue is aware of the challenges facing our industry in particular," Reed said. "However, agriculture as a whole is of utmost importance, as we all must work together to feed and clothe this nation and the world. We know that Governor Perdue will be a strong and effective leader for USDA and a champion for agriculture, and we wholeheartedly support him as he continues his path toward becoming our next Secretary of Agriculture."

      PCG EDITOR'S NOTE: At the time of this release, Donald Trump was the President-Elect of the United States. His formal inauguration is today.


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'Flag the Technology' Helps Farmers

Identify Herbicide Sensitive Fields

Friday, January 13, 2017       By Blair Fannin, AgriLife TODAY

      The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Plant Protection Association have collaborated on a Flag the Technology program that identifies crop fields sensitive to certain herbicides.

      With two new herbicide resistance technologies which will be widely used in cotton, corn and soybeans, program coordinators say it is critical farmers know which fields are safe for application of the new products and which are sensitive to them.

      The program, which originated in Arkansas, is a system that helps farmers identify fields that are safe for application and those which must be avoided to prevent unintentional damage to the producers field or to adjacent crops. Farmers will place colored flags at entry points on fields, with each flag color representing a different kind of technology. This will make  herbicide applicators aware which products are appropriate and safe to use on a specific field.

      "Farmers throughout Texas will be learning more about this program throughout 2017," said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension interim associate director for state operations in College Station. "We will also distribute a publication that will help explain the flags used in the system and AgriLife Extension faculty will be discussing flag technology in producer meetings."

      Texas Plant Protection Association chairman Ray Smith in College Station said during the association's recent conference in Bryan the program and mobile app will "help enlighten our farmers on how to use the new technology. This app also emphasizes good recordkeeping."

      The mobile app can also be available to spray applicators who can check flag colors as they enter a field. The flag indicates which products they can use.

      The following are flag colors and uses:

      – White — Technology is tolerant to glyphosate herbicides.

      – Green — Tolerant to glufosinate herbicide, Liberty.

      – Yellow — Clearfield rice, sunflowers, wheat and canola which are tolerant to imidazolinone herbicides.

      – Teal — Tolerant to both 2, 4-D and FOP (ACCase) herbicides, or Enlist technology. The white stripes indicate tolerance to glyphosate, Roundup. For Enlist cotton traits and soybean fields, a green flag should be added to denote tolerance to glufosinate herbicide (Liberty).

      – Black and white checkered —Tolerant to both dicamba, Engina and Extendimax, and glyphosate, Roundup Ready Xtend.

      – Red — Extreme caution required. Indicates conventional crops with no herbicide tolerant traits as well as sensitive production areas such as vegetables, vineyards, apiaries and organic production.

      The new app builds on the field program developed by Bob Scott at the University of Arkansas, Smith said. Dr. Todd Sink, AgriLife Extension wildlife and fisheries specialist in College Station, developed the Flag the Technology app.

      Users also have the option of meshing the app with Hit the Target, formerly known as Texas Crop Registry, a voluntary program that allows producers with sensitive crop areas to register specific fields, including non-GMO acres, orchards and others, said Dr. Bob Coulson, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist.

      "That information will be available to pesticide applicators," Coulson said. "Individuals must register to use the system. Producers who register will specify field location and add the crop or sensitive nature of the area."

      Coulson said producers would need to calculate field dimensions. With that information logged in, Coulson said, the producer can go to the Flag the Technology program and select the color flag needed for the fields.

      "The applicator will have a dashboard with the field profiles included to prevent off-target applications," Coulson said. He added Hit the Target will soon transition to a new program, which can be accessed through a mobile device.

      Sink said the Flag the Technology app is user friendly.

      "It loads within five seconds," he said. "The pesticide applicator is aware of where sensitive crops are located and can adjust flight plans to avoid those areas."

      The mobile app will be available free for iTunes and Google Play. A publication about the program is available at


SWCA, Texas Ag Forum to Host

Southwest Agricultural Issues Summit

Friday, January 20, 2017                     Information from SWCA

      The Southwest Council of Agribusiness and the Texas Ag Forum are partnering to host the 3rd Annual Southwest Agricultural Issues Summit, scheduled for February 5-7 at the historic Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.

      The Summit is an opportunity for farmers and ranchers, as well as bankers, business professionals, and policy makers to come together to discuss the issues confronting the agricultural industry.

