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Cotton News

November 11, 2022

Faces of Cotton: Veterans Day Edition

Photo credit for header image: Orin Romine. 

By Kara Bishop

Today, we dedicate our Cotton News newsletter to the men and women who have served, fought and protected our country. In honor of Veterans Day, we share stories of those who served our country and also serve our cotton industry.

Kirby Lewis – Cotton Farmer

Kirby Lewis with his grandparents after flying into Reece Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, on a TA-J4 Skyhawk aircraft.

U.S. Navy – Naval Aviator/Flight Instructor

Kirby Lewis farms cotton in Floyd, Hale and Lubbock Counties. But in a different life, he served as a naval aviator for 6 years, 9 months and 15 days.

“I remember the exact amount, because it was required for my application to Laughlin Air Force Base, where I spent four years with the 96th Flying Training Squadron.”

He joined because he wanted to experience landing on an aircraft carrier. “I didn’t realize I’d have to live on it. An ocean carrier can get crowded with 5,000 airmen and sailors packed in it for a six-month tour.”

After graduating from Texas Tech University with an agricultural engineering degree, Lewis went on to fly E-2C Hawkeyes with Carrier Air Wing 9. “I had 2,100 flying hours by the time I completed two tours on aircraft carriers.”

He went on to fly T-2C Buckeyes as an instructor with Training Wing 3 at NAS Chase Field in Beeville, Texas for another 1,500 flying hours.

He now farms with his son, which he said he wouldn’t trade for the world.

“I think if everyone had military service experience, this country wouldn’t be as divided as it is today. There’s nothing more unifying than serving together as Americans for America.”


Randy West – Assistant Manager, Long S Gin

Army Sergeant First Class

Everyone in Randy West’s family has served in the military. His grandfather retired after 36 years of service; his father served in the U.S. Coast Guard; his oldest brother served in the U.S. Navy; his little brother was in the U.S. Army; and his son served 12 years in the U.S. Navy.

“After his service, my dad was a Baptist preacher, and I was a rebel child. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for the Army — you grow up quick in the service.”

West fought in Desert Storm, spending five months stationed in Kuwait. “There are some things you just don’t talk about. Some things I don’t want to think about.”

West has two module truck drivers, Jose Hierro, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and Norman Grayson, who served in the U.S. National Guard, and PCG thanks them for their service.

“I learned honor, trust, work ethic and selflessness during my service. It’s not about you anymore when you’re in the military. I went from a selfish high school kid to a changed adult, which is why I believe everyone should go through basic training right out of high school.”


Travis Broiller

Travis Broiller and his wife, Stephanie. Photographer: Teala Ward.

U.S. Marine Corps

Travis Broiller joined the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school, motivated in part by 9/11 and in part by his grandfather, who also served as a Marine.

“I don’t think people understand the mental toll it takes on a person to serve in the military.”

Broiller deployed to Iraq for two years as a Marine. When he came back and enrolled in college, he felt lost. “I had trouble finding purpose outside of the service, so I dropped out of college and went back as a contract worker for a security company.”

Another three years in Iraq and Broiller was ready to come back home. Growing up in an agricultural community and heavily involved in FFA, Broiler knew he wanted to farm. He custom farms in the Clarendon, Texas area.

“You grow up quickly in the service. I learned loyalty, commitment, dependability, but above it all, I learned to be on time.”

Thank you to our men and women who serve to fight, defend and protect our great nation.

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Crop Progress/WASDE Report Highlights

U.S. Crop Progress

For the week ending Nov. 6, 2022, the USDA Crop Progress report shows 62% of the U.S. cotton crop has been harvested — up seven percentage points in the last week, as well as seven percentage points ahead of the five-year average for early November.

All 15 cotton-producing states are showing harvest numbers ahead of their respective averages, according to Jim Steadman with Cotton Grower. The biggest jumps in harvest during the past week came in Missouri (up 24 points), Oklahoma (up 16 points) and Kansas (up 15 points). Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina all reported 11-point increases.

WASDE Report Highlights

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report indicated little change in the cotton outlook. Here are the highlights:

The 2022/23 U.S. cotton crop balance sheet shows slightly higher production and higher ending stocks for the month of November.

  • Production is projected 1.5% higher at 14 million bales as a decrease in the Southwest is more than offset by increases elsewhere.
  • Domestic mill use and exports are unchanged; ending stocks are 200,000 bales higher at 3 million bales or 20% of use.
  • The 2022/23 season average price for upland cotton is reduced 5 cents this month to 85 cents per pound.

The global cotton crop balance sheet shows lower production, consumption, trade and ending stocks.

  • Production is down 1.6 million bales from last month, led by a 700,000-bale cut in Pakistan’s crop due to extension damage from flooding earlier in the production season.
  • Unusually high rainfall in Australia has reduced their crop by 500,000 bales also. This precipitation, in part, accounts for a 630,000-bale decline in West Africa’s expected output as well.
  • Global consumption is projected 650,000 bales lower with a 300,000-bale cut to mill use in both Pakistan and Bangledesh.
  • World trade is 400,000 bales lower — import reduction for Bangladesh and China only partly offset by Pakistan’s increase.
  • West African exporters account for most of the decline in projected exports.
  • At 87.3 million bales, world ending stocks in 2022/23 are projected to be 600,000 bales lower than in October, but 1.6 million higher than the year before.
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2022 Cotton Quality Summary

The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2021 production season.

Lamesa: 2,002

Lubbock: 15,667

Lamesa: 2,008

Lubbock: 14,907

Lamesa: 2,511

Lubbock: 23,450

Lamesa: 10.7

Lubbock: 19

Lamesa: 10,053

Lubbock: 104,347


21+ – 62.4

31 – 26.2

12 – 0.1



21+ – 46.4

31 – 38.9

12 – 2.5

Lamesa: 2.38


Lubbock: 3.08

Lamesa: 36.79


Lubbock: 37.02

Lamesa: 4.42


Lubbock: 4.10

Lamesa: 30.74


Lubbock: 31.43

Lamesa: 81.08


Lubbock: 81.10

Lamesa: 7.9


Lubbock: 16.5

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 19,855

Lubbock: 199,579


21+ – 59.8

31 – 29.7

12 – 0.1



21+ – 54.9

31 – 26.7

12 – 6.1

Lamesa: 2.36


Lubbock: 2.83

Lamesa: 36.51


Lubbock: 36.89

Lamesa: 4.40


Lubbock: 4.14

Lamesa: 30.60


Lubbock: 31.44

Lamesa: 80.81


Lubbock: 80.96

Lamesa: 8.1


Lubbock: 13.7

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Our 109th Election

By Kody Bessent

The U.S. House of Representatives has been an elected and eclectic body with its membership reconstituted every two years throughout its history. The biennial term was a compromise at the Federal Constitutional Convention in 1787. The U.S. Senate, following the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, marked the first time since the inception of our democracy that elections were held by popular vote.

