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Cotton News

February 24, 2023

Welcome to the February 24, 2023 issue of Cotton News, a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

Jordy Rowland and his wife Maegan and their children: Aubrey (11), Ace (10), Harper (9) and Tagg (5).

Faces of Cotton: Get to Know Jordy Rowland

Q: Did you grow up in agriculture?

A: I grew up in Hart, Texas, and my dad farmed cotton, corn and wheat in Castro County. Farming has always been a passion of mine, and I still remember setting irrigation tubes and moving gated pipe. That was back when we had more water in the area than we do now. My kids will never know anything about that.

North Gin in Dimmitt, Texas.

Q: Where did you go to school (high school and college)?

A: I went to high school at Nazareth Independent School District and was really into sports. Sports and farming were my interests. We were competitive in football, basketball, baseball, track, and golf and I was interested in playing football in college. I decided to walk on to the Texas Tech University (TTU) football team. I played on special teams and at nickel/dime positions and was on a full scholarship the last two and a half years I played. It was a great experience and provided me with some friends that I still have today. I was on the team in 2008 when we made a great run and was a part of the thrilling game when we beat University of Texas at home.

Q: What did you major in while playing football?

A: I started out in mechanical engineering — I’m a numbers guy. However, playing collegiate football was a full-time job in and of itself, so I decided to change my major to agricultural economics. It was nice to be back with ag people. My transcript does look a little funny, though — it’s not every day you have advanced calculus and differential equations as electives.

Q: What did you do after graduation?

A:  I worked for a commercial lending group in Amarillo, Texas, as an analyst working my way up to credit underwriter. I was there for roughly four years when a loan officer position opened at People’s Bank back in Nazareth. My wife and I jumped on the opportunity to move back home.

Q: How did you end up at North Gin?

A: About a year after we moved back, I received a phone call from Jim Bradford. He indicated he was looking for someone to come run the gin. I was familiar with cotton production and had a farming background, but I didn’t know anything about ginning. Jim knew that and worked to teach me everything. He has been an excellent mentor. It took a year or two before I fully saw the operations of a gin season and how everything functioned. Now I’m heading into my 10th crop.

Q: What is working with Jim Bradford like?

Jordy and Jim examine cotton samples at the gin.

A: Jim makes it easy to come to work every day. He is laid back and always finds a way to find the joy in the day. I have learned so much about how to handle different situations – good or bad. He never loses his cool and always handles business professionally. He is very generous and always looks to help those in need. I don’t know if there are words to adequately capture the totality of Jim Bradford. He is a wonderful mentor and an even better friend.

Q: What was the most challenging part of beginning your career with North Gin?

A: Learning the ins and outs of the gin itself was the most challenging part. Even now, I wouldn’t call myself an expert. We have an amazing gin superintendent, Johnny Emerson. With Johnny, we can always count on the gin being ready to run when the season begins. He’s the best.

Q: What is the average number of bales ginned at North Gin?

A: I wouldn’t say there’s an average number as much as a range that we stay within. For the 2021 crop, we ginned 47,000 bales. The two years before that we did between 20,000 and 30,000. In 2018, we ginned 72,000. Anything below 25,000 is considered below normal for us and we ginned 18,150 bales for the 2022 season.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge for you in your daily operations?

A: Our biggest battle every year is getting acres planted. This area is predominantly ruled by the beef cattle and dairy industries, so there are a lot of mouths to feed. The better irrigated acres in this area have been sold to the dairies. Some dairies are planting a little cotton where their water has dropped off, but the majority of them are planting some sort of feed like sorghum silage or corn silage. And cotton producers plant some, too, where they have water because the prices are good. We need a good 10 to 15 cent rally in the futures prices for cotton or we may lose more acreage in this area this crop season.

Q: What is something you wish more people understood about agriculture?

A: We hear a lot about sustainability these days, and I just wish more people understood the true nature of a farmer. They want to farm the land for generations to come, so they use sustainability practices to ensure that future. Don’t come in here and tell farmers how to be sustainable — they already wrote the book.


Jordy Rowland: Family Man

Jordy met his wife, Maegan in Kindergarten. They began dating their junior year of high school and were married in the summer of 2009. They live in Nazareth and have four children: Aubree (11), Ace (10), Harper (9) and Tag (5).

The Rowlands are active members of the First Baptist Church in Dimmitt, and Jordy’s love of sports has been passed on to his children. Whether its flag football or little dribblers, Jordy is usually coaching one or more teams on his Saturdays. “And, sometimes, I find time to play golf,” he adds.