      The Ag Issues Summit will feature panels and presentations from experts in the farm economy, senior USDA officials, staff from Capitol Hill, conservationists, and representatives and grower leadership of the major commodity organizations. Speakers include House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway; Scott Aughenbaugh, Deputy Director of Strategic Futures Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Jim Wiesemeyer, Senior Vice President of Informa Economics, Inc.; and several panel discussions focusing on agricultural policy, farm economics, conservation, and agribusiness.

      Registration before January 23 is $300 per attendee; spouse registration is $100. Registration and room reservation links, along with more information and a list of sponsors, all are available at

      Sponsorship opportunities still are available. For more information, contact SWCA Executive Director Jimmy Clark at (806) 790-6011.


Upcoming Area Meetings and Ag Conferences

      January 30 – Llano Estacado Cotton Conference, Bailey County Electric Cooperative, 610 E. American Blvd., Muleshoe. Registration is $20 and begins at 8:30 a.m., program from 9 a.m.-noon.  3 CEUs offered. Contact Curtis Preston, CEA-AG, at 806-272-4583 for more information.

      January 30 – New Cotton Technology Meeting featuring PhytoGen Cottonseed and the Enlist Weed Control System, Abernathy City Hall, 811 Ave. D. Program begins at 10 a.m. and ends with a catered lunch. To RSVP, call or email Kassadi Click at 806-680-4158 or, or Ken Legˇ, 806-773-7310 or

      February 2 – Hub of the Plains Ag Conference, Lubbock. For more information, call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Lubbock County office at 806-775-1740.

      February 5-7 – Southwest Ag Issues Summit, Worthington Hotel, Fort Worth. Registration deadline January 23; register and get more information at

      February 7 – Hale/Swisher Crops Conference – Ollie Liner Center, Plainview. CEUs offered. Contact Jason Miller, Hale County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-291-5267.

      February 15 – High Plains Irrigation Conference, North Exhibit Hall, Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan St. Registration 8 a.m., program 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Cost $30, lunch included. CEUs offered. More information:


Large Slate of New Board Appointees

Will Join The Cotton Board

Friday, January 13, 2017                     From The Cotton Board

      Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of 17 members and 18 alternates to serve on The Cotton Board. The cotton producers and importers appointed by the Secretary are charged with working together to oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program (the Program).

      The newly appointed members are: Alisa Ogden, Producer, Carlsbad, NM; F. Guy Darby, Jr., Producer, Chester, SC; Helga L. Ying, Importer, Piedmont, CA; Joe D. Long, Importer, Irvine, KY; and, Monica J. Gorman, Importer, Winchester, MA.

The newly appointed alternate members are: Albert R. James, Producer, Sikeston, MO; Nathan H. Jurva, Producer, Carlsbad, NM; Don B. Wakefield, Producer, Jackson, SC; Shelley S. Butler Barlow, Producer, Suffolk, VA; Laurie A. Rando, Importer, Scotch Plain, NJ; Crystal A. Button, Importer, Great Neck, NY, and Gary E. Ross, Importer, Yardley, PA.

      Secretary Vilsack also appointed Darren J. Hembree, Producer, Doerun, GA, as an alternate member to fill a vacant Georgia position with a term expiring December 31, 2018.

      The re-appointed members are: Walter L. Corcoran, Producer, Eufoula, AL; David J. DeFelix, Producer, Campbellton, FL; James L. Webb, Producer, Leary, GA; Suzanne R. Drouhard, Producer, Danville, KS; Kim M. Mayberry-Holifield, Producer, Kennett, MO; Jess "Mark" M. Nichols, Producer, Altus, OK; Willie L. German, Producer, Somerville, TN; Madison "Matt" Farmer, Producer, Lamesa, TX; Lance V. Everett, Producer, Stony Creek, VA; Michael D. Wallace, Importer, Bentonville, AR; Peter M. McGrath, Importer, Addison, TX; and, Arlene M. Eastwood, Importer, Neptune, NJ.   

      The re-appointed alternate members are: Timothy J. Mullek, Producer, Robertsdale, AL; Alan J. Edwards, Producer, Jay, FL; Benjamin R. Grimsley, Producer, Weston, GA; Thomas L. Lahey, Producer, Moscow, KS; Clint D. Abernathy, Producer, Altus, OK; Catherine S. Via, Producer, Bells, TN; Sigifredo "Sigi" Valverde, Producer, Shallowater, TX; Sarah "Sally" M. Gilligan, Importer, San Francisco, CA; James C. Self III, Importer, Greenville, SC; and, Tara E. Hoffman, Importer, New York, NY.

      The Cotton Research and Promotion Program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace.  It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products, and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966.  USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Board. All appointees will serve three-year terms.