Elections are unique, and we are very fortunate and blessed to be able to exercise our right as a citizen to cast a vote toward whom we believe is best fit to serve our interest and needs for our local, regional and state communities and economies.

November 8, 2022, marked the 109th election that has been held by the U.S. to dually elect our representatives in the House and Senate by popular vote — the mid-term, which occurs two years after each presidential election. Elections are held for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and traditionally 33 or 34 seats in the Senate are in play. As a result, the membership of these two legislative chambers changes near the midpoint of a president’s four-year term of office.

Historically, the House and, at times, the Senate recreates itself after every election —pending bills expire, committee work is shelved, and new Members take their seats. Even if few new legislators win election and the party in control of the House or Senate remains the same, each session forms its own identity.

While the 2022 midterm elections are not conclusive, a balance of power is presumptively on the horizon. As of press time, according to the Associated Press, House Republicans have secured 211 seats while Democrats have retained 192, leaving 32 seats still yet to be decided. 218 seats are what is needed to serve as the majority in the House. If the balance of power shifts from the current Democratic majority to Republicans in the House, we predict Congressman G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) will assume the helm of the House Committee on Agriculture and will serve as Chairman during the development of the 2023 Farm Bill.

Likewise, the Senate Republicans have secured a total of 49 seats (29 seats are not up for re-election) while Senate Democrats hold 48 seats (36 seats are not up for re-election). A runoff in the Georgia senate race between Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) will be held December 6th. If Republicans win the majority in the Senate (still yet to be determined) we expect Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) to be the next Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and would serve in that capacity during the development of the next Farm Bill.

In general, Texas will have seven new Members in the House of Representatives following this election. Neither U.S. Senator John Cornyn or Ted Cruz was up for election this cycle. Statewide elected officials such as Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller all prevailed in their re-election bid.

We look forward to working with leadership in the next Congress to secure adequate farm policy that helps address issues such as disaster, supply chain challenges, rising input costs, and infrastructure needs.

Prior to Election Day, 5,509,094 individuals had cast their vote with a total of 17,672,143 registered voters in Texas.

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November 4, 2022

George Pfeiffenberger (left), the first executive vice president for Plains Cotton Growers Inc. pictured with cotton industry representatives.

Who Was George W. Pfeiffenberger?

Chemist, Cartoonist, Inventor, Textile Engineer and High Plains cotton pioneer

By Kara Bishop

It’s hard to know where to go if you don’t know where you’ve been.

While working on a historical timeline for Plains Cotton Growers, I’ve been transported back to another time where they wore suits and ties in cotton fields and paved the way for cotton in the Texas High Plains.

I’ve found some true gems along the way, including the vote to establish Plains Cotton Growers Inc. where the minutes state: “The decision was so unanimous that a negative vote was not requested.” These people wanted better for cotton in this area. But none more so than the man I’m going to talk about today.

While elbows deep in boxes of newspaper clippings, meeting minutes and black-and-white photographs, I pieced together the story of PCG’s first executive vice president: Mr. George W. Pfeiffenberger. It wasn’t that hard to do. He took copious notes and even wrote a brief autobiography.

Pfeiffenberger wasn’t a native of Texas. He was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, but his coursework in textiles at Texas A&M, combined with his knowledge in fiber quality, made him an attractive candidate to head PCG. He began his cotton career in 1930 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cotton Division, and was one of the first technologists in the newly formed cotton fiber laboratory in Washington D.C.

“This was the beginning in the U.S. of the first real program of cotton fiber research on a scientific basis,” Pfeiffenberger writes.

During the 15 years he spent with USDA, he learned the basic structure of fibers and the measurements of their chemical and physical properties, while also collaborating in developing new methods and instruments for fiber measurement and research.

I started to get a feel for a very serious man who meant business. And, while I know he did take his career seriously, he had another interesting pastime. Pfeiffenberger was a cartoonist.

He completed a correspondence course in cartooning and eventually became a freelance cartoonist for the sports section of the Dayton Morning Journal while attending college in Ohio. (I’ve been searching for an original sketch — so far, no luck.) Later in life, he would even provide editorial cartoons on cotton to industry publications.

In 1945, he moved to Lubbock where he assumed the role of Cotton Research Director for the Chicopee Manufacturing Corporation (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson).

Another reason he was a shoo-in for the PCG job was his experience in all facets of cotton.

  • 1945: developed an air-flow instrument for cotton finesse, rapid enough for large volume testing and commercial use, which “ante-dated the micronaire by about two years.”
  • 1954: employed as research director for the Otto Goedecke Company, cotton merchants of Halletsville, Texas, during which time he “traveled the U.S. and Europe extensively, giving lectures and acting as mill consultant for raw cotton purchases and utilization, specializing in cleaning and in specifying blends for particular uses.”
  • 1955-1956: employed as cotton technologist of the National Cotton Council, continuing his extensive travel and educational work. He specialized in cotton packaging during this time and inspired interest in cotton bagging and automatic sampling with several firms to provide an improved package for U.S. cotton.
  • 1956: at the request of Texas High Plains cotton industry leaders, Mr. Pfeiffenberger assumed the position of Executive Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers Inc., an organization whose members annually produced over 15% of the total U.S. cotton crop.

From left to right: George Pfeiffenberger, John D. Smith, Littlefield, PCG vice president, Wright G. Boyd, Lamesa, Howard Hurd, Brownfield, George Mahan at the Conference on Farm Labor.

I’d like to think that his work in the industry is partially responsible for the 25% to 35% U.S. production currently attributed to the High Plains.

Pfeiffenberger had many accolades, including: “Man of the Year” by Cotton Digest Magazine, and an Honorary Doctorate from Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University).

“George was the hardest working man I had ever met,” said Don Johnson, who served as George’s executive assistant from 1960 to 1964 before assuming the role of PCG executive vice president. “He dedicated his life to Plains cotton.”

George Pfeiffenberger (left) with cotton industry representatives.


In 1964, Johnson randomly decided to go down to the office on a Saturday when PCG was normally closed. He walked through the door to find Pfeiffenberger (who often worked on weekends) clinging to his desk. He suffered a heart attack and passed away suddenly at the age of 56.

