Skip to main content

Cotton News

September 2, 2022

The Cotton Board

Legislative Update

Representative Thompson Blasts Proposed Ag Cuts

The top Republican on the House Agriculture Committee is making clear he wants nothing to do with some proposals by fellow conservatives to slash farm bill programs.

“I don’t appreciate it, I think it’s bad messaging,” Representative GT Thompson (R-PA) said yesterday at the Farm Program Show in Boone, Iowa. “If any of those policies would be implemented by any administration in either party, it would crush rural America.”

A proposed budget released by members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) calls for eliminating the farm bill’s “duplicative” Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs to save $42.7 billion over 10 years. The plan also proposes cutting crop insurance premiums in half and eliminating the federal reimbursement to crop insurance companies for administrative expenses.

Thompson, who will likely become chairman of House Ag if Republicans win control of the chamber in November, said he plans to begin hearings on a new farm bill early in the new year. He did not give a timeline for acting on the bill, but he said he wants funding allocations from the House Budget Committee by June or July.

The article above was reprinted with permission from Agri-Pulse. For more information go to

Senator Discusses Agricultural Issues with Local Commodity Groups

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) came to the FiberMax Center for Discovery in Lubbock on August 30th to participate in an agricultural roundtable discussion with commodity groups in the area.

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kody Bessent facilitated the discussion, which included a question-and-answer period with industry representatives.

“It’s good to be with you,” Cruz said in his opening remarks. “I know this has been a tough time in West Texas. This drought is hurting farmers across the state. I know crop yields are down significantly and people are hurting. I appreciate the resilience of farmers and ranchers.”

Cruz added that discussions about the upcoming Farm Bill would gain momentum after November elections. He went on to say his team will aggressively advocate for farmers in Texas — making sure the items in the Farm Bill reflect the needs in this state.

Questions came from around the room as industry reps highlighted the need for Farm Bill baseline funding, 2022 disaster assistance, an overhaul of the H-2A Visa Program for Temporary Workers and overall labor challenges.

“I think November is going to be a very good election that gives us the majority in the House and possibly the Senate,” Cruz responded. “I am on the road campaigning for both House and Senate and will do a bus tour for the entire month of October visiting in contested Congressional races across the country to help flip Congress. I’m doing this because the policies coming out of Washington D.C. are devastating to the state of Texas. All of these issues we’ve discussed today are huge issues and flipping Congress would definitely be in Texas’ favor.”

Back to Top

Harvest Decision Tool Now Available

Will Keeling, extension risk management specialist in Lubbock, Texas, developed a cost estimation spreadsheet to help producers make harvest decisions.

It’s estimated that the low supply of cotton worldwide could further increase market prices in October. Therefore, experts advise against hasty decisions on cotton with potentially low yields. 


To download the spreadsheet, click on the image above.

Back to Top

Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex Grand Opening

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites cotton industry stakeholders, trade associations and all who are interested to attend the official grand opening of the new Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex in Lubbock, Texas, on Wednesday, September 14th at 10 a.m.

“This opening culminates a long journey of nine years to plan, contract, construct and implement this new state-of-the-art facility,” said Darryl Earnest, deputy administrator of the USDA-AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program.

At an early tour given to Plains Cotton Growers Inc. in May, Earnest said everything in the new facility was designed with conservation in mind. Recyclable materials were used throughout the building and a one-of-a-kind HVAC system was engineered and installed to optimize the building’s energy efficiency.

Many of the systems in the 30,000-square-foot facility are fully automated, making the complex the most advanced classing facility in the U.S.

“I got a sneak peek, and it is an impressive facility,” National Cotton Council CEO/President Gary Adams told Farm Press. “It is a real testament to USDA in terms of the cotton program, how they’re working to be as efficient as possible — and as timely as possible in classing the crop through new technology.”

According to Farm Press, Earnest added that USDA’s 10 labs, located across the Cotton Belt, classed 17.1 million cotton samples in 2021. Lubbock’s previous lab classed 3.4 million samples. The new facility, located on the Texas Tech University campus, is equipped to process 50,000 to 60,000 samples per day. Earnest says he hopes to class more, and “make it perform at the level that we designed it for.”

“We’re excited to show everyone this new facility in Lubbock,” Earnest added. “This area serves as the largest concentrated region of cotton production in the U.S., which is a vital part of the cotton industry in general, but also a key source of annually exported cotton. The cotton from the High Plains is highly sought after from many importers in other countries and we are excited to begin classing it in the new facility this season.”

Back to Top

FAS Export Sales Reporting Update

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) attempted to launch a new export sales reporting and maintenance system on Aug. 25, 2022; however, the system was taken offline due to unforeseen challenges affecting the physical dissemination and quality of the data.

To answer questions regarding the system’s shortcomings and the future of data distribution, USDA-FAS administrator Daniel Whitley stated Wednesday that FAS would be reverting temporarily to the old system while working to resolve issues with the new system.

He went on to say that FAS would not publish weekly export sales yesterday or next Thursday, September 8th. Regular reporting will resume September 15th.

Back to Top

August 26, 2022

High Plains Crop Report

Should producers spray for insects?

Cotton bolls that have accumulated at least 350 heat units are considered safe from damage by worms or Lygus. Bolls are safe from stink bugs once they have reached 450 heat units. Most of the area heat unit accumulation since August 1st is near the 450 heat unit threshold, according to Kerry Siders, Integrated Pest Management extension agent for Cochran, Hockley and Lamb Counties, which means they are likely safe from a late flush of these pests. The same is true for bolls set after August 1st — once they reach these heat unit benchmarks.

“I’m not saying that everybody’s out of the woods in terms of insects, because there is a fair amount of insect pressure out there in all crops,” said Kerry Siders, Integrated Pest Management extension agent for Cochran, Hockley and Lamb Counties. “However, be very careful of suggesting to someone to treat, because, even if there is damage, it may not justify the expense to treat.”

“There are many Lygus bugs out there,” added Megha Parajulee, Ph.D., professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology. “However, that’s just because they’re reproducing quickly and in great number during this time of the season. That doesn’t mean they’re damaging cotton plants, even though you may see many of them when you scout.”

One exception to this argument is the presence of cotton aphids. If late aphids are in your field, it might be worth looking into treatment options.

How much weed pressure is out there?

The rains that hit southern portions of the High Plains earlier this week have caused some regrowth in cotton plants. Siders pointed out last week that many fields don’t have a sufficient boll load to keep regrowth in check, which will negatively impact what little yield those fields were going to bring in before the rain. Several areas received downpours — Afton, Texas, received 8 inches of rain in less than 24 hours — while other areas received little. Lubbock, Texas, had received less than an inch as of 7 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022.

The rains also increased weed pressure. “Most of the weed pressure we’ve seen won’t amount to a whole lot for this year’s crop, but it does represent a fair amount of weed seed that will spread,” Siders said. “Even a little pigweed plant can have several hundred weed seed on it, so it does represent a problem.”

Siders added this is the perfect time to start sampling your soil for nematodes. For years now, 80% of the fields in Siders’ territory have had nematodes. Even if it’s a fallow field, it’s still worth sampling, he added. Nematode samples collected prior to harvest may give the best estimate of nematode populations, so now is the time to do it.

Back to Top

Tool for Harvest Decisions Coming Soon

One of the most common questions asked this year is, “Should I harvest low yielding cotton?” Will Keeling, extension risk management specialist in Lubbock, Texas, is putting together a spreadsheet to help producers as they make decisions for harvest. It’s estimated that the low supply of cotton worldwide could further increase market prices in October; therefore, experts advise against making hasty decisions. The spreadsheet will become available within the next two weeks.

Back to Top

FSA Certified Acreage Report Released

The August certified acreage report was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Aug. 22, 2022.

