PCG, Others Affirm Commitment to

Cotton Council International

Monday, January 22, 2018      From Cotton Council International

Ten U.S. cotton organizations have pledged industry contributions in 2018 to support the demand-building activities of Cotton Council International, the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, headquartered in Washington, D.C. 

“Our growers believe that contributing to CCI is an investment in the future of our industry and ultimately is essential to our success,” Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. “The work they do is vital to helping ensure that the rest of the world knows why U.S. cotton is a superior product and worthy of sourcing. The fact that 80 percent of U.S. cotton is exported highlights the critical need for a healthy export market.” 

U.S. cotton industry contributions help CCI to build export markets for U.S. cotton fiber, yarn and other cotton products, and are an invaluable supplement to the funding from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program. CCI is the largest recipient of MAP and FMD funding to promote U.S. cotton overseas. 

CCI’s use of funds from USDA and U.S. cotton organizations has enabled it to build U.S. cotton export demand efficiently and to improve the economic returns of 18,500 cotton farms in the United States. CCI promotes U.S. cotton in more than 50 countries under its COTTON USA™ trademark. Last year alone, buyers and sellers throughout the global textile supply chain conducted more than 2,100 business meetings at COTTON USA events aimed at increasing exports of U.S. cotton.

“CCI showcases U.S. cotton’s quality, sustainability, transparency, premium value and innovation, all of which make U.S. cotton the cotton the world trusts,” CCI Executive Director Bruce Atherley said. “I’m a strong believer that every industry has to have ‘skin in the game’ to be successful. So, our U.S. cotton industry contributions are critical in making U.S. cotton the preferred fiber for mills, manufacturers, brands, retailers and consumers worldwide.”

Export markets are critical to the U.S. cotton industry, as nearly all cotton grown in the United States is exported either in the form of fiber or cotton yarn. And the United States has delivered —it’s the leading exporter of cotton fiber in the world currently with a 39 percent global share, more than three times the share of any other country. In the 2016 marketing year, the U.S. cotton industry exported 18.4 million bales of raw cotton fiber and cotton textiles. The 2016 marketing year was the second highest year of U.S. raw fiber exports, with exports reaching 14.9 million bales.

CCI thanks the following organizations for their support: the National Cotton Council; Cotton Incorporated; American Cotton Shippers Association; AMCOT; California Cotton Alliance; the Committee for Cotton Research; ICE Futures U.S.; Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.; Southern Cotton Growers, Inc.; Supima; and U.S. textile manufacturers.



Fire at Abilene Classing Office Forces

Temporary Movement of Samples to Lamesa

Friday, January 26, 2018                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

 A fire in the trench conveyor at the USDA Cotton Classing Office in Abilene on Thursday forced the closure of the facility for a few days as crews make repairs.

According to news reports, one firefighter was injured and transported to Hendrick Medical Center, but Abilene Fire Department officials said they expected the firefighter to be treated and released shortly. No other injuries were reported.

Kenny Day, Area Director for the Abilene classing office, said they were hopeful the office would be back in operation by Sunday or Monday, depending on how cleanup and repairs progress. He said no unclassed samples were lost and that the Lamesa office is helping with classing in the near term until they’re back up and running.


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Mandatory Auxin-Specific Herbicide

Trainings Scheduled for Dicamba Applicators

      The Texas Department of Agriculture requires special training in 2018 for new auxin herbicides applied under a Section 3 approval on dicamba-tolerant cotton.

      The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be hosting several of these training opportunities. Following is a list of those coming up in the next few weeks. A complete list is available at http://www.plainscotton.org/agconferences.html.

January 30 – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Yoakum County, 901 Avenue G, Plains, Noon-1 p.m.

February 5 – Sudan Community Center (meeting hosted by Texas Producers Coop), Sudan, 11 a.m.-Noon.

      February 7 – Attebury Grain office, 1201 NW 5th St., Tulia. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch provided. RSVP by Feb. 2 to the Swisher County Extension office, 806-995-3726.

      February 9 – Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo. 8:30-9:30 a.m.

      February 12 – Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, 1102 E. FM 1294, Lubbock. 10-11 a.m.

      February 13 – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office - Lubbock County, 916 Main Street, Suite 401, Lubbock. 10-11 a.m.

February 20 – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Terry County, 209 S. 5th St., Brownfield, Noon-1 p.m.

      There is no registration fee on any of these training programs and each class will provide one TDA continuing education unit in laws and regulations. For more information on these or other meetings, contact your local county Extension office.