His legacy and life’s work were dedicated to the establishment of Plains Cotton Growers and the enhancement of Plains cotton’s global reputation. Pfeiffenberger initiated our core mission to provide premier service to cotton producers and the cotton industry in all things related to legislation, research, promotion, and service for the High Plains. The impact of his efforts were felt throughout the state of Texas, so much so that State Senate resolution No. 184 by then Sen. H.J. “Doc” Blanchard was written Feb. 25, 1965, which states:

“Resolved: That the Senate of the State of Texas by this Resolution recognizes the great loss to this state by the death of George W. Pfeiffenberger, and extends its sincere sympathy to the members of his family; and be it further that copies of this Resolution be prepared for his wife and two children, and that when the Senate adjourns this day, it do so in memory of George W. Pfeiffenberger.”

Signed by Lieutenant Gov. Preston Smith.

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Education Produces Advocates — PCG Hosts OLLI for Cotton Course

Jerry Butnam takes OLLI students o a tour of Lubbock Cotton Growers Gin.

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. had the privilege of hosting the Texas Tech University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) for their course, “Cotton: From Field to Fabric.”

OLLI is a unique educational program for adults over 50 years of age who wish to learn about different industries and techniques.

OLLI students were excited to learn more about the cotton industry here on the High Plains. They toured Lubbock Cotton Growers Gin; visited Burt and Shelley Heinrich to learn more about drip irrigation; toured the new Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex; and learned about the role of the commodity merchant.

“I have been in the cattle industry my entire life here in Lubbock and had no idea how advanced and technical aspects of the cotton industry can be,” on student commented.

Another added, “We are going to dazzle our friends from East Texas the next time they visit with all of our new knowledge on cotton.”

It’s exciting to educate our communities on this industry, knowing that education produces more advocates for the way of life we love so much.

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2022 Cotton Quality Summary

The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2022 production season.

Lamesa: 1,361

Lubbock: 11,325

Lamesa: 1,181

Lubbock: 9,452

Lamesa: 2,263

Lubbock: 18,118

Lamesa: 5.3

Lubbock: 9.1

Lamesa: 5,906

Lubbock: 47,260


21+ – 50.2

31 – 37.4

12 – 0.3



21+ – 61.2

31 – 18.3

12 – 7.9

Lamesa: 2.23


Lubbock: 2.65

Lamesa: 36.23


Lubbock: 36.87

Lamesa: 4.40


Lubbock: 4.17

Lamesa: 29.68


Lubbock: 31.39

Lamesa: 80.57


Lubbock: 80.91

Lamesa: 5.6


Lubbock: 11.5

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 9,816

Lubbock: 95,247


21+ – 57.2

31 – 33.3

12 – 0.2



21+ – 64.1

31 – 13.3

12 – 10.1

Lamesa: 2.34


Lubbock: 2.55

Lamesa: 36.22


Lubbock: 36.74

Lamesa: 4.38


Lubbock: 4.19

Lamesa: 30.46


Lubbock: 31.44

Lamesa: 80.53


Lubbock: 80.82

Lamesa: 8.4


Lubbock: 10.7

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October 28, 2022

Jayci Bishop Talks TALL

Jayci Bishop, director of Corporate Communications for Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA), is a member of the 18th cohort of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership (TALL) Program. The first session for this cohort was in July and second session was last week in West Texas. The following is the discussion we had concerning her experiences thus far.

Q: What made you interested in the TALL program?

A: Ever since I was in college, I heard people discussing TALL. When I came to work at PCCA, my original boss, John Johnson, was in the very first TALL class. It was always in the back of my mind, so when I had the opportunity to participate this year, I took it.

Q: What did you enjoy about the West Texas session? It must be a different perspective than most since you live and work here.

A: What I really enjoyed was getting to see my fellow students learn about this part of the country that I love so much.  We did focus on the cotton industry, which I also love and work in, and it was special for me to see the TALL students meet some of the people I work with every day. It was good for me to see them interested and impressed with what we do here in West Texas — I may be biased, but I think what we do here is exceptional. I think it was eye-opening for them to see the logistics of cotton outside of growing it. From the warehouse to the classing office, they saw some interesting things outside of their normal scope of expertise.

Q: What do you believe was unique about this session?

A: Both here in Lubbock and in Amarillo, many TALL alumni were involved in the session. They were part of the program, they traveled with us, they were there every step of the way throughout the week. Then, of course, at the TALL alumni and student reception, we had a huge turnout. I had not yet seen that kind of alumni support at a TALL session. They all still had their TALL name tags — even some from the first class were proud to show them to us!


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CNBC TV Visits Cotton Country

After spending more than 20 years overseas in more than 40 countries as a war photographer, Shawn Baldwin moved back to the U.S. to live a more domesticated life.

“I couldn’t go live in London or the Middle East for a year with a three-month old and a three-year-old at home. I was ready to settle down and concentrate on my family.” 

It’s hard to imagine how an award-winning videographer, who covered the end of the apartheid in South Africa, could be in West Texas shooting a cotton story. But that’s exactly where he was this week. 

Baldwin interviewed Kody Bessent, PCG CEO, Barry Evans, producer in Swisher County, and Craig Bednarz, West Texas A&M University associate professor. He also rode in a cotton stripper with Heath Heinrich to learn more about the cotton industry and why we love what we do here.

The 15-minute segment on the cotton industry is tentatively scheduled to air Nov. 24, 2022.

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2022 Cotton Quality Summary

The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2021 production season.

Lamesa: 405

Lubbock: 7,170

Lamesa: 349

Lubbock: 6,570

Lamesa: 680

Lubbock: 4,640

Lamesa: 2.1

Lubbock: 4.6

Lamesa: 1,746

Lubbock: 32,831


21+ – 38.5

31 – 49.9

12 – 0.0



21+ – 71.3

31 – 10.6

12 – 7.5

Lamesa: 2.55


Lubbock: 2.4

Lamesa: 36.49


Lubbock: 36.79

Lamesa: 4.23


Lubbock: 4.18

Lamesa: 31.31


Lubbock: 31.40

Lamesa: 80.11


Lubbock: 80.76

Lamesa: 13.5


Lubbock: 6.8

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 3,910

Lubbock: 48,004


21+ – 67.6

31 – 27

12 – 0.0



21+ – 66.9

31 – 8.4

12 – 12.2

Lamesa: 2.51


Lubbock: 2.45

Lamesa: 36.2


Lubbock: 36.62

Lamesa: 4.36


Lubbock: 4.20

Lamesa: 31.64


Lubbock: 31.50

Lamesa: 80.47


Lubbock: 80.73

Lamesa: 12.6


Lubbock: 9.9

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Slow, Long-Term Climb Ahead for Cotton Prices

It is always the darkest before the dawn. Old crop cotton futures are working overtime to establish the 77-78 cent area as the price bottom.

