Harvest Activity Increasing in PCG Service Area

Friday, October 20, 2017             By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The skies finally cleared up and fields dried out enough for PCG area cotton growers to shift into high gear, applying harvest aids and moving cotton harvesting equipment into and through the field.

      Overall, thanks largely to cool, cloudy weather in the latter part of the season, harvest is later than usual on the Texas High Plains. In 2016, the first USDA cotton classing office reports were released from individual offices in Lubbock and Lamesa on October 13. In 2015, the first individual office report date was October 9. As of press time, PCG has received data from Lamesa for the first time this year and is expecting a report from the Lubbock office.

      The Texas Cotton Ginners Association issued an alert earlier this week regarding plastic contamination in samples. The USDA classing office currently is putting a 61 or 62 extraneous matter call on those samples, and it is possible that they may develop a specific code for plastic contamination, according to TCGA.

      "It is absolutely vital that we do everything we can to avoid contamination," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We have a good reputation for producing high quality cotton for our mills worldwide, and we must be able to continue delivering cotton that is contamination-free."

      The National Cotton Council has a resource page regarding lint contamination on their website at http://www.cotton.org/tech/quality/contamfree.cfm.

      Quality reports are posted on the PCG website at www.plainscotton.org/qualityreports2017.html.

      Harvest activity should continue to increase rapidly over the next few weeks, barring any weather events. A freeze continues to elude most parts of the PCG service area, although some areas had a frost earlier this week.



2017 High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

Now Available at http://www.plainscotton.org


Bayer Signs Agreement to Sell Selected

Crop Science Businesses, Including Cotton, to BASF

Friday, October 13, 2017                             From Bayer

      In light of the planned acquisition of Monsanto, Bayer has signed an agreement to sell selected Crop Science businesses to BASF for EUR 5.9 billion (~$7 billion USD). The assets to be sold generated net sales of approximately EUR 1.3 billion in 2016. "We are taking an active approach to address potential regulatory concerns, with the goal of facilitating a successful close of the Monsanto transaction," explained Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG. "At the same time, we are pleased that, in BASF, we have found a strong buyer for our businesses that will continue to serve the needs of growers and offer our employees long-term prospects." The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals as well as the successful closing of Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto.

      The assets to be sold include Bayer's global glufosinate-ammonium business and the related LibertyLinkª technology for herbicide tolerance, essentially all of the company's field crop seeds businesses, as well as respective research and development capabilities. The seeds businesses being divested include the global cotton seed business (excluding India and South Africa), the North American and European canola seed businesses and the soybean seed business. The transaction includes the transfer of relevant intellectual property and facilities, as well as more than 1,800 employees primarily in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Belgium. As part of the agreement, BASF has committed to maintain all permanent positions, under similar conditions, for at least three years after closing of the transaction.

      "We are very grateful to our employees, who have played a key role in the success of these businesses over the years," said Baumann. "At the same time, we are aware of the need to address certain overlaps in the combined product portfolio of Bayer and Monsanto." Bayer continues to work diligently with the relevant authorities with the aim of closing the planned acquisition of Monsanto by early 2018.

      "With this acquisition, we are seizing the opportunity to purchase highly attractive assets in key row crops and markets. We look forward to growing these innovative and profitable businesses and to welcoming the experienced and dedicated team in crop protection, seeds and traits. These businesses are an excellent match for BASF Group's portfolio," said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.

      "I am very pleased that, in BASF, Bayer has selected an acquirer that, like our company, attaches a great deal of importance to social partnership and values its employees. I welcome the fact that BASF has committed to offering comparable employment conditions for our colleagues," said Oliver ZŸhlke, Chairman of the Bayer Central Works Council.

      Bayer will continue to own, operate and maintain these businesses until the closing of this divestiture. After the closure of the planned Monsanto acquisition, Bayer will continue to be active in these same areas as a result of Monsanto's current programs, products and offerings.

      The base purchase price of EUR 5.9 billion excludes the value of any net working capital and will be subject to customary adjustments at closing, including the value of any inventories transferred to BASF. Bayer will use net proceeds from the announced divestiture to partially refinance the planned acquisition of Monsanto. Bayer will provide an update on the total expected synergies from the Monsanto acquisition latest upon closing of the transaction.

      For more information go to http://www.bayer.com.

      PCG EDITOR'S NOTE: PCG will continue to follow this development and will report updates and more information as we receive them.