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Director of Policy Analysis and Research Shawn Wade put together a summary of the initial report from USDA FSA of Upland Cotton certified acreage for the 2022 growing season showing Texas and High Plains totals.

The data is still subject to revision as additional acreage is processed and reported to FSA. It is very likely that some portion of the acres that have already been released by the federal crop insurance program have not yet been fully reported to FSA since claims are still open. It is expected that additional failed acres will be reported to FSA in the coming weeks.

“We also expect to see additional acres evaluated/appraised by crop insurance after we get to September 15th and the appraisal process switches from the stand count process to a boll count procedure” Wade added.

The abandonment percentage is calculated by dividing the failed acre total by total planted acres.

To download chart, click image above.


To download chart, click image above.

Back to Top

August 19, 2022

How Does the Inflation Reduction Act Affect the Producer?

The Senate and House passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022.

While it is a very robust piece of legislation, the two main questions we continue to receive are:

  1. Is there any relief for agriculture in the legislation?
  2. What if any are the tax implications on myself/family or my operation going forward?

Below is a summary of some of the key ag related provisions per Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports along with some of the tax provisions that we continue to review and digest with other coalitions. We will circle back with updates and corrections as they become available.

Right now, there are very limited agriculture provisions that producers will be able to capture other than conservation programs, which is determined by the direction of the individual operation. It is our understanding that there should be minimal tax implications to production agriculture subject to further review of the bill and how IRS interprets the Act through rule making provisions.

Agricultural Conservation

The Inflation Reduction Act provides $19.5 billion for agricultural conservation. It adds over $18 billion in additional funding for existing farm bill conservation programs, including:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP; $8.45 billion)
  • Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP; $4.95 billion)
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP; $3.25 billion)
  • Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP; $1.40 billion).

These programs provide financial and technical assistance to private landowners to voluntarily implement conservation practices on agricultural land. Program funds will be directed to climate-change-related goals and will prioritize mitigation activities.

Agricultural Credit

The Inflation Reduction Act provides debt relief for distressed farm borrowers and assistance for underserved farmers and ranchers. These provisions would replace similar provisions from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that were blocked by the courts because the relief was found to be race-based and not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest. It would use budgetary offsets of about $6 billion that would be rescinded or repurposed from the ARPA funding.

The new debt relief program provides $3.1 billion for debt modifications, including debt forgiveness, for “distressed borrowers” of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency direct or guaranteed farm loans “whose agricultural operations are at financial risk.” USDA is expected to develop the criteria for eligibility once the legislation is enacted.

The bill also includes nearly $2.9 billion to help underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, defined to include those living in high poverty areas, veterans, limited resource producers, and beginning farmers and ranchers.

Most of this assistance ($2.2 billion) is designated for those who experienced discrimination before 2021 in USDA farm lending programs. Individual payments for discrimination would be limited to $500,000 and are to be administered by nongovernmental entities selected and overseen by USDA.

The bill also provides:

  • $125 million for technical assistance, outreach, and mediation.
  • $250 million for land loss assistance, such as heirs’ property and fractionated land.
  • $250 million for agricultural education emphasizing scholarships and career development at historically Black, tribal, and Hispanic colleges.
  • $10 million for equity commissions at USDA.

Corporate Tax Reform

The Inflation Reduction Act implements a provision that would impose a new alternative minimum tax of 15% on corporations based on financial income.

It would apply to corporations with $1 billion or more in average annual earnings in the previous three years.

In the case of U.S. corporations that have foreign parents, it would apply only to income earned in the United States of $100 million or more of average annual earnings in the previous three years (and apply when the international financial reporting group has income of $1 billion or more). It would apply to a new corporation in existence for less than three years based on the earnings in the years of existence.

The provision would exclude:

  • Subchapter S corporations
  • Regulated investment companies (RICs)
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs).

The tax would apply to large private equity firms organized as partnerships but excludes portfolio companies owned by these firms.

Firms that file consolidated returns would include income allocable to the firm from related firms including controlled foreign corporations (and any disregarded entities). For other related firms, dividends would be included. The provision would allow special deductions for cooperatives and Alaska Native Corporations. It would make adjustments to conform financial accounting to tax accounting for certain defined benefit pension plans. It would apply with respect to items under the unrelated business income tax for tax-exempt entities.

Financial income would be adjusted to allow depreciation deductions based on tax rules. It would also be adjusted to allow recovery of wireless spectrum rights as allowed under tax rules (recovered over 15 years).

The additional tax would equal the amount of the minimum tax in excess of the regular income tax plus the additional tax from the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse tax. Income would be increased by federal and foreign income taxes to place income on a pretax basis.

Losses would be allowed in the same manner as with the regular tax, with loss carryovers limited to 80% of taxable income.

Domestic credits under the general business tax (such as the R&D credit) would be allowed to offset up to 75% of the combined regular and minimum tax. Foreign tax credits would be allowed based on the allowance for foreign taxes paid in a corporation’s financial statement.

A credit for additional minimum tax could be carried over to future years to offset regular tax when that tax is higher. This tax would apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022.

Extension of Limitation on Excess Business Losses of Noncorporate Taxpayers

The Inflation Reduction Act extends the limitation on excess business losses of noncorporate taxpayers. Businesses are generally permitted to carry over a net operating loss (NOL) to certain past and future years.

Under the passive loss rules, individuals and certain other taxpayers are limited in their ability to claim deductions and credits from passive trade and business activities, although unused deductions and credits may generally be carried forward to the next year. Similarly, certain farm losses may not be deducted in the current year but can be carried forward to the next year.

For taxpayers other than C corporations, a deduction in the current year for excess business losses is temporarily disallowed (through 2026) and such losses are treated as a NOL carryover to the following year.

An excess business loss is the amount that a taxpayer’s aggregate deductions attributable to trades and businesses exceed the sum of:

  1. Aggregate gross income or gain attributable to such activities.
  2. $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing jointly), adjusted for inflation.

For partnerships and S corporations, this provision was applied at the partner or shareholder level. This provision would extend the temporary limitation through 2028.

IRS Enforcement Provisions

The Inflation Reduction Act provides the IRS $45.6 billion for tax enforcement activities such as hiring more enforcement agents, providing legal support, and investing in “investigative technology.”

The funds could also be used to monitor and enforce taxes on digital assets such as cryptocurrency. The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act required cryptocurrency brokers to report more information on their clients’ trading activity to the IRS starting in 2023.

IRS Operations Support

For operations support under the IRA, $25.3 billion was appropriated to the IRS. This funding would cover routine costs such as rent, facilities, printing, postage and security, as well as telecom and information technology. These funds could also go toward research and the IRS Oversight Board, which oversees and guides the IRS.

Taxpayer Services

The Inflation Reduction Act appropriates $3.2 billion for taxpayer services such as filing and account services, prefiling assistance and education. The IRS has struggled to provide quality service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of unprocessed tax returns at the end of the filing season rose from 7.4 million in 2019 to 35.8 million in 2021 and 13.3 million in 2022. Phone service also suffered. Whereas IRS customer service representatives answered 59% of phone calls they received in 2019, they answered 19% and 18% in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

In addition, the IRS receives $15 million under this bill to fund a task force that would study the cost and feasibility of creating a free direct e-file program. The agency previously committed not to create its own tax filing software as part of an alliance called the Free File Program.

In exchange, private tax filing software companies agreed to provide free services to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. Roughly 4% of eligible taxpayers used the Free File Program’s private providers to file their taxes in 2020.

Business System Modernization

The IRS also receives $4.8 billion for its Business Systems Modernization project under this bill. In 2019, the IRS released a plan to upgrade the business systems it uses to administer taxpayer services, operations, and cybersecurity. These additional funds could be invested in customer service technology such as automated callback systems for phone lines, but not used to operate legacy systems.