This week’s trading pushed prices down to an 18-month low as technical fund traders dumped volume after volume of sell orders every day. They pushed prices down for seven consecutive days before letting the market come up for air.

The difficult times remain front and center for the cotton grower, but bearish news is filtering out and explaining some of the current week’s activity. Textile mills, both in the U.S. and overseas, made announcements of temporary shutdowns between now and the Christmas holidays. Some mills will close for only a week and others will shut down for as much as a month. Still others will go to short work weeks. Either way, mills plan to reduce inventory of yarn stocks which has simply become far too burdensome. Should the lows established this week fail to hold, then the next line of price support is down another two cents, sitting at 74-75 cents.

Yet, demand is showing signs of turning, ever so slightly. The market began to uncover demand once it fell within the 79-81 cent trading range as indicated by the weekly export sales report. The very slight increase in export sales (and to be sure, the increase was slight) did find mills making overnight inquiries for cotton. Even inquiries that do not result in sales are positive given the present demand situation.

Read the entire article by O.A. Cleveland, which originally appeared in Cotton Grower.

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October 21, 2022

This Week’s News Roundup in the Cotton Industry

Ship backlog progress.

The queue of ships waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell from a peak of 109 ships in January to four vessels this week, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Bottlenecks continue to delay cargo at other major U.S. seaports and at inland freight hubs, but the end of the backup at the big ports in California signals broader supply-chain tangles that have been troubling retailers and manufacturers are unwinding.

Jim Wiesemeyer

India cotton output seen rising 12%.

India is likely to produce 34.4 million bales of cotton in the 2022/23 season that started on Oct. 1, up 12% from a year ago after farmers expanded the crop area, a trade body said on Tuesday.

The rise in output in the world’s biggest producer of cotton could weigh on global prices that have corrected sharply after rising earlier this year to their highest in a decade.


Fabric makes up 78.75% of China’s total textile shipment.

Fabric constituted 78.75% of the total textile exports of the world’s largest textile exporter China during the first half (H1) of 2022. It exported fabric worth $37.183 billion in this period, while its total textile exports were valued at $47.217 billion. 

China’s cotton textiles exports were valued at $10.218 billion (21.64%) in the period under review. The exports of textiles made from wool and animal hair were at $1.175 billion (2.49%), silk at $482.902 million (1.02%), flax at $384.881 million (0.82%), true hemp at $2.527 million (0.01%) and others at $4.364 billion (9.24%).


Falling cotton prices may lower prices for fashion.

Looking ahead, with this month’s revisions to the demand side of the balance sheet, the increase in production is enough to result in a surplus of production beyond consumption, according to economist Jon Devine. While stocks in the U.S. are forecast to be low by historical standards, an increase in warehouse supply is predicted to be at the world level.

One can conclude that the high levels of inventory and the likely promotional efforts of retailers during the holiday season will combine to reduce the prices to the consumer.


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ARC/PLC Program Enrollment Available for 2023

Farmers can now change election and enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2023 crop year. 

These programs are part of a broader safety net provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes crop insurance and marketing assistance loans. 

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. 

PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. 

Producers have until March 15, 2023 to enroll in one of these two programs. 

– Southwest Farm Press 

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TALL Program Visits West Texas

The 18th cohort of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership (TALL) Program spent this week in West Texas.

Jeremy Brown, producer in Dawson County, addressed TALL students and alumni at the welcome reception on Tuesday, October 18th.

“Hopefully, whatever you do, you go back and get actively involved in your voice for agriculture,” he said. “Whatever that looks like in your sphere of influence.” 

Stay Tuned!

Next week’s issue of Cotton News will feature TALL student Jayci Bishop, PCCA director of Corporate Communications. We’ll talk about her perspective of the TALL program overall and the week she spent with the group touring West Texas agriculture companies.

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

The following is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2021 production season.

Lamesa: 316

Lubbock: 2,500

Lamesa: 316

Lubbock: 2,500

Lamesa: 0

Lubbock: 3,600

Lamesa: 1.2

Lubbock: 1.4

Lamesa: 1,583

Lubbock: 12,543


21+ – 88.1

31 – 11.3

12 – 0.0



21+ – 64.7

31 – 4.4

12 – 13.9

Lamesa: 2.72


Lubbock: 2.58

Lamesa: 36.32


Lubbock: 36.32

Lamesa: 4.25


Lubbock: 4.26

Lamesa: 32.26


Lubbock: 31.66

Lamesa: 80.81


Lubbock: 80.58

Lamesa: 13.9


Lubbock: 17.5

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 2,164

Lubbock: 15,173


21+ – 91

31 – 8.5

12 – 0.0



21+ – 57.4

31 – 3.7

12 – 22.4

Lamesa: 2.48


Lubbock: 2.56

Lamesa: 35.96


Lubbock: 36.24

Lamesa: 4.46


Lubbock: 4.26

Lamesa: 31.91


Lubbock: 31.71

Lamesa: 80.76


Lubbock: 80.65

Lamesa: 11.9


Lubbock: 16.6

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October 14, 2022

Get to Know Peyton Wilde

‘The Good Lord Put Me On This Earth to be a Cotton Farmer’

By Kara Bishop

On Oct. 13, 2022, Peyton Wilde brought in the first bale of the season for Idalou Coop Gin. I shared the post on the Plains Cotton Growers Facebook page, not realizing how exciting it would be for people to see his name and photo on the page.

When I spoke with Idalou Coop Gin General Manager Keith Grayson, he had one thing to say about the producer from Lubbock County.

“Peyton will put in twice as many hours on a tractor, spray rig or stripper than two normal hands in a week.”

I say this all the time, but one of the things I love about this job is the opportunity to share the stories of upstanding, wholesome, humble people. The following is a Q&A with Peyton Wilde, producer in Lubbock County and recently elected Idalou Coop Gin board member.

Q: Why did you choose to farm for your livelihood?

A: Well, it’s all I’ve known. My dad farms in Wall, Texas. I couldn’t tell you what generation farmer I am — I just know that my family has been farming since they got off the boat in the 1800s. I landed a job as a farm hand with Brandon, Mike and Norine Patschke while in college, and they mentored me and made it possible for me to farm for a living. I initially thought I was going to be an ag teacher, but quickly realized it wasn’t for me.

Q: Is this the worst year you’ve had as a farmer?