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Bill Filed to Modify Endangered Species Act

Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) has reintroduced The Listing Reform Act, legislation designed to modernize the Endangered Species Act. 

Plains Cotton Growers supports this legislation, along with Texas Farm Bureau and Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

“This bill would modify requirements concerning the review of petitions to add a species to the list of endangered or threatened species or to remove a species from the list,” said Kody Bessent, PCG CEO. “Arbitrarily reviewing a petition to list a species simply based on when a petition was received, as compared to a more thorough analysis based on sound science, has, in times past, impacted a producer’s ability to produce a crop based on cropping practices that are agronomically sound for a specific region. Therefore, we support modifications for a more thorough review of the listing process and look forward to working with Rep. Pfluger and others on this important issue.” 

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Deadlines and Reminders

ARC/PLC Decisions

ARC/PLC decisions must be dictated to your local FSA office by March 15.

Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up Dates

General sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin February 27 and end April 7.

PCG Annual Meeting

PCG’s 66th annual meeting is on March 28 at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center. Register online today! 

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February 17, 2023

Welcome to the February 17, 2023 issue of Cotton News, a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

Favorite Quotes from Southwest Soil Health Symposium

The No-Till Texas organization hosted the Southwest Soil Health Symposium Feb. 14 and 15 in Lubbock, Texas.

“I ran over some stuff with a plow when I was 11 and my Uncle Eddie said, ‘Kris, the only person who hasn’t screwed something up is the one who hasn’t done it.’”

– Kris Verett
Crosby County

“Mindfulness is important when it comes to ecological situations. Sometimes what we deem insignificant can have a major impact later down the line.” 

-John Zak, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University

“We’re all about improving resiliency to survive West Texas.” 

-Barry Evans
Swisher County

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

The classing season is nearing the end for the 2022 crop season. While the majority of classing offices have completed classing samples for this crop year, Lubbock is still working with samples. 

Lubbock’s average daily number of cotton samples received this week is 492. The office is 99% complete in the classing of their season estimate of samples. Due to the lack of gins operating, this report contains seasonal data only. 

Lubbock Report

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Soil Health Institute Educator Event

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Farm Bill Baseline Update

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its February 2023 budget projections for a number of Federal programs, including farm-related programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  All eyes are on the farm bill, which expires on September 30, 2023, and this latest update gives us an initial glimpse of the budget baseline that will be available to the farm bill authors this year.

CBO typically updates their budget projections early in the year, and yesterday’s release follows that pattern.  Following the release of the President’s budget in February, CBO will often release a revised outlook in March.  If the President’s budget is delayed, the updated outlook from CBO can stretch into late Spring or early summer – for example, in 2021, the update was released in July.  Why does this matter?  It is generally the update following the release of the President’s budget that is the baseline against which the cost of legislative proposals is “scored” throughout the year.  In other words, while the current release will get a lot of attention, CBO may choose to update their projections again this spring; if they do, that baseline likely will be used for writing the farm bill.  CBO will also typically release – at least to policymakers – their baseline projections by farm bill title.

In the meantime, there is much to glean from the information made publicly available in yesterday’s release.  As we noted in a Southern Ag Today article last summer, if we look back to the April 2018 baseline (the scoring baseline for the 2018 Farm Bill), the spending projections for CCC Price Support and Related Activities, Conservation, SNAP, and Crop Insurance accounted for $865.9 billion (Table 1), or 99.85% of the $867.2 billion in projected total baseline outlays for the farm bill.  Applying the same methodology to CBO’s most recent February 2023 baseline update, those four categories are projected to spend approximately $1.45 trillion over the next 10 years (Table 1).  The significant increase is due to an 81.6% increase in projected spending on SNAP, with SNAP now projected to account for $1.2 trillion, or 83.3% of the total farm bill baseline.  By contrast, the income support provisions for agricultural producers that make up the largest component of Title 1 – the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – are projected to spend $48.6 billion over the next 10 years, or just 3.4% of the total farm bill baseline. Following are a few initial observations from Table 1:

  • While some may look to the $71.8 billion in CCC Price Support & Related Activities (a $7.5 billion increase) as additional resources with which to write the farm bill, it’s not that simple.  In January 2020, CBO began including $100 million per year in the baseline as an estimate of the amount they project the Secretary of Agriculture to spend using discretionary authority available under the CCC.  In May 2022, CBO increased that amount to $1 billion per year (or $10 billion over 10 years).  In other words, absent the amount that CBO includes in the baseline as a guess of what they expect the Secretary to spend using discretionary CCC authority, the baseline for CCC Price Support & Related Activities would be going down.
  • These estimates would also likely be considerably lower if one were using USDA’s latest market projections which were also released yesterday.  For example, USDA projects cotton prices in the long run that are 16% higher than CBO.  If USDA’s projections were to materialize, ARC and PLC spending would be considerably less and the safety net would still be doing nothing to address the high cost of inputs.
  • The increase in conservation spending is almost entirely due to the infusion provided in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, although CBO has revised downward the amount they expect USDA to spend on these efforts (by roughly $1.5 billion).
  • On crop insurance, the increase in projected spending is generally attributable to expanded product availability over the last 5 years along with projected increases in liability coverage due to higher market prices.

Table 1. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 10-Year Outlays in Million$

  April 2018 February 2023 Change ($) Change (%)
CCC Price Support & Related Activities 1/ 64,305 71,806 +7,501 +11.7%
Conservation 2/ 59,689 72,610 +12,921 +21.6%
SNAP 3/ 663,828 1,205,440 +541,612 +81.6%
Crop Insurance 78,037 96,974 +18,937 +24.3%
Total 865,859 1,446,830 +580,971 +67.1%
1/ This includes an estimated $10 billion in “Other Administrative CCC Spending” which accounts for CBO’s estimate of the amount that the Secretary may spend from the CCC using his/her discretionary authority. 2/ The total for the February 2023 update includes $15.1 billion in estimated outlays for conservation spending authorized in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022.  3/ Revised economic assumptions and administrative changes to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) resulted in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) projecting an additional $254 billion in SNAP outlays from FY2022-31 (

Bottom line: the already relatively small 10-year baseline for writing Title 1 may ultimately be an overestimate, especially when comparing with USDA’s economic outlook.  Even now, it pales in comparison to the almost $88 billion in unbudgeted ad hoc assistance that was provided to agricultural producers over the past 5 years alone.  If Congress plans to move away from ad hoc assistance to a more sustainable risk management framework for producers, additional resources will be needed for the farm safety net.


Author: Bart L. Fischer

Research Assistant Professor and Co-Director Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University

Author: Joe Outlaw

Professor and Extension Economist

Co-Director Agricultural & Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University

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February 13, 2023

Welcome to the February 13, 2023 issue of Cotton News, a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

U.S. Cotton Industry Gathers at National Cotton Council Annual Meeting

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U.S. Cotton Industry Gathers for National Cotton Council Annual Meeting

Plains Cotton Growers (PCG) delegates spent the weekend at the National Cotton Council (NCC) annual meeting February 10-12, reviewing and approving resolutions to help guide the U.S. cotton industry in 2023.

“It’s important to stay involved,” said Quentin Shieldknight, producer in Hansford County. “We must fight for farmers and our industry, especially considering what the USDA is doing with Phase 2 of the Emergency Relief Program for the 2020 and 2021 crop years. Influencing policy and implementation of legislation comes from involvement in organizations like PCG and NCC.”

PCG President Martin Stoerner, producer in Floyd County is excited for NCC’s advocacy efforts with the 2023 Farm Bill.

“I remember Congressman GT Thompson (R-Pa.) telling us last year to be organized in our priorities, to have a plan and to come with one voice,” Stoerner added. “I think we are in a good position to do that with the NCC. All working together through our national organizations to make sure our priorities are met with this year’s farm legislation.”

In today’s newsletter, we recap highlights of the annual meeting.

Texas Cotton Producers Discuss Crop Conditions for Planting Season

The Texas Cotton Producers organization met on February 11 to discuss crop conditions for the 2023 planting season among other business.

Rolling Plains

In the Rolling Plains region, it was reported that producers received enough moisture to establish their wheat and haygrazer cover crops, but there may not be enough subsoil moisture to take them to harvest. However, producers are considering trying to make a wheat crop given the current wheat prices. The region projects to have 10% less planting acres than normal, which is about 700,000 acres.

Rio Grande Valley

The RGV area was one of the bright spots of the 2022 crop season; however, the area is now dry, and producers are looking at growing other crops. It’s estimated the area will plant just half the irrigated acres normally reserved for cotton.