  • Congressional Research Service Reports: IN11978 Inflation Reduction Act: Agriculture Conservation and Credit, Renewable Energy, and Forestry
  • R47202 Tax Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
  • IN11977 IRS-Related Funding in the Inflation Reduction Act
Back to Top

ERP Phase 1B Applications Mailed Out

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced another installment (phase) in assistance to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021. More than 18,000 producers will soon receive new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to offset eligible crop losses. Approximately $6.4 billion has already been distributed to 261,017 producers through USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Emergency Relief Program (ERP).

“We knew when we announced ERP in May that we would have additional applications to send toward the end of the summer as we received new information, and we came to know of producers who were inadvertently left out of the first data set we used,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “I am proud of our team’s continued effort to capture additional insurance records to enable over 18,000 producers to receive new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to provide much needed financial relief.”

FSA will begin mailing pre-filled applications in late August to producers who have potentially eligible losses and:

  • Received crop insurance indemnities for qualifying 2020 and 2021 disaster events after May 2, 2022.
  • Received crop insurance indemnities associated with Nursery, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) and Margin Protection (MP) policies.
  • New primary policyholders not included in the initial insured producer Phase 1 mailing from May 25, 2022, because their claim records had not been filled.
  • Certain 2020 prevent plant losses related to qualifying 2020 disaster events that had only been recorded in crop insurance records as related to 2019 adverse weather events and, as such, were not previously provided in applications sent earlier this year.
  • New Substantial Beneficial Interest (SBI) records, including SBIs where tax identification numbers were corrected.

Producers are expected to receive assistance direct deposited into their bank account within three business days after they sign and return the pre-filled application to the FSA county office and the county office enters the application into the system.

Before applying any program payment factors or eligibility criteria, it is estimated that this next installment (phase) may generate about $756 million in assistance.

Emergency Relief Payments to Date

This emergency relief under ERP complements ERP assistance recently provided to more than 167,000 producers who had received crop insurance indemnities and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) payments for qualifying losses. USDA has processed more than 255,000 applications for ERP, and to date, has made approximately $6.4 billion in payments to commodity and specialty crop producers to help offset eligible losses from qualifying 2020 and 2021 natural disasters. Also, earlier this year, staff processed more than 100,000 payments through the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) and paid eligible producers more than $601.3 million for 2021 grazing losses within days of the program announcement.

Phase Two

The second phase of both ERP and ELRP will be aimed at filling gaps and provide assistance to producers who did not participate in or receive payments through the existing risk management programs that are being leveraged for phase one implementation. USDA will keep producers and stakeholders informed as program details are made available.

More Information

In addition, on Aug. 18, 2022, USDA published a technical correction to the Notice of Funds Availability for ERP and ELRP to clarify how income from the sale of farm equipment and the provision of production inputs and services to farmers, ranchers, foresters, and farm operations are to be considered in the calculation of average adjusted gross farm income.  Producers whose average adjusted gross farm income is at least 75% of the producer’s the average Adjusted Gross Income can gain access to a higher payment limitation.

ERP and the previously announced ELRP are authorized by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021.

For more information on ERP and ELRP eligibility, program provisions for historically underserved producers as well as Frequently Asked Questions, producers can visit FSA’s Emergency Relief webpage. Anew public-facing dashboard on the ERP webpage has information on ERP payments that can be sorted by crop type – specialty or non-specialty– specific commodities and state. FSA will update the dashboard every Monday.

Additional USDA disaster assistance information can be found on, including the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet and Farm Loan Discovery Tool. For FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent.

Back to Top

August 12, 2022

Weekly Cotton Market Review Provided by USDA-AMS

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Cotton and Tobacco Program, spot quotations were 376 points higher than the previous week.

Quotations for the base quality of cotton (color 41, leaf 4, staple 34, mike 35-36 and 43-49, strength 27.0-28.9, and uniformity 81.0-81.9) in the seven designated markets averaged 109.36 cents per pound for the week ending Thursday, August 11, 2022.

The weekly average was up from 105.60 cents last week and from 88.35 cents reported the corresponding period a year ago.

Daily average quotations ranged from a low of 105.94 cents Monday, August 8 to a season high of 114.80 cents Thursday, August 11. Spot transactions reported in the Daily Spot Cotton Quotations for the week ended August 11 totaled 1,763 bales. This compares to 311 bales reported last week and 1,389 spot transactions reported the corresponding week a year ago.

Total spot transactions for the season were 2,074 bales compared to 3,690 bales the corresponding week a year ago. The ICE October settlement price ended the week at 110.44 cents, compared to 100.12 cents last week.

Textile Mills
Domestic mill buyers inquired for a moderate volume of 2022-crop cotton, color 41, leaf 4, and staple 34 and longer for first quarter through fourth quarter 2023 delivery. No sales were reported. Yarn demand remained good, but mills operated at capacity as allowed by available labor. Mills continued to produce personal protective equipment for frontline workers and consumers.

Demand through export channels was good. Agents throughout the Far East inquired for any discounted styles of cotton.

Trading: West Texas
Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was light. Average local spot prices were higher. Producer interest in forward contracting was light. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Foreign mill inquiries were light. Logistics continued to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Widespread thundershowers brought up to two and one-half inches of beneficial rainfall. Daytime high temperatures were in the upper 80s to mid-100s. Moderate to heavy rainfall was hit or miss throughout the territory over a period of three days. Some fields in the Panhandle had standing water between the rows. The additional rain helped stands that were blooming and at peak water use. The precipitation came too late for many fields that had reached cut-out. Groundwater supplies remain short, and more moisture is needed to improve water table levels. Yields were expected to be below average. Gin personnel conducted maintenance and repairs on ginning equipment ahead of harvest.

Read the full report here.

Back to Top

In Case You Haven’t Shut the Water Off…

Kerry Siders, extension agent, integrated pest management, in Cochran, Hockley and Lamb Counties, is concerned that some producers may have a tendency to step up the irrigation toward the end of the growing season or that we may get some late rains.

“We have a lot of cotton that doesn’t have the fruit load to handle that kind of water and it will take back off growing again,” he said. “If that happens, there’s not a thing you can do to stop it. There’s not enough plant growth regulator in the world to stop it, so all it will do is detract from the yield that’s already set in place and hurt the quality of what little cotton we have.

If you’re still irrigating, I would caution you to be careful and always keep an eye on the weather down the road as far as you can, because what little cotton we do have can be undone very quickly. So from an agronomic standpoint, do not pour the coals to it, so-to-speak. It is too late to fertilize, it is too late to compensate with water. Tread lightly.”

Back to Top

NASS and WASDE Reports Released Today

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released a crop production report today, saying U.S. cotton production is forecast at 12.6 million 480-pound bales, down 28% from 2021. According to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, this is the lowest production forecast since 2009/2010 — the crop reduced by projected historically high abandonment in the Southwest.

Based on conditions — as of August 1, 2022 — yields are expected to average 846 pounds per harvested acre, up 27 pounds from 2021. Upland cotton production is forecast at 12.2 million bales, down 29% from 2021. All cotton area harvested is forecast at 7.13 million acres, down 31% from 2021.

In this month’s WASDE 2022/2023 U.S. cotton projections, beginning stocks are slightly larger, and a nearly 3-million-bale decrease in production results in lower exports, mill use and ending WASDE-627-5 stocks. Beginning stocks are larger as estimated exports for 2021/2022 are reduced 100,000 bales based on final Export Sales data and Census Bureau data through June.

Exports are projected 2 million bales lower than in July and mill use decreased by 200,000. Ending stocks are 600,000 bales lower, equating to 12.6 percent of expected use — eight percentage points lower than in 2021/22 — and the lowest stock/use ratio since 1924/25. The U.S. season-average price for upland cotton is forecast 2 cents higher this month at 97 cents per pound.