A: Personally, as a farmer with my own land, I would say yes. However, 2011 was really bad, too, and I was working for the Patschkes by that point. I would say that 2011 was hotter and dryer than this year, but input prices weren’t near as high. This year, the market has been so volatile and combining that with high input prices makes for a tough year. It can be depressing to look at it and think about it. Everyone that works on the farm can get down about this year we’re having.

Q: With the year as challenging as it has been, what makes you get up in the morning and face the day?

A: I’ve always had the philosophy that if you get up and hit the ground running before your brain catches up, you’ll have a decent day. And there’s always the chance that something will change for the better. One time, I had some friends ask me why I was trying to get a crop going when it was so dry. I told them you never know what’s going to happen. That very night it rained and kept raining and it was the best crop we had ever produced. You just never know what might turn around in your favor. And you definitely won’t know if you give up. In this country, you have to keep fighting.

Q: How many acres do you think you’ll harvest this year?

A: Well, all of our dryland is gone, but we’ll harvest about 30% of our irrigated. We failed a lot of acres and could have failed more, but it’s hard to do that when you know how badly the world needs cotton.

Q: Is there value in a support system as a farmer?

A: Definitely. I still work with the Patschkes plus farm my own land, but if something needs work on my land, you can find them out there fixing it for me. We all just work together. And my family is amazing. They taught me everything I know about farming and helped me with a down payment for my first farmland purchase. I have great friends in the farming industry that I can visit with and learn from. I just surround myself with good farmers and hope it rubs off on me.

Q: Were you trying to get the first bale into Idalou Coop Gin?

A: No, not necessarily — first bale is generally not your best cotton, especially on irrigated. I harvested that bale off of the first farmland I ever purchased, which is neat.

Q: What’s the most beneficial thing you’ve learned while farming?

A: The Patschkes have always been proactive and progressive in farming and I’ve learned a lot from that approach. We are big believers in cover crops and soil health so we rotate crops in like hay grazer and wheat. Half of our irrigated fields use drip irrigation. The Patschkes were one of the first farming operations to implement drip in Lubbock County.

And I learned early on that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

The good Lord put me on this Earth to be a cotton farmer, so I’m going to farm cotton.

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Australia Crop Almost Sold Out

Australian growers appear certain to be out of 2022 cotton within weeks, a huge success for the industry considering this year’s crop is predicted to be a record 5.5 million bales. 

Cotton Australia Chief Executive Officer Adam Kay said these results are positive considering deteriorating consumer confidence amid rising interest rates and inflationary pressure, the impact of China’s COVID lockdown policy, and the war in Ukraine. He added there was still strong demand for local cotton and growers are expecting positive returns from the 2022 crop.

-Textile Excellence

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October WASDE Report Highlights

USDA has released its October 2022 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Here’s this month’s summary for cotton:

The 2022/23 U.S. cotton supply and demand estimates show slightly lower exports and higher ending stocks compared with last month. Production is virtually unchanged at 13.8 million bales, less than 1%  lower than a month earlier. With world trade projected lower, the export forecast is 100,000 bales lower at 12.5 million bales, while ending stocks are 100,000 bales higher. The 2022/23 season-average price for upland cotton is forecast at 90.0 cents per pound – 6 cents lower than last month and slightly below the final 2021/22 record-high price of 91.4 cents.

In the 2022/23 world balance sheet this month, consumption is 3.0 million bales lower and ending stocks are 3.1 million bales higher. China’s historical consumption estimates are revised back to 2019/20, with the largest change in 2021/22, which is revised down 2.0 million bales. China’s projected 2022/23 consumption is 1.0 million bales lower this month, as is India’s. Pakistan’s is 500,000 bales lower, and consumption is also lower for Turkey, Mexico, and Vietnam. World trade is projected nearly 1 million bales lower than it was in September, with declines in imports by China, Pakistan, Mexico, Turkey, and Vietnam. Exports are lower for Australia, Brazil, India, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Greece, and Mexico, as well as the United States.

World production in 2022/23 is projected nearly 400,000 bales lower than it was a month ago, largely reflecting lower crops in Pakistan and Benin.

-Cotton Grower 

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October 7, 2022

Faces of Cotton Story Series: Eric Wanjura, Farmers Cooperative Compress President and CEO

Whole-Hearted Package

Eric Wanjura Faces Challenges with Service

By Kara Bishop

There are people out there that do the work — yet few people know they do it. They are quiet, reserved, happy to do things behind the scenes. They don’t need the glory of other men, nor do they handle it well when it’s given to them. Their big hearts are driven to action and good deeds with less talk.

When they do talk, it doesn’t even occur to them to ensure they get credit for their good deeds, often citing someone else’s impact that achieved the goal.

But sometimes, it’s necessary to bring these people out of the woodwork — to give them the spotlight they’re not always comfortable with. When you experience difficult years, especially this one, it’s nice to know that there is hope for humanity in the stories of wholesome people.

Meet Eric Wanjura.

All in the Family
While Wanjura didn’t grow up on a farm, agriculture was a big part of his life growing up. His father, Don Wanjura, served as a research scientist and agricultural engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). His research work in irrigation scheduling helped in the development of drip irrigation systems.

His mother, Sue Wanjura, grew up in a family that farmed cotton around Southland, Texas. Wanjura’s brother, John, followed in their father’s footsteps, and is currently an agricultural engineer for the USDA-ARS.

The American Parents
Wanjura and his wife Christine have been married for 27 years and have three children. But in 2015, three children turned into five overnight.

Christine, Eric, Ben, Sarah, Hugh, Chen and Eric Wanjura.

The Wanjura children attended Christ the King Cathedral School, which operates an international exchange student program. From ninth grade to senior year, two such exchange students, Chen and Eric, lived with the Wanjuras and still visit during the summer and holidays.

“They call us mom and dad — their American parents,” Wanjura added. “While it was hard to raise five kids during that time, it was a great reward for us. Having them and their families as a part of ours has been a great blessing.”

Their oldest biological child, Sarah, earned her food science degree from Texas Tech University and now works as product development manager for HEB’s “Meal Simple” programs.

Their second, Ben, is a senior at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A few weeks ago, the academy had job drops, where they figure out what their first assignment will be after graduation.

“Ben has wanted to be a pilot ever since he graduated high school,” Wanjura said. “The pilot slots are very competitive, but he got a pilot assignment. We are very excited for him.”

Their youngest, Hugh, is a freshman at Texas A&M University and part of the Corps of Cadets. Chen is also at Texas A&M, while Eric is attending the University of California, Davis.

“I’ve thought often about the Chinese one-child policy that China had for years and how these parents send their only children to the U.S. for an education,” Wanjura added. “I’m glad we were able to take care of Chen and Eric like they were our own and give their families peace of mind.”