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Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

      February 6 – Sandyland Ag Conference, Gaines County Civic Building, Seminole. Info: Terry Millican, CEA-Ag/NR, 432-758-4006.

February 7 – High Plains Irrigation Conference, Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan, Amarillo. Registration at 8 a.m., $30 fee. CEUs pending. Info: Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association, http://www.taia.org, or Dr. Charles Hillyer, AgriLife Extension irrigation specialist, 806-677-5600.

February 13-14  No-Till Texas’ Inaugural Soil Health Symposium, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Lubbock. $50 fee, lunch included. Register by contacting Tamara Daniel, Texas Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 254-778-8741 or email tamaradaniel@thegateway.net.

PCG EDITOR’S NOTE: A complete list is available at http://www.plainscotton.org/agconferences.html. Please submit any additions/edits to maryjane@plainscotton.org.



TALL Educates Agriculture Leaders to

Meet Present, Future Challenges

Monday, January 22, 2018   by Adam Russell, AgriLife TODAY

 Kevin Proctor has spent many years as an agriculture equipment salesman in Tyler, but participation in the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership gave him a greater appreciation of the complex system needed to produce and move enough food to feed millions.

The Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, or TALL, program is a life-changing experience that molds and connects agricultural advocates from around the state and prepares them as problem solvers for local, state, national and global challenges, Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service leadership program director, College Station, said. 

Mazurkiewicz said the mission of TALL is to create a cadre of Texas leaders to help ensure effective understanding and encourage positive action on key issues, theories, policy and economics that will advance the agriculture industry.

TALL educates on agriculture and related industries in today’s complex economic, political and social systems, he said. The two-year program brings participants together eight times at locations around Texas. They attend seminars and meet with government and business leaders to discuss local, state, national and international topics.

Participants are also introduced to international study during the second year of the program when they travel to other countries including Brazil, India, Russia, South America and Germany where they focus on international communications, ecology, government policy, economics, social problems and educational opportunities, he said.

Proctor, TALL XIII Cohort alumni from Tyler, said the course was invaluable to his professional development and network and groomed him for his career with an agriculture chemical company.

“It was so much more than I ever expected,” he said. “I would never have traveled and been able to do and see the things we saw and toured the places and interacted with the people we did without being in that class. The tours gave behind-the-scenes access that is usually only opened for employees. It was an eye-opening experience and really broadened my horizons as to the inner workings of ag industries, the world market and what goes on in other parts of the world.”

Proctor said traveling to New York City introduced him to the complex system needed to move enough food to feed millions of residents. In Brazil, he and his classmates were introduced to modern agricultural operations on vast swaths of land inhibited by the lack of infrastructure to bring those goods to local and global markets.

Participants are chosen based on resumes and their collective experience in agriculture. Around 400 nominations are made each year, Mazurkiewicz said. From that pool, 60 applicants are reviewed and interviewed by the TALL advisory board. Between 22 and 26 applicants are admitted to the program.

There is no age requirement for participants though they average 39 years old, Mazurkiewicz said. Class members must be active in agriculture production or a business associated with agriculture, including the food and fiber industries. Mazurkiewicz said it’s important to have applicants with a wide range of experience who can provide expertise to the rest of the class.

There are TALL programs in 45 states and five international programs. The program started in Texas in 1988. The TALL XV Cohort will make 411 graduates of the course.

The program includes 455 hours of intensive training equivalent to a 38-hour course load, more than is required for a master’s degree at accredited universities, said Mazurkiewicz.

Mazurkiewicz said the course blends a variety of personalities and professional backgrounds from bankers, lawyers and lobbyists to farmers, ranchers and other agribusiness people.

“It helps expand their views,” he said. “Whether it’s introducing them to technology or other commodities, how governments around the world operate and policy that affects agriculture from local to global levels, the course opens their view of the world.”

Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. championed the creation of the program because he saw the need for TALL in Texas, Mazurkiewicz said. The Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Extension Program Endowment, made in Briscoe’s name, was provided as an investment in the future leaders of agriculture and honors his commitment to agriculture, rural communities and Texas.

Mazurkiewicz said the impact of alumni continues to grow and their shared knowledge will shape the future of agriculture globally.

“Education is the key to progress and communication is the key to peace,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Disproportionate distribution of resources creates conflicts and wars. We have to be prepared to provide food, water, energy and shelter, the basics for a growing global population. This program is designed to create problem solvers to meet those challenges on a global scale.”

Applications for TALL XVI Cohort are being accepted now. Completed applications are due by March 15. Application forms and applicant requirements can be found at https://tall.tamu.edu/tall-xvi/.

For more information about the TALL program, visit http://tall.tamu.edu.