Back to Top

July 29, 2022

no cotton news next week

Emergency Relief Program Deadline Extended

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Wednesday that it will indefinitely extend the deadline for producers to return the pre-filled applications for Phase One of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP).  

Continuing to build on the initial mailing of pre-filled applications in May, USDA will continue using existing information in USDA and crop insurance files to send additional pre-filled applications starting this week for potentially eligible Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) participants. While most crop insurance customers that may be eligible for ERP Phase One received the pre-filed applications in May, there are some who should expect to receive a form in August including:

Producers who had an eligible loss in 2020 that had been recorded in the crop insurance records as a 2019 loss (e.g., prevented planting claims); and

Producers with policies that required additional information before being able to calculate an indemnity for 2021 losses (producers with 2020 losses would have already received that application).  Policies that required additional information include Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Margin Protection Plan (MP) or Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI).

Producers without risk management coverage through crop insurance or NAP and those with shallow losses may be covered by the forthcoming Phase Two of ERP.

USDA estimates that Phase One ERP benefits will reach more than 5,200 producers with NAP coverage for eligible 2020 and 2021 crop losses. This emergency relief complements ERP assistance recently provided to more than 162,000 producers who had received crop insurance indemnities for qualifying losses. Nearly 13,000 additional crop insurance customers will also receive pre-filled applications in August to cover eligible 2020 losses described above and for producers with more complex policies where indemnities could not be calculated for 2021 previously.

Back to Top

Field Days Offered to Growers

PhytoGen is hosting two field tours for growers August 25th and August 26th.

Through these tours, you can earn continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture Applicator Drift Minimization (1 credit), Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Soil and Water (0.5 units), CCA Integrated Pest Management (1.5 units), and CCA Crop Management (1 unit).

The tour will start at 9 a.m. on August 25th, followed by lunch at Cook’s Garage.

The August 26th field day will begin with lunch at Cook’s followed by 1:30 p.m. tour.

The tours consist of Enlist system demos, variety trials showcase and a session on the new trait package offering tolerance to 2,4-D and glufosinate, for use with Enlist One herbicide.

If you have questions, contact Ken Legé at

Back to Top
Joey Maguire Plains Ginners Association

Cotton USA Special Trade Mission from Pakistan Comes to Lubbock

Textile executives representing 21 Pakistani companies toured the U.S. Cotton Belt starting July 23rd, landing in Lubbock, Texas, July 27th through the 28th.

Pakistan is the third largest cotton consuming country after China and India with total cotton consumption estimated at 11.1 million bales in 2021-2022. The companies that participated in this year’s trade mission collectively consume around 4.4 million bales annually. For the 2021-2022 marketing year, U.S. cotton export sales to these tour participants total 1.5 million bales.

The Pakistan trade delegation told cotton organizations and merchants on the 28th that their production will be down this year. They estimate they will need to import seven to eight million bales this year — and they hope this cotton will come from the U.S. Many of the mills represented on the trade mission have expansion plans, making this visit an ideal opportunity to grow U.S. cotton sales now and in the years ahead in this important market, said Carlos Garcia, export sales manager for Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) and Cotton Council International president.

The Lubbock trade mission seminar was held at the new USDA-AMS Cotton Classification Complex on the Texas Tech University campus, which is scheduled for a grand opening in August. On behalf of Plains Cotton Growers Inc. (PCG), director of communications and public affairs Kara Bishop presented on cotton production in Texas and the High Plains; Carlos Garcia, presented on Texas cotton supply and quality. Texas Cotton Association President Nick Peay presented on Texas reliability, service, demand and logistics, while Texas A&M University AgriLife Research Professor Jane Dever, Ph.D., focused on Texas cotton quality and developmental research. A tour of the new classing office was provided by area director Danny Martinez at the end of the seminar.

PCG officers attended a dinner with the trade delegation on the evening of the 27th, providing education on cotton production in the High Plains region.

Back to Top

July 22, 2022

U.S. Capitol Building

Legislative Update

On behalf of Plains Cotton Growers Inc., chief executive officer, Kody Bessent, went to Washington D.C. July 14 and 15 to meet with Congressional members and staff in advance of the House considering the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Agriculture Appropriations bill. While there, he expressed PCG’s sincere gratitude for the recently implemented Emergency Relief Program — an effort worked on and supported by Congress and advocacy organizations, including PCG, since March 2021.

Additionally, Bessent provided an update regarding the ongoing adversity producers and infrastructure face this cropping season due to high winds, below normal rainfall and extreme temperatures that have had a negative impact on cotton acres and production. He emphasized the potential need for future assistance should conditions persist.

Bessent attended key political events on behalf of PCG where we continue to build upon our advocacy and coalition efforts in advance of the development of the 2023 Farm Bill. He also had the opportunity to visit with producer participants of the National Cotton Council Policy Education Program, discussing the importance of advocacy in agriculture.

PCG CEO Kody Bessent with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and NCC Senior Government Relations Representative Robbie Minnich.

This week, the House advanced H.R. 8294, a mini-series of six of the 12 FY 2023 spending bills — including the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill — on a 220 to 207 vote. Specifically, the agriculture related provisions of the minibus include $27.2 billion in discretionary funding in FY 2023, $2.08 billion more than the FY 2022 level. The bill also includes mandatory funding for nutrition assistance and crop insurance programs, which would bring the total to $195.6 billion.

Cotton initiatives specifically included in the legislation are the following:

  • $1 million above FY 2022 support levels for research efforts to combat whiteflies that are severely impacting vegetable and cotton production in southeastern parts of the U.S.
  • $15.9 million provided for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine Cotton Pests Programs to ensure APHIS and the cotton industry have adequate funding to prevent cotton boll weevil reinfestation in areas of the U.S. where it has been successfully eradicated.
  • $4 million provided for improvements to the U.S. cotton classing offices and operations as Congress acknowledges the challenges presented during the 2021 cotton season such as extensive delays in quality designation, contract delivery and loan repayments.

Furthermore, Congress encourages the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to continue to work with its customers to secure stability and dependability of the cotton classification program to ensure it accurately processes numerous samples of cotton in a timely manner with less reliance on seasonal staff, which translates to less disruption of market opportunities for producers.

House Democrats are hoping to clear most of the 12 appropriations bills by the end of this month. However, at this point, the initial passage of this week’s minibus spending package does not have a clear path forward before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Furthermore, the Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to schedule any hearings to mark up any of the spending bills, undoubtedly teeing up Congress to pass a continuing resolution at the beginning of FY 2023 to avoid a government shutdown.

This will likely result in a lame-duck negotiating session to pass either an omni spending package or a year-long continuing resolution. As progress on these initiatives are made, PCG will continue to keep our members and readership updated on its advancement.

Back to Top

Field Days Offered to Growers

PhytoGen is hosting two field tours for growers August 25th and August 26th.

Through these tours, you can earn continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture Applicator Drift Minimization (1 credit), Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) Soil and Water (0.5 units), CCA Integrated Pest Management (1.5 units), and CCA Crop Management (1 unit).

The tour will start at 9 a.m. on August 25th, followed by lunch at Cook’s Garage.

The August 26th field day will begin with lunch at Cook’s followed by 1:30 p.m. tour.

The tours consist of Enlist system demos, variety trials showcase and a session on the new trait package offering tolerance to 2,4-D and glufosinate, for use with Enlist One herbicide.