South Texas

Producers are feeling pressure to get the cotton crop up within the next month, since there hasn’t been adequate rain to support planting. “We really need a good planting rain to give us a chance,” said Jon Whatley, producer in San Patricio and Nueces Counties.

In 2022, South Texas planted over 840,000 acres, which is above their normal average. This year, it’s projected they will be back in the 750,000 range or less. “Acreage is easy to predict,” added Jeff Nunley, executive director for the South Texas Cotton and Grain Association. “Bales are not.”

High Plains

According to producers in the High Plains, acreage is going to go down, especially in the Panhandle. “If you have irrigation up there, you’re growing grain,” Shieldknight said. “Fertilizer prices have dropped, so guys are buying it for corn as fast as they can right now — major grain shift north of I-40.”

In the South Plains area there’s projected to be a slight reduction in acres; however, Stacy Smith, producer in Lynn County, said he believes the seed price will bump intended planting acres back up.

International Trade Policy Meeting: 'Focus is All on China'

NCC general counsel John Gilliland took the podium at the International Trade Policy committee meeting on February 11 to provide an update on the economic and geopolitical priorities, which all centered on China.

“The U.S. relationship with China is the central organizing principle of our work and the highest priority — where we sit the next couple of years will depend on them,” Gilliland added.

One of the most notable developments in the U.S.-China relationship is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. Signed into law on Dec. 23, 2021, by President Biden, the bill ensures that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China does not enter the U.S. market.

Cotton is considered a high-risk sector, meaning the probability of forced labor in the Xinjiang region is high for the commodity. Therefore, the only way to overcome the law as a company is to prove that the product has not been touched by forced labor in any part of the supply chain of that good. “This legislation provides the administration inner agency task force assigned to it a daunting task in applying this standard to all goods coming from that region,” Gilliland said.

Another component of the U.S.-China relationship is competition. The U.S. is implementing strategy to beat China in areas where they are trying to displace us, such as advanced technology.

“The best way to think about the Biden Administration’s economic policy course is to look at it as a return to something we haven’t seen since the early years of the Cold War, which is industrial policy,” Gilliland added.

Last year, Congress enacted the CHIPS and Science Act — a large bill written with a lot of assistance from the Biden Administration to incentivize investment in U.S. manufacturing and advancing technology, specifically in semiconductor chips. The Biden Administration also issued an executive order last year, prohibiting export of semiconductors to certain Chinese buyers. They’re now working with U.S. allies in Europe to encourage them to place export bans on semiconductors to Chinese buyers as well.

“Again, all of this is in an effort to outcompete China,” Gilliland said. “What we’re seeing right now is concerning because the U.S. and China — the two largest economies in the world —are pulling apart or rethinking this notion of globalized economy that is built around a common set of rules.”

To respond to the threat China poses to the U.S., the Administration is focusing on U.S. investment in China and constraining China’s ability to build its own industries: cut off its sources of inputs, cut off its sources of innovation, research and development through U.S. universities and universities with U.S. allies.

“However, outside these sectors, trade with China is actually quite robust,” Gilliland added. “It surprised me when I checked the numbers that we had record-setting exports to China last year. We also had rising imports with everything rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Going forward we should expect a growing focus on China from the Biden Administration but also from Congress. “It might be on the one area where we see both parties agree,” Gilliland added.

What does this mean for agriculture?

It’s hard to say in cotton and textiles, but we’re situated differently than the rest of the ag market. For now, China remains an important export market for us, and we expect that to remain because China needs our commodities. However, China is also starting to do some things to diversify their own suppliers around the U.S., according to Gilliland.

The Chinese government is under tremendous stress. Their COVID-19 response drastically altered their economy — their economic growth is far below where they would like it to be. There’s been a lot of news coverage on how their population is now declining for the first time. They’re stressed, and if you’ve read the news lately, you know the U.S. shot down aerial objects said to belong to them. “And if you thought tensions were high when Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, just wait until Kevin McCarthy visits. China will not take this lightly. So, we feel these tensions, not only in our national security, but we will probably see them in our trade segments,” Gilliland said.

What about the World Trade Organization?

While the World Trade Organization (WTO) did meet this past June, they weren’t able to make much progress in agriculture. Follow up discussions focusing specifically on cotton didn’t make any headway, either. Most of the work on that front was focused on fertilizer costs and trade facilitation between developing countries. The next meeting is not until 2024, so this year should be relatively quiet from WTO. The WTO’s main focus is institutional reform in settling disputes. The U.S. has been blocking the appointments of new jurists to the appellate body — the WTO’s “supreme court,” so-to-speak. Currently, disputes that are launched with the WTO get a lower court ruling from the dispute panel, but it’s not binding until it’s ruled on by the appellate body or accepted by the entire WTO membership by consensus. “And that really hasn’t been happening,” Gilliland said.