Prepared for the Role
Wanjura wasn’t looking for a job change while working for PCCA in their gin accounting and field services division, but Ron Harkey, then president and CEO of Farmers Cooperative Compress (FCC) had a plan in mind.

“I got a call out of the blue from Ron saying they were looking for a manager for their Plainview location,” Wanjura said.

As manager of the FCC Plainview plant for 10 years, Wanjura gained experience in warehousing, seeing as he wasn’t familiar with it before then moved back to Lubbock as vice president of Administration — maybe that was the plan all along?

Some of the Famers Cooperative Compress executive team from left to right: Steven White, VP of Administration & Operations; Penny Nelson, VP – CFO; Kelle Melton, FCC Shipping Specialist; Eric Wanjura, President & CEO; Bobby Ramirez, Director of Lubbock Operations; Albert Jimenez, Director of Shipping

“Looking back, I can see moments, meetings that I was invited to, and even opportunities that I was given by Ron to prepare me to take over his job,” Wanjura added. “To see how well he prepared me to take his role — he didn’t have to do that. And the Board of Directors didn’t have to appoint me, either. The faith that Farmers Cooperative Compress has put in me over the years is humbling.”

According to Wanjura, one of the greatest things Ron Harkey did was succession planning prior to his retirement. He spent years before the event planning for a smooth transfer of leadership that would benefit FCC. “He truly cared about the organization and wanted to leave it better than he had found it,” Wanjura added. “He was a great mentor and still a wonderful friend.”

Harkey’s love of service lives on in Wanjura’s goals as the new CEO and president of FCC, not just because of Harkey’s mentorship, but also stemming from a life of service.

A Heart for People
Year one: take over Farmers Cooperative Compress (FCC) during global pandemic with short crop year.

Year two: manage record busting 2021 crop amid a worldwide supply chain nightmare.

Year three: enter 2022 — the upcoming new historical benchmark of low yielding cotton due to a ravenous drought.

Eric Wanjura hosts the Texas Tech University MILE program at FCC.The MILE Program provides unique leadership and professional development experiences during a three-semester cohort, which is up of 14 selected students that represent each Davis College undergraduate academic department. Students enroll in a MILE course each semester of the cohort and receive a leadership certificate upon completion of the MILE Program.

Suffice it to say, it’s been an eventful two and a half years for FCC’s new president and CEO Eric Wanjura.

During the Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Board of Directors Meeting in July, Wanjura left early with a heavy heart. Due to the catastrophic 2022 crop year, he was having to let some FCC employees go.

Last year, FCC received 2.6 million bales. Their current estimate for this year is 580,000. When you are only receiving 22% of the bales you received the year before, management becomes difficult.

“Unfortunately, we had to lay off about 55 employees, which we hated to do,” Wanjura said. “It’s like losing a part of your family.”

FCC went through a similar situation in 2011 and Wanjura is hoping the outcome will be the same as it was then.

“These employees knew it was coming,” he added. “They watch the news and knew what was going on. When we had to reduce staff in 2011 when the drought was so bad, we were thankfully able to hire them all back the following year. We fully plan and hope for this to happen for the 2023 crop year.”

The FCC relationship with its staff transfers to producers, as well.

“We’re here to serve our membership,” Wanjura said. “We want to serve our staff and we want to serve our farmers, our customers.

“We truly strive to protect and enhance the value of our members’ cotton, not just because we want their business, but because, like our staff, they, too, are our family.”

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Robbie Minnich New NCC Lead in Washington D.C.

Robbie Minnich was announced as the new lead of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council (NCC) in late September following the retirement of Reece Langley.

Minnich previously held the position of Senior Government Relations Representative for NCC. In that position, he spent 19 years working with members of Congress, Administration officials and opinion leaders on behalf of the U.S. cotton industry. He was instrumental in the planning and implementation of three Farm Bills, assisted with general policy development for the industry and directed activity on behalf of the industry’s PAC — The Committee for the Advancement of Cotton.

“We appreciate the partnership we have with the NCC,” said PCG CEO Kody Bessent. “Robbie is a valuable asset to our advocacy efforts and we’re excited to work with him in his new role.” 

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Harvest Time! An Update on Ginning in the High Plains

First modules unload at Texas Star Co-op Gin.

Harvest has begun in the High Plains region, primarily in the Panhandle, but even Texas Star Co-op Gin in Slaton, Texas, had some modules on the yard. “We did some custom ginning for Farmers Co-op Gin in Ackerly, Texas, who decided not to open this year,” said Cary Eubanks, gin manager for Texas Star. “We ginned about 43 modules, producing 580 bales and it was phenomenal cotton.” 

The cotton came from a drip irrigated field in Ackerly and Eubanks decided to gin immediately to preserve the grade of the cotton. Brian Nichols, manager of Farmers Co-op Gin, reported he had received grades on 190 of those bales and most averaged loan values of about 56 cents.

“It was nice to start out on a positive note,” Eubanks added. “Not that it’s not a tough year, but with all the negativity, it’s nice that our first round was a good one.”

Jerrell Key, manager at Adobe Walls Gin in Spearman, Texas, expects to start ginning next week. “We estimate to gin around 80,000 bales give or take 10,000,” he added.

If you’d like to provide an update on harvest in your area for the newsletter, please email Kara Bishop.

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September 30, 2022

Hurricane Ian’s Impact on the Cotton Belt

Category 5 Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida yesterday decimating Fort Meyers beach, destroying homes, flooding multiple areas and the state’s power grid. 

Earlier in the week, as the hurricane moved off the coast of Cuba, many cotton farmers in the Southeast began scrambling to save their acres, according to Steve Crump with WBTV. Farmers in South Carolina were racing against the clock to harvest before the potential impacts of the storm headed their way. 

David Parrish, chief executive officer of NC Cotton Producers Association in Nashville, North Carolina, said the storm is on track to move through South Carolina, then head West, avoiding most of his state.

“If Ian had hit the east coast, we would have been in serious trouble,” Parrish added. “Most of our cotton is in the northeast portion of the state, so while there may be some pockets affected more heavily than others, we may only experience rain events here.” 

Parrish estimates a 10% production loss to North Carolina’s cotton crop due to Hurricane Ian. 

“It’s better than it could have been, but we still hate to lose anything production-wise this year. With input costs the way they are combined with a hotter crop year than we’re used to, whatever we lose is going to hurt. However, the damage is not expected to be as bad as we anticipated a few days ago, so we’re grateful for that.”

Georgia Cotton Commission Executive Director Taylor Sills echoes Parrish’s sentiment.