If you have questions, contact Ken Legé at

Back to Top

Musings from Mark: High Plains Crop Conditions

Cotton growers on the High Plains planted an estimated 4.3 to 4.4 million acres of cotton in 2022. This growing season has dealt many challenges to producers. After a dry winter and a large 2021 crop, the 2022 season began with virtually no sub-soil moisture aside from pre-plant irrigation. Spring/summer growing challenges included: high winds, below normal rainfall, high temperatures and isolated damaging hail. On May 22nd, Amarillo recorded a minimum temperature of 39 degrees. Lubbock has experienced more than 20 days at or above 100, with more in the forecast. These conditions have been reminiscent of the epic drought of 2011.

The deadline for certifying acreage was July 15th, so we are still awaiting official reports of planted and failed acres. More than half of the acres are non-irrigated. We have already lost most of the dryland acres to drought and some of the irrigated acres to wind, hail and excessive heat.

Many cotton fields in the northern Panhandle are thin and estimated at 10 days behind normal development. Most of our region continues to suffer from lack of rainfall and high temperatures. A few “July 4th” blooms were observed in early planted fields. Many fields are reaching early bloom as of mid-July, with a range of five to nine nodes above white flower (NAWF) in irrigated fields. Many drylands fields have already reached cutout (4 or fewer NAWF) Many fields do not have enough irrigation capacity to keep up with evapotranspiration demand during bloom, so yield potential will continue to decline in those fields without rainfall.

The percentage of fruit retention is very good in most fields. The National Weather Service official rainfall in Lubbock is 4.79 inches (43% of normal rainfall January through July). Lubbock has experienced 27 days at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit thus far in 2022. In 2011, 48 days at or above 100 degrees were recorded.

As fields enter the bloom and boll set phase, daily water use increases rapidly as does nitrogen uptake. Evapotranspiration was high this week because of extreme temperatures. Therefore, fields experienced increased water demand. Many dryland fields are blooming out of the top of the plant.

The intensity of this drought is not as widespread across the High Plains or other regions of Texas as compared to the 2011 drought, although, some counties are just as severe. However, three differences are noted:

1) There was virtually no sub-soil moisture at the beginning of this season while there was sub-soil moisture beginning in 2011.
2) Input costs (electricity, diesel, fertilizer, etc) are generally much higher respective to 2011.

3) Irrigation capacity has declined in most areas since 2011.

Back to Top

July 15, 2022

Mozena Obtusa Plant Bug Found

West Plains IPM Update by Kerry Siders

Over the last 24 hours I have received several calls about “a bug” that is being found in extremely high numbers. A majority of these inquires are coming from the southwest portion of Hockley County particularly near

Immature Mozena obtusa plant bug on cotton leaf (Photo by K. Siders)

Sundown. So, this “bug’ is a true bug known as Mozena Obtusa Uhler plant bug. If you might recall we dealt with this insect back in August of 2014, mostly out in Cochran County then. The Mozena plant bug is in the family Coreidae, which a group of insects given the common name of leaffooted bug.

The common thread from 2014 to 2022 is our drought conditions. A couple other things: this insects’ primary host is mesquite, a legume. They feed on the beans. Dr. Pat Porter documented feeding on peas and corn in 2014. I noted them in cotton back in 2014, but ot the sheer numbers I am seeing now, and it is a month earlier. Reports from Midland and Odessa area indicate high populations there as well. All of this said, how important is this insect? Honestly in the numbers I have seen in cotton (+20 per cotton plant of the immature) occupying all parts of the plant, I am concerned. As evidence to support this concern is a particular field I scout weekly. Last week square set was perfect at 100% after the first 12 days of squaring. Then this week it dropped to 79%. No other insects, drip cotton, good moisture, no environmental event to point finger at, and yet missing squares not present to dissect to determine possible cause of death.

One think observed in this example I use is we did not find egg masses. Were these immature plant bugs hatched in this field or did they crawl? Understand, immatures do not have functioning wings yet. They can travel quickly on the ground, though. This insect is often treated like a stink bug; however, stink bugs typically do not feed on cotton squares but rather bolls.

Adult Mozena Obtusa plant bug.

I would treat them more like a Lygus when they are present in these numbers (+5 per plant). Although not as damaging as a Lygus would be at these numbers. Dr. Suhas Vyavhare did put out an insecticide trial this morning (7/12/22) to see what works best. Typically, a pyrethroid would be considered first, but concern about flaring aphids always enters the picture. I will keep you informed of the results. Homeowners are calling about this insect as well. The most effective insecticides are the pyrethroid based products. Some examples of pyrethroid active ingredients include: bifenthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthrin. Insecticides, including organic products work best against the nymphal stages so frequent scouting of host plants is recommended to detect early stages of an infestation. When using an insecticide read and follow label directions for safety precautions, rates and preharvest intervals. If you have questions, feel free to call at (806)894-3150.

Back to Top

Ag Leaders Call on EPA

The Republican Leader of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), and the Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.), sent a letter to the EPA about the concerning trend of disregarding scientifically-sound, risk-based regulatory processes, and unilaterally denying access to a range of crop protection tools.

In the letter, Boozman and Thompson write, “Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the global food system resulting in increased energy prices, fertilizer cost spikes and shortages, and worsening food shortages in developing countries. As the world faces an emerging food crisis due to this conflict, our policies should be focused on supporting American production instead of creating further burden and ambiguity for our farmers and ranchers.”

They continue, “We once again seek your assurances and commitment to ensure this Administration and EPA cease the politicization of critical crop protection tools, adhere to a science-based and transparent regulatory process required under FIFRA, and defend the work of its career scientists to overcome these misguided decisions from the Ninth Circuit. Such actions would provide farmers and ranchers a consistent and predictable regulatory process necessary for U.S. producers to continue to feed, fuel, and clothe the world.”

BACKGROUND: The letter follows a previous bicameral letter led by Thompson and Boozman on November 19, 2021, which called on the EPA to rescind its decision to revoke all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos and ensure its future actions related to the registration or registration review of crop protection tools are consistent with the science-based, regulatory process required under EPA’s congressionally mandated authorities. To date, that letter has gone unanswered.

Back to Top

2022 State of the U.S. Textile Industry

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) held its annual meeting in May. According to Textile World magazine, NCTO chairman David Poston outlined key industry facts and economic data, noting the industry’s rebound in 2021 in his “State of the U.S. Textile Industry” address. 

“If 2020 was a year marked by an economic downturn and once-in-a-generation pandemic and health crisis, 2021 was defined by a rebound of remarkable proportions in our industry — nearly on par with the performance of pre-pandemic levels in 2019. 

The Numbers

In 2021, the value of U.S. man-made fiber, textile and apparel shipments totaled an estimated $65.2 billion, compared to $60.8 billion in 2021. 

U.S. exports were also up compared to 2020. Exports of fibers, textiles and apparel were $28.4 billion in 2021, compared with $25.3 billion in 2020. 

Capital expenditures have remained strong. Investment in yarn, fabric, apparel and sewn product manufacturing in 2020 hit $1.85 billion. Since 2011, capital investment in U.S. yarn, fabric, apparel and sewn products manufacturing totaled $20.2 billion. 

“We will closely monitor emerging issues this year, including spiking global fuel prices stemming from the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and mounting inflationary pressures on consumer products, as well as the multitude of other issues highlighted,” Poston concluded.

Back to Top

July 8, 2022

Free Fall Ends As Market Finds Support

Excerpt Taken From Article By Jeff Thompson, Autauga Quality Cotton

In desperate need of a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, last week’s market did receive some first aid with the help of a limit up move on Wednesday. Even though December futures

According to Jim Wiesemeyer with ProFarmer, JPMorgan Chase & Co. commodity strategist Tracey Allen said about $15 billion moved out of commodity futures markets during the week ended June 24. It was the fourth straight week of outflows totaling about $125 billion that has been pulled from commodities this year, a seasonal record that tops even the exodus in 2020 as economies closed.
Cotton prices unraveled, losing more than a third of its price since early May. Benchmark prices for building materials copper and lumber dropped 22% and 31%, respectively.

gave up a half cent on the week, it was a moral victory considering the prior week’s 21-cent loss. Another positive, the uptrend line remained intact as prices rebounded from a low of 91.20 to close last Friday at 97.48. (PCG Note: Prices closed at 95.63 today.)