“Until the appellate body is reconstituted, we don’t expect disputes or challenges against U.S. agriculture to go anywhere.”

General Session: New Officers and 2023 Planting Intentions

The NCC general session occurs on the last day of the annual meeting and provides NCC updates and appointment of new officers, as well as an economic outlook with projected U.S. planting projections provided by Jody Campiche, Ph.D., vice president of Economics and Policy Analysis.

Economic Outlook

According to the NCC’s 42nd annual Early Season Planting Intensions Survey, U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 11.4 million cotton acres this spring, down 17% from 2022.

Upland cotton planting intentions are 11.2 million acres, down 17.3% from 2022, while extra-long staple (ELS) planting intentions are estimated at 184,000 acres, representing a 0.5% increase.

“Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed,” Campiche said. “Ultimately, weather and agronomic conditions are among the factors that play a significant role in determining crop size.”

Using five-year average abandonment rates along with a few state-level adjustments to account for current dry conditions, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 8.8 million acres for 2023 with a U.S. abandonment rate of 22.6%. Campiche added that these estimates could change based on weather conditions throughout the crop year.

Using the five-year average state-level yield per harvested acre generates a cotton crop of 15.7 million bales, with 15.2 million upland bales and 466,000 ELS bales.

“History has shown that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions,” Campiche added. “Relative to the average futures prices during the first quarter of 2022, cotton prices are lower while the prices of most competing commodities are relatively unchanged. Price ratios of cotton to corn and soybeans are at the lowest level since planting the 2009 crop. In addition, production costs remain elevated.”

Growers in the Southwest intend to plant 19.6% less cotton. Kansas growers expect to plant 1.7% more cotton, while Oklahoma producers expect to reduce cotton acreage by 5.8%. Texas acreage is expected to decline by 21.2%. Southwest respondents indicated an increase in corn, sorghum and wheat crops for 2023.

NCC delegates were reminded the expectations are a snapshot of intentions based on market conditions at survey time with actual plantings influenced by changing market conditions and weather. Producers will continue to monitor changes in commodity prices and input costs before finalizing their 2023 acreage decisions. Many producers will continue to face difficult economic conditions in 2023 with lower cotton prices and higher production costs.

Shawn Holladay Appointed Chair of National Cotton Council

Shawn Holladay, producer in Dawson and Martin Counties, will serve as the NCC chair for 2023. He is the first High Plains producer to take the helm of NCC since Eddie Smith in 2010. He will work with the council and government officials to influence policy and legislation favorably for the U.S. cotton industry.

“I am honored to continue my representation of the cotton industry in this new role,” Holladay said. “I would like to encourage all associated in this great industry to answer the call to lead. If we are not willing to represent our industry and support our organization, then who will? Our success rests with our willingness to be part of the process.

“Everyone is busy, but it’s imperative that part of our daily life be an involvement in the collective support of our industry. If we sit on the sidelines, we cannot be part of the solution. My family and farming operation has benefitted from the education and fellowship associated with participating in our local, regional, and national organizations. We have witnessed firsthand the absolute necessity of having a seat at the table.

“I hope to do my part in consensus building and maintaining cohesiveness with our industry. An industry with a track record of weathering the storm by working together.”

2023 NCC Chair Shawn Holladay presents outgoing chair Ted Schneider with a gift for his service in 2022.

As the outgoing chair of NCC Ted Schneider of Louisiana made his closing remarks, he summed up the entire reason advocacy organizations like NCC are so important.

“I was told a long time ago that the world is ruled by those who show up. And the NCC shows up to fight for agriculture.”

No-Till Texas Southwest Soil Health Symposium Starts Tomorrow!

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February 3, 2023

Welcome to the February 3, 2023 issue of “Cotton News,” a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

The Market Game

By Kara Bishop

Now that the 2022 cotton crop is off the stalk, producers shift focus to markets and decisions for next year.

Going into the 2022 planting season, cotton prices hit $1.49 on May 4, 2023. For most, looking at a range of 82 to 85 cents after harvest hurts.