“I was really concerned about the storm a week ago and on Monday I participated in three interviews discussing potential damages to Georgia’s cotton,” Sills said. “However, the storm has shifted so much in the past three days, that it’s only going to effect a small pocket of producers in the east of the state. Most of them will only deal with two to four inches of rain now rather than the initially anticipated hurricane force winds and 15+ inches of rain. The area that was supposed to get the worst of it might not even get rain now.” 

After Hurricane Ian hit Fort Meyers, Florida, it went up through Jacksonville downgraded to a Tropical Storm. Then it went back out into the ocean. It’s now upgraded to a Category 2 Hurricane scheduled to hit Charleston, South Carolina at noon today. 

“This will be the third time this storm hits land mass,” said Dave Ruppenicker, chief executive officer for Southern Cotton Growers, Inc., which represents Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. “Hurricanes don’t typically operate this way — even the way the storm came in hitting the west coast of Florida was atypical,” he added. 

According to Ruppenicker, Florida cotton was spared for the most part, since it’s primarily grown in the western part of the Florida panhandle. 

 Now that Hurricane Ian is coming back toward the U.S., cotton in South Carolina (350,000 acres statewide), the southeast corner of Georgia (1.2 million acres statewide), and Virginia (100,000 acres statewide) will be susceptible to wind damage.  

“In South Carolina and Virginia, cotton becomes more vulnerable sometimes because farmers try to get their peanuts out first so cotton stays in fields longer,” Ruppenicker said. 

The Southeast hasn’t seen as many storms or hurricanes as originally anticipated but Ruppenicker says Ian more than makes up for it, even though cotton specifically isn’t taking on as much damage as other industry segments. 

“It’s an act of God,” Ruppenicker added. “There’s nothing you can do about it but hope and pray that somehow you pull out of it and move on to live another day.” 

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Steve Verett to be in Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame

Yesterday, Cotton Incorporated announced the 2022 class of the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame.

The two honorees are Kenneth Hood from Mississippi, and Steve Verett, former chief executive office for Plains Cotton Growers Inc. and producer in Crosby County.

Verett has held many leadership positions in the cotton industry including integral roles in the development of agricultural policy. He helped develop farm bills and facilitate successful farm policies and research provisions, which also included returning cotton as a covered commodity under the 2014 Farm Bill legislation.  

Congratulations Steve! 

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Continuing Resolution Passed by Congress

The House passed a short-term government funding patch on Friday — previously passed by the Senate with a 72-25 vote — effectively sending the measure to President Biden hours before a shutdown would’ve kicked in at midnight.

The lower chamber cleared the measure in a 230-201 vote, funding the government through the midterm elections until December 16th.

The temporary funding package buys time for congressional negotiations on a broader government spending deal to take place toward the end of the calendar year.

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September 26, 2022

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Visits Washington D.C.

Last week, Plains Cotton Growers Inc. arrived in Washington D.C. to visit with congressional members prior to fiscal year 2023 funding proceedings.

PCG chairman Brent Nelson, president Martin Stoerner and chief executive officer Kody Bessent communicated the importance of PCG’s funding priorities for its producers and the cotton industry overall. 

“We have many friends of the cotton industry and agriculture as a whole in Washington, and had some productive conversations concerning our advocacy efforts in regard to end-of-the-year spending opportunities.” 

PCG advocated for an extension of the Emergency Relief Program for the 2022 crop year. Nelson and Stoerner were able to highlight the catastrophic crop year for both Senators and Representatives as cotton producers in West Texas.

Additional priorities such as funding for the Boll Weevil Eradication Program, classing office upgrades and maintaining full funding for the USDA Market Access Program and the USDA Foreign Market Development Program were also mentioned. 

PCG also highlighted the need to encourage USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service to reinstate the ag level district estimates for cotton. While report language was included in Senate legislation for this, Bessent asked Representatives to consider it, too.

Another important issue PCG discussed with Congress members was the impact of this crop year on the cotton industry’s infrastructure. 

“We wanted our government officials to know that cotton gins, warehouses, oil mills, all infrastructure that supports the cotton industry, will also experience negative impacts from the crop conditions of 2022,” Bessent said.

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EPA Withdraws Glyphosate Interim Decision

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its withdrawal of all remaining portions of the interim registration review decision for glyphosate. 

Pesticide products containing glyphosate continue to remain on the market, can be used according to the product label, and are unaffected by this action.

On June 17, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit imposed an Oct.1, 2022 deadline for EPA to issue a new ecological portion of the review decision. EPA sought relief from this deadline, according to their press release, but the court denied it on Aug. 5, 2022. 

Therefore, EPA has withdrawn its interim decision, claiming it is unable to finalize a new ecological portion in a registration review decision for glyphosate by the court-imposed deadline.

Industry experts say that EPA anticipates final registration for glyphosate in 2026. 

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Stopgap Funding Bill Process Begins

Last Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took the first step toward considering stopgap funding legislation needed by September 30th to avoid a government shutdown. The House is ready to move straight to the bill this week once it comes over from the Senate. 

The current plan is for the Senate to vote Tuesday night. 

The continuing resolution (CR) would fund the government through mid-December when an omnibus appropriations bill may be approved or another short-term CR will bring us into the new year. The election outcome will likely influence which road Congress takes to conclude the fiscal year 2023 funding process. 

Reprinted from the Southwest Council of Agribusiness newsletter.

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Lucas to Introduce ‘Protect Farmers from the SEC Act’

Earlier in the spring, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) introduced the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.

This week, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) plans to introduce opposing legislation.

If adopted, the rule would require registrants to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports — including disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions in audited financial statements. While farmers are not currently “registrants” or subject in any way to the jurisdiction and oversight of the SEC, the proposed rule could change that. 

In letters and comments submitted to the SEC, U.S. House Republicans and myriad agricultural groups argued this burdensome legislation would be detrimental to small and mid-sized farms, who lack the resources and means to document all the necessary disclosure information. Additionally, agricultural stakeholders stated the additional cost of time and money would further hinder the ability of farmers to compete in global markets.

Lucas’ proposed bill, “Protect Farmers from the SEC Act,” would prohibit the SEC from requiring disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities arising from a farm. According to FarmWeek Now, the bill also defines what constitutes a farm, agricultural or horticultural commodities, upstream and downstream activities, and greenhouse gases —and removes the SEC’s exempt authority.

According to Agri-Pulse, “The bill has no chance of passing this year, but it would keep attention on the issue, while signaling that the SEC rule would be a high priority for Republicans if they win control of the House in November. 

“Ultimately, the person in the field or the pasture is going to be the goal in this (SEC legislation) and that’s why we can’t have it,” Lucas told Agri-Pulse. 