Managed Funds remain in control continuing to liquidate their long position. The latest COT report reflective of activity from Wednesday, June 22 through Tuesday, June 28 shows them reducing their longs by 1.4 million bales in addition shorted the market two hundred thousand bales. This equates to a net long position of 4.6 million bales, a significant decline from 9.4 million bales on October 1, 2021, when cotton prices first exceeded a dollar.

Even the insistently long Index funds have been net sellers 13 of the past 16 weeks. Pessimism concerning the world economy, fear of demand destruction, and failing technical charts have all led to this change of heart. Though we find it little consolation, cotton is not alone.

Currently, only 9% of all commodities are trading above their 100-day moving average while a mere 33% are above their 200-day. Economic data certainly warrants such fear, as consumer spending declined 0.4% from the previous month to its lowest level this year due largely to a 6.3% rise in consumer prices.

Nevertheless, current export sales do not reflect a serious decline in demand. But keep in mind the futures market, as the name implies, trades on what it thinks is going to happen in the future and not so much on current conditions. With July now off the board, December futures will take on a life of its own. Expect a great deal of volatility as production numbers become a moving target that will be weighed against world demand.

Back to Top

Atrazine Registration Reopened

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reopened today the finalized re-registration of atrazine, a widely utilized herbicide in crop production, and is proposing to replace the approved 15 parts per billion (ppb) concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) in the aquatic assessment with the ultra-low 3.4 ppb CE-LOC proposed in 2016—a severely restricted level not supported by credible scientific evidence that would have a devastating impact on farmers. The comment period will be open in the Federal Register for 60 days. 

Back to Top

Court Rules in Favor of Rural Phone Providers

The Public Utility Commission must immediately restore over $200 million in past-due support to rural telephone providers from the Texas Universal Service Fund, the Texas Third Court of Appeals ruled.

The fund is a a state program designed to ensure reliable and affordable telecommunications connectivity in rural Texas. The commission “acted without legal authority” when it stopped meeting more than 70% of its service fund obligations in January 2021, the court ruled June 30th.

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. has been involved in this advocacy effort since 2020, joining Sen. Charles Perry (R-Texas) and multiple Texas agriculture agencies in letters to both Gov. Greg Abbott and the Public Utility Commission of Texas. 

“For two years, rural Texans have faced the uncertainty of whether their local phone companies would be able to ride out the financial storm created when the Public Utility Commission stopped funding universal communications services for rural areas of the state — and whether they might face dramatic increases in their phone bills or lose service altogether as a result,” said Rusty Moore, General Manager and COO of BBT Telecom and Board President of the Texas Telephone Association.

The service fund is “a fundamental building block of a connected rural Texas,” Moore said

Back to Top

Pests Quiet, Some Sneaking In

By Blayne Reed, Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Hale and Swisher Counties

Almost all fields in the area are irrigated. Dryland fields might not be mentioned for the remainder of the season although a few in the area are still hanging on somewhere just above the permanent wilting point.

The remaining fields are making good progress, rushing through developmental stages rapidly so long as soil moisture is available. A few more pests are creeping into our scouting data sets, but nothing is widespread yet despite some threats out there to keep us on our scouting toes.

Overall I am pretty pleased with weed control but there are some serious battles ongoing with unrelenting weed pressure and a hot, tough to kill weeds environment. 

Full article found in the link on the byline.

Back to Top

July 1, 2022

USDA Has Issued $557.5 Million in Emergency Relief Program Payments to Texas Agricultural Producers

Eligible producers in Texas have received $557.5 million in funding to date. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed out pre-filled applications in late May to producers with crop insurance who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Commodity and specialty crop producers have until July 22 to complete applications.

“Over the course of the past two years, natural disaster events in Texas have resulted in catastrophic production and property losses for our agricultural producers,” said Kelly Adkins, State Executive Director for Farm Service Agency in Texas. “Although these payments will not make these producers whole, they will help alleviate some of the financial stressors brought on by these severe and devastating weather events.”

“USDA announced that $4 billion of Phase One has been paid out of the expected $6 billion in Phase One payments,” said Tom Sell, J.D., co-founder of Combest, Sell and Associates, at this morning’s Plains Cotton Advisory Group meeting. “However, we have heard that there will be a Phase one-B, where FSA will take in the 2021 area-based policies, crop insurance policies like SCO or STAX and issue letters to producers who may apply. Following this will be Phase Two, which will take in errors from Phase One and a certain window of shallow losses that didn’t trigger crop insurance indemnities. I’m told the Phase One-B payments will be issued in late July with Phase Two payments potentially in late August.”

Back to Top

Supreme Court Curbs EPA’s Power to Regulate Emissions and Fight Climate Change

The Supreme Court has made it more challenging for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases and fight climate change, as justices ruled Thursday in favor of Republican-led states and coal companies that asked the court to limit how much the EPA can control emissions from power plants. The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines that the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to create caps for greenhouse gas emissions. The consolidated cases are known as West Virginia v. EPA.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court’s conservatives. “Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day’ ” Roberts wrote, referring to a court precedent. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.”

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the dissenters, countered: “Today, the Court strips the EPA of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time,’ ” referring to another precedent.

GOP-led states and coal companies had sued the Biden administration to limit how much the EPA can regulate emissions from power plants, even though the administration hasn’t actually come up with a rule for those emissions yet. The challengers wanted the Supreme Court to preemptively decide how far the Biden administration can go in terms of regulating the emissions, though the White House argued the court shouldn’t rule against the administration while the issue is still “abstract.”

“The only question before the Court is more narrow: whether the ‘best system of emission reduction’ identified by EPA in the Clean Power Plan was within the authority granted to the Agency in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act,” the majority opinion read. “For the reasons given, the answer is no.”

“Today’s news is also a big win for our economy and agriculture in America, as the EPA has been among the worst offenders of usurping congressional authority,” said Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican member of the House Agriculture and Transportation committees. “With the court’s decision today, the EPA, and ultimately other agencies, will have their wings clipped.”

Impacts. While the case was focused on the EPA, critics have warned the court’s ruling could be used to stymie other federal agencies’ abilities to impose regulations and make policies themselves, rather than Congress. “Almost everything about these cases … [is] manufactured in an effort to return to an era free from oversight by the government,” Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote in a brief to the court.

Bottom line: The ruling delivers a blow to Democrats and environmental groups, who want the agency to crack down on emissions from power plants and other sources to mitigate climate change. Also, companies across the board could face a patchwork of rulings by different courts, rather than one agency’s decision, former FCC official Blair Levin told the Washington PostNew York Times writer Coral Davenport told the paper’s Climate Forward newsletter that to meet President Biden’s pledge to cut greenhouse gases 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, most experts say the United States would need a combination of new legislation and aggressive regulations. “This decision takes one of those tools and makes it far less effective,” she said. But the move will likely increase the push in Congress by Democrats to clear a reconciliation package that includes energy-related programs and funding. Also, the court is set to hear a similar case on Waters of the United States laws later this year.

-Jim Wiesemeyer, ProFarmer

Back to Top

Unwanted or Surplus Agricultural Pesticides?

On Wednesday, August 3rd, dispose of your unwanted or excess pesticides at Moore County Gin (11800 U.S. HWY 287 North, Dumas, Texas 79029) from 8 a.m. to noon.

Back to Top

Cotton Industry Seeks Volunteer Leaders

The success of the High Plains cotton industry, like any group effort, is directly tied to the willingness of qualified individuals to volunteer to serve in various leadership positions.