“We finished ginning a few days before Christmas, and normally this far out from ginning, we would have most of the cotton sold,” said Jordy Rowland, manager of North Gin in Dimmitt, Texas. “I’m still sitting on quite a bit of cotton. Most of it is on call with the basis locked in, but it’s hard for my guys to pull the trigger on 85 cents when prices were much higher at the beginning of the season.”

He’s not the only one.

“We ginned 66,000 bales and 32,000 bales are contracted,” said Alexa Reed, office/marketing manager for Moore County Gin in Dumas, Texas. “Some producers are still waiting on a better price.”

Mike Canale, merchandising manager for PCCA, believes that there may be more cotton out there unpriced than expected given the size of the 2022 crop.

Trying to make a profit, combined with volatile markets, supply and demand dysfunction, and a year of unfortunate weather can be a tough game for anyone to play.

The Players

Making decisions on selling cotton involves more than just the producer.


“Sometimes landowners can play a role in the process,” said Martin Stoerner, producer in Lockney, Texas, and PCG president. “We had one landlord that wanted us to sell early so we did. Not because they want the money — they just like to keep their income in the same calendar year for tax purposes.”


Lenders can spur sales decisions, as well, which is why purchasing call options are popular.

“I just came back from the Carolinas and they are selling at 87 and 88 cents over there,” said Lou Barbera, cotton trader for VLM Commodities. “They were saying, ‘No, we’re not going to get what we wanted but the basis is still better than the last couple of years at this time.’ And they didn’t want to dip into an 8.5% operating loan — that was the main factor.”


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, food prices increased by 9.9% in 2022. The all-items Consumer Price Index decreased by 0.3% from November 2022 to December 2022 but was up 6.5% from December 2021.

Food prices were 10.4% higher from December 2021 to December 2022.

“Everybody has to eat,” said Quentin Shieldknight, producer in Spearman, Texas. “But you don’t have to switch out your wardrobe if your wallet dictates you can’t. If all you can afford is food, you’re not going to buy sheets, clothes or socks.”


Merchants have discussed in multiple Plains Cotton Advisory Group meetings this year that the market is looking for the demand — it just hasn’t been there.

This may be changing, though, based on the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service US. Export Sales Report released Jan. 26, 2023.

The report states 199,600 bales were sold with 28,500 cancellations netting 171,100 bales. “If we have roughly 150,000 bales sold or higher on a weekly report, we feel pretty good about where the demand is headed,” said Joshua Burris, southwest cotton manager for COFCO International.

For reference, 4,864,100 bales of Upland cotton have been sold this market year. Compare that to this week last market year, when 8,087,600 bales were sold. A 3.2-million-bale difference. China contributes 2 million bales to that difference, seeing as they’ve purchased 551,000 bales this marketing year and 2,545,600 last marketing year.

However, China and Turkey were the largest buyers this week. While that is encouraging, according to Barbera, it isn’t surprising.

“China buys around this time every single year,” he added. “They buy in the first two months of the year, and they buy again in May and of course as needed during the rest of the year.”

A chart from Lou Barbera indicating China’s cotton purchase schedule every year. Click on the image to download.

A true rise in demand will need a more consistent demand stream.

“The USDA has the most pessimistic view on demand and the most optimistic view of supply, which isn’t helping,” Barbera continued. “And we can’t forget the ‘perfect storm’ the textile mills have gone through. They were forced into a position starting in 2021 where they were told not to buy because the spreads were heavily inverted meaning prices were overinflated. That was at 88 cents by the way. Prices were then fixed around $1.40 and they were forced to buy, so now they’re holding out.”

At the same time, mills are starting to normalize. They’re willing to keep 20 to 25 day’s worth of supply whereas they normally keep 40 days. “Things are starting to normalize,” Barbera agreed. “They’re not at 30 days ago where we were in peak pessimism, and they’re not at 12 months ago, when we were at peak euphoria.”

The Rules

There are multiple options for selling cotton, which comes with multiple decisions.

Are producers going to choose to enter a seasonal pool at the beginning of the season that’s acreage based to eliminate weather-related production risks?

“Back in May, I was struggling with motivation to plant, because the prices were so great and the drought bad and expected to worsen,” Shieldknight said. “Weather can be one of the most frustrating parts of this whole deal.”

Are they going to commit to on-call agreements, purchase call options on the assumption the market will rally, or purchase put options assuming the market won’t?

“On-Call agreements have been popular this year with our producers,” Canale added. “If the market rallies it can