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September 16, 2022

USDA-AMS Partners with Texas Tech University for New Cotton Classing Facility

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) held its grand opening of the Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex on Sept. 14, 2022. 

The 30,000-square-foot facility is located on the Texas Tech University (TTU) campus, where TTU students will have the opportunity to learn about grading and classing cotton samples, along with taking advantage of employment opportunities. 

This is the first cotton classing facility to be located on the campus of a higher education institution. 

“Texas Tech is a world leader in cotton research, and this facility provides many opportunities for our faculty and students to advance the work that is of critical importance to this region,” said TTU President Lawrence Schovanec. “We are proud to partner with the United States Department of Agriculture on this historic cotton classing facility, which will positively impact the cotton industry in West Texas and beyond.”

The lobby of the Lubbock Classification Complex is full of old artifacts to celebrate the rich history and future of cotton classing.

According to Bruce Summers, administrator for USDA-AMS, the partnership will serve the U.S. cotton industry by grading roughly 20% of the cotton produced in this region.

The groundbreaking for the facility was in 2019 with construction starting at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic; however, the dream began more than five years before that.

“This grand opening culminates a long journey of planning, contracting and construction of the most modernized facility in the program’s fleet,” said Darryl Earnest, deputy administrator of the USDA-AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program. “It’s taken almost 9 years to get to this point and, while I didn’t foresee it taking almost a quarter of my career, I’m so proud of the end product.” 

The new classing office in Lubbock is fully operable and will begin classing samples starting this season.  

Visit the Plains Cotton Growers Instagram page to see the Grand Opening story highlight.

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Rail Strike Averted?

The White House has reached a tentative agreement to avert a national rail strike. 

A Department of Labor official confirmed that a deal was reached early Thursday morning after 20 consecutive hours of negotiations between rail companies and union negotiators.

The details of the tentative agreement reached have not been shared and could still be voted down by members who need to ratify the agreement to settle the matter.

-Jim Wiesemeyer

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Texas Crop Acreage Certification Released

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the most recent crop acreage certification data (578 data) on Monday, September 12th.

Texas estimates — combining irrigated and dryland — currently stand at 7.7 million acres planted and 3.0 million acres failed to date. Total acres failed is at roughly 39%, which is slightly up from last month’s report at 37%. Irrigated and dryland combined certified acres for the Plains Cotton Growers region came in at 4.6 million with 2.6 million failed. The percentage of total acres failed is 57% — also slightly up from last month’s report at 55%. 

According to the recent report, 65% of irrigated acres and 29% of dryland acres in the PCG region remain harvestable. 

These numbers are likely to change significantly in the October report as the USDA Farm Service Agency begins accounting for September crop insurance adjustments, which will include boll counts. 

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Export Sales Data Released

The much-anticipated U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Services Export Sales Report was released after a month-long hiatus. 

Three reports were released this week: a combination of August 18 and 25, September 1, and September 8. The last report issued was on August 11 and, from the four weeks of missed reports, total sales rose around 589,000 bales. 

For the week ending September 8, net sales of 100,300 Upland bales and shipments of 141,000 bales were reported. The biggest buyer this week was Pakistan, who booked 77,900 bales. 

This proves what experts have projected: Pakistan’s production has decreased substantially and there is a need to meet demand within the country. Net sales of Pima came in at 1,000 bales with 1,300 bales getting shipped over the week.  

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September 9, 2022

First High Plains Bale Harvested for 2022 Growing Season

From Left to Right: Mike Foster, Five Points Gin manager, Justina Enns, Corny Enns, Gaines County producer and Kurt Brown, Seminole Chamber of Commerce.

The first bale for 2022 was delivered to Five Points Gin in Gaines County Sept. 6, 2022, by Corny and Justina Enns.

Harvested northwest of Seminole, the Enns brought in 2,880 pounds of seed cotton produced from Deltapine 1646. 

“I wasn’t planning on competing for the first bale or anything,” said Corny Enns, farmer in Gaines County since 1987. 

As he was driving by one of his fields, Enns saw some bolls opening. “I decided to call down to Five Points and see if anyone had brought anything in yet. They said no so I sprayed about 15 acres and ended up stripping 12.” 

The first bale will be auctioned off by the pound at the annual Gaines County Ag & Oil Appreciation Day hosted by the Seminole Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, September 15. 

The seven gins in Gaines County each put in $1,000 for the first bale, so the grower is guaranteed $7,000 in prize money in addition to the money brought in from the auction.

“It’s been such a strange year, we weren’t sure anyone would try to make the first bale,” said Mike Foster, manager of Five Points Gin. “I’m proud for the Enns family who have been my customers since 2010.” 

Congratulations to Corny and Justina Enns!

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RSVP to Grand Opening of Lubbock Classing Office

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Cotton & Tobacco Program will host a grand opening for the Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex September 14 starting at 10 a.m. 

Please RSVP for the event by emailing the Lubbock classing office.

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West Plains Crop Report

By Kerry Siders, IPM agent for Cochran, Hockley and Lamb Counties

Cotton ranges from just emerged dryland corners, which received these recent rains, to having 6 nodes above cracked boll. 

I have not seen any concerning insect pests this last week. I will be keeping an eye out for cotton aphids, which I am not finding, for the next few weeks.

 All irrigation is off as far as I know. Depending on what the weather holds over the next two weeks, I am not anticipating anyone turning water back on.

Just remember that a cotton boll can take moderate stress when it is 20 days old. Moderate stress is when the plant wilts in the heat of the day, but fully recovers after sundown. So, if we set the last harvestable boll around August 12th, that boll is 21 days old today. 

When bolls are 45 days old, the plant can go into permanent wilt and not impact the quantity or quality of the bolls. 

Therefore, we want to keep moisture available to the plant through approximately September 26. The cotton plant is still using nearly 0.2 inches of water per day for a few more days — it then steadily drops over the next three to four weeks. 

If you received a 2-inch rain during the last rain event, cotton will keep fresh for roughly 12 days. There was probably three to five days of moisture present in the soil from previous rain or irrigation. Odds are, between now and the 26th of this month, we could receive some additional moisture. Most likely we will be covered on our water needs for cotton.

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U.S. Crop Progress Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress Report for the week ending September 4th reports boll set in 97% of the U.S. crop — slightly higher above the 5-year average.

Open bolls are now reported in 39% of the nation’s cotton acres — up 11 percentage points in the past week and seven points ahead of the 5-year average.

No significant changes in crop condition in the past week: 35% good/excellent, 34% fair and 31% poor/very poor. 

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