PCG encourages all qualified individuals — active producer that has a 578 crop acreage certification —  in the High Plains interested in serving as a representative to the Cotton Board, National Cotton Council or Cotton Incorporated, to contact the PCG office at 806-792-4904 for more information.

Back to Top

Texas Drought Approaching 2011’s Historic Levels

More than 45% of the contiguous US is currently in drought, with many parts of the southwest experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought. And no state has it worse than Texas.

Officials say 2022 is already one for the record books in Texas, with more than 80% of the state facing drought conditions most of the year. Comparisons are already being made to the drought of 2011, with some believing this year could eclipse 2011 as the state’s worst.

About 17% of all land in Texas is experiencing “exceptional” drought, the highest such figure for late June since 2011. That year, over 70% of the state’s land experienced “exceptional” drought in late June.

The driest year on record for Texas was 2011, causing an estimated $7.62 billion in crop and livestock losses.

New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows there is a reason for Texans to be concerned about the weather this year: Last month tied for the warmest May on record in the state, along with May 2018. The early heat was followed by more drought.

The wide-spread drought in West Texas has already surpassed some 2011 records. Midland, Tex., had its driest period on record from September 2021 to May 31, when it received only 8% of its normal rainfall. The second driest was in 2011.

In the same time period, Lubbock experienced its seventh-driest time on record overall, but the driest since 2011. Lubbock also had six days reach 100 degrees or higher from March through May — tying for the third-highest number of 100-degree days in those months in Lubbock’s records, going back to 1914.

Texas can expect more of the same in the season ahead, the lead meteorologist for the state’s principal grid-management agency reported on June 21, the first day of summer.

It’s “close to a lock” that Summer 2022 in Texas will be hotter than last year’s summer, the forecaster, Chris Coleman, told ERCOT’s board. In the immediate prelude to the just-starting summer, May 2022 was hotter in Texas than May 2011, Coleman added.

This article by Greg Henderson was originally published on AgWeb. 

Back to Top

June 24, 2022

Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-Pa.)

Chasing Service

How Washing a Fire Truck Led Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) to Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee 

By Kara Bishop

Down in the Nittany Valley at the central ridge of the Allegheny Mountains sits Howard, Pennsylvania. This metropolis in Centre County of 720 people and one traffic light is where Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) was born and raised by loving parents. After serving during the Korean War in the U.S. Navy, Thompson’s father went to school to become a tool and dye maker. He would freeze his retirement 15 years later and build a sporting goods store in his front yard, where he and his wife ran the business together.

While most teenagers enjoyed sleeping in on the weekends, Thompson was up at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays to open the store. “What I wouldn’t give to sleep till six nowadays,” he added.

Thompson’s grandfather was a dairyman, but Thompson’s father couldn’t take over the family business as many dairy farms in the area were lost through eminent domain to build the Foster J. Sayers Dam at the Bald Eagle State Park.

“At least two generations have mostly passed since the first drops of water flowed over the spillway, heading downstream to join the Susquehanna River,” according to the Centre County Gazette. “But the children and grandchildren of the property owners most affected by the dam, or the ‘damn dam’ as they call it, still vividly recall the impact of the project on the town and surrounding farms.” It’s no surprise Thompson adamantly supports private property rights.

The farms Thompson’s family once worked are now at the bottom of a lake in Bald Eagle State Park. Thompson’s father would guide boats across the lake where the family dairy farms once stood — instead of herding cattle, he was herding fisherman. “The irony isn’t lost on me,” Thompson added.

Thompson married into the executive branch. “She was my seventh-grade class president,” he said of his wife, Penny. They were blessed to raise three boys in their hometown and the boys even graduated from the same high school as their father. “Rural living is all I’ve ever known,” Thompson added.

Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-Pa.) and "Rooster" at the Congressman's home in Howard, Pennsylvania.

Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) and “Rooster” at the Congressman’s home in Howard, Pennsylvania.

It’s been quite a journey for Thompson to become the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee with some unconventional stops along the way.

Health Care
Thompson identified his life purpose at 11 years old. As a Boy Scout, he engaged in many service projects, one of which was washing the city fire trucks. Not only was it one of the highlights of his childhood — who wouldn’t want to climb all over a fire truck? — but it instilled in him a desire to make a difference in the lives of other people. To serve.

To pay for tuition while in college, Thompson worked the night shift of a local nursing home and fell in love with health care. He earned a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic rehabilitation and dual master’s degrees: one in therapeutic rehabilitation and one in health science.

Thompson spent the next 28 years working as a therapist rehabilitation services manager where he worked to restore patients’ quality of life. Sometimes restoration wasn’t possible, but that didn’t stop Thompson. A man in his late 20s had significant neurological impairment from Lyme’s disease and was living as a quadriplegic completely dependent on everyone for survival. When he came to Thompson’s rehabilitation facility, he engaged in aquatic therapy. In water, without gravity to chain him to a chair or bed, he could move his limbs and take a slight step. “We couldn’t help him achieve more mobility or independence in the long term,” Thompson said. “However, watching him achieve a minute amount of freedom while in the water was something I will never forget. Obviously, the aquatic therapy provided physical benefits, but when we got in the water, the emotional lift that man experienced could not be matched.”

More than a decade after he stopped working in therapeutic rehabilitation, people still approach Thompson and thank him for how he changed their child’s life, grandmother’s life, their own life.

From Washing the Fire Truck to Driving It
Living in a small trailer just outside of Howard with his new wife, Thompson lay awake listening to the fire whistle sound off about a mile away. Wee-oww, wee-oww, wee-oww.

He found out the next day that a structure fire had killed a young mom and her infant son.

“I couldn’t handle it,” Thompson added. “I couldn’t handle it.”

He joined the volunteer fire department that day and served just shy of 30 years — 20 of which he spent as president of the company. When asked why he became a state-certified firefighter, EMT and rescue technician, Thompson replied, “There was a need.”

The Road to Congress
Thompson was 12 years old when he won his first election: assistant patrol leader. Years later he ran for an appointment to the Bald Eagle Area School Board. Community involvement was a passion for Thompson and he decided he wanted to take it further.

Thompson ran for state representative and lost. Twice.

A few months after his last loss, Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) announced he would not run for reelection.

“I was heartbroken,” Thompson said. “Literally heartbroken because he was my champion. He was my go-to guy, and you would think that I would be celebrating his retirement, right? But I wasn’t.”

Eight people in the Republican Party announced they were running for Peterson’s seat before Thompson threw his hat in the ring. “I was the last one to sign up to run and had no money.” Three of his opponents spent $3.5 million on their campaigns collectively. Thompson raised $24,000 and saved some of it for the celebration party, just in case.

He won the primary by 1%.

The Congressman
After winning the election against Democratic nominee Mark McCracken by 16%, Thompson was the House representative for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District — Thompson was redistricted to the 15th Congressional District in the 2018 election by order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

When he chose to serve on the House Agriculture Committee, he received many questions. “Why would you serve on the ag committee when you’re from Pennsylvania?” Pennsylvania’s biggest commodity is dairy, but it’s surprisingly diverse. According to Thompson, the state boasts the finest hardwoods, many vineyards and fruit trees in the southern region, livestock, multiple row crops are represented, and it’s the world epicenter for mushrooms. After a while though, Thompson got tired of his long explanation to that question and started saying, “I like to eat.”

His tie to the cotton industry is through his friends. “Mike Conaway (House Representative from 2005 to 2021 who served as both chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.) taught me a lot about cotton and I taught him about trees seeing as he literally had a town in his district called Notrees, Texas,” Thompson added. “He and Colin Peterson (House Representative from 1991 to 2021 who served as both chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee two different times.) both educated me on the cotton industry.”

As Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, Thompson has a seat at all hearings by the full committee and subcommittees. He is present at every hearing. “I work very hard to show up and participate in the subcommittee hearings scheduled — this work is important.”

Looking Toward the 2023 Farm Bill
If Thompson does chair the House Agriculture Committee in November, he plans to prioritize the upcoming Farm Bill and amp up the intensity of discussion. By this time in 2018, 100 Farm Bill hearings by full committee and subcommittees had been conducted. As of June 14, 2022, there have been 12. While frustrated by the slow progress — especially considering almost 200 members of Congress have never voted on a Farm Bill before — Thompson is ready to figure out what works and what doesn’t. “The point of these hearings is to improve upon the previous legislation,” he added. “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. However, there may be some things that need tweaking to benefit our farmers, ranchers and foresters.” When asked about a possible extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, he said, “Extension is better than expiration; however, we’re going to do all we can to get a good bill passed in 2023.”

PCG CEO Kody Bessent, Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-Pa.), PCG Vice President Travis Mires, and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), at the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

PCG CEO Kody Bessent, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.), PCG Vice President Travis Mires, and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), at the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas.

To prepare in the event he does become chair, Thompson has visited 35 states since January 2021, going on a listening tour of different agricultural sectors. In June 2021, he attended the West Texas Rural Summit and Tour in Lubbock, Texas, and surrounding areas. Plains Cotton Growers Inc. helped educate him on field research and assisted with a tour of the Meadow Farmers Cooperative Gin and Farmhouse Winery. This year, Thompson visited the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, in May as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture classing office in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended the Cotton Warehouse Association of America Annual Convention in June.

“I can learn the issues by talking to people about it, but I really like seeing it with my own eyes,” he said. “I want to experience it as the farmers, ranchers, foresters and processors experience it. It’s a blessing to meet all these folks in agriculture and an honor to bring their voices back to Washington D.C. as we work on the Farm Bill.”

While disaster assistance is a topic at hand when looking at the upcoming Farm Bill, Thompson’s concern is the possible weakening of crop insurance. “Are there trends or patterns consistently out there that should be incorporated into crop insurance? I think it’s something we need to think about when evaluating some of these existing programs. If we do implement a permanent disaster relief component, then I would like to see more timely payments.” Thompson also is cautious as to using permanent language. “If we have permanent disaster language in the bill, it will be harder to respond to the actual disasters that farmers, ranchers and foresters are responding to at any given moment.”

With inflation and input costs diminishing high market prices, Thompson is deeply concerned about profits for farm families. “At the end of the day, agriculture is a business,” he said in a Farm Bill Hearing conducted by the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. “It’s not about what you bring in — it’s about the profit margin you’re left with. Commodity prices can drop overnight, but once input costs are raised, they’re not going to come back down easily.”

While the journey wasn’t ‘traditional,’ the Boy Scout, sporting goods store worker, health care rehabilitation manager and school board member has always had one goal in mind: improve the lives of those around him. And if all goes as planned, he will chair the committee that writes the 2023 Farm Bill. If only 11-year-old GT could see himself now.

Back to Top

New FSA Rural Development State Director

Lillian Salerno returns to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the Rural Development State Director in Texas with over two decades of experience leading teams in government and industry. 

Prior to her current appointment, Salerno served in the Obama-Biden Administration for six years, first as the Rural Business Administrator and later as Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development. As Deputy Undersecretary, Lillian was a member of the White House Rural Council where she provided a voice for rural Americans and their concerns regarding economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship and access to capital for new and beginning farmers. 

Salerno holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program offered by Harvard University.

Back to Top

20th Edition Alternative Crop Guide Released

The “2022 Alternative Crop Options After Failed Cotton and Late-Season Crop Planting for the Texas South Plains” is now available. This resource can help farmers in the Texas High Plains with decisions regarding storm and wind damage, crop options, herbicides that won’t limit these options after failed cotton, and recommended planting dates for many late-season crops.

Download a copy here.

Back to Top

Glyphosate in the News

Discussion around Glyphosate — a widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup product — intensified this week, as several court decisions were announced.

Jury Decision Marks Fourth Consecutive Win in in Court for Bayer and Roundup

Last Friday, a jury concluded that Roundup did not cause an Oregon man’s cancer, which, according to Rhonda Brooks with AgWeb, marked the fourth consecutive win in court for the company.

“The jury’s unanimous verdict in favor of the company brings this trial to a successful conclusion and is consistent with the evidence in this case that Roundup does not cause cancer and was not the cause of Mr. Johnson’s (one of the plaintiffs) cancer,” Bayer said, in a prepared statement. “While we have great sympathy for Mr. Johnson, the jury has weighed the evidence from both sides in this case and concluded that Roundup is not responsible for his injuries.”

Court Rejects EPA Glyphosate Analysis

Also on Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to reject the Environmental Protective Agency’s analysis for determining glyphosate as ‘likely not carcinogenic to people.’ According to Chris Clayton, DTN policy editor, the court ordered EPA to conduct further analysis and explanation. Clayton went on to add:

The ruling, if left standing, will force EPA to re-examine the registration of glyphosate under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) when it comes to whether there is link between glyphosate and cancer.

The ruling came in a pair of cases filed by environmental and farm labor groups against EPA. Several major agricultural groups fighting to keep glyphosate’s registration and usage legal also had intervened in the case.

Bayer AG, in a statement to DTN, cited multiple risk assessments of glyphosate and statements from EPA on the herbicide. Most recently, EPA sent a letter to California regulators in April that the agency “continues to stand behind its robust scientific evaluation and its conclusions regarding glyphosate’s non-carcinogenicity remains consistent with many international expert panels and regulatory authorities.” EPA’s 2020 interim registration also found no association between glyphosate-based herbicides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bayer noted.

Bayer stated: “We believe that the U.S. EPA will continue to conclude, as it and other regulators have consistently concluded for more than four decades, that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, and we are committed to working with the Agency to minimize the environmental impacts of our products. Importantly, the current product registrations remain in place and growers and other users can continue to use the products based on the current label instructions.”

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bayer’s Appeal in Roundup-Cancer Case

Three days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to deny Bayer’s bid to hear an appeal for the Roundup/cancer case “Monsanto Co. vs. Hardeman,” according to Gil Gullickson with “Successful Farming.”

Agricultural groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association and National Cotton Council issued the following statement regarding the court’s decision:

“We are disappointed the Supreme Court has decided not to hear this case, which has significant implications for our global food supply and science-based regulation. With the conflict in Ukraine threatening food security around the world and the persistent dangers posed by climate change, too much is on the line to allow the emergence of an unscientific patchwork of state pesticide labels that would threaten grower access to tools needed for productive, sustainable farming. We will be discussing the implications of the court’s announcement and will determine what reforms may be needed to ensure a patchwork of state labels does not jeopardize grower access to these vital tools or science-based pesticide regulation.”


Back to Top

New SEC Rule Burdens Farm Operations

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate Related Disclosures for Investors,” mandating extensive climate disclosures by public companies — including measured impacts for their entire supply chain. 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this rule negatively impacts many of the farmers and ranchers who feed, fuel and clothe our nation. The agriculture sector provides nearly every raw product that goes in to the supply chain, with a valued contribution of more than $1 trillion to the U.S. GDP in 2020 and employing more than 21 million people. While farmers and ranchers are not public companies and therefore not “registrants” that are required to report directly to the SEC, the obligations they would be under through their related customers could be daunting. 

The proposed rule’s expansive reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions not only directly affects farmers’ and ranchers’ operations, but could create several substantial costs and liabilities, such as reporting obligations, technical challenges, significant financial and operational disruption and the risk of financially crippling legal liabilities. 

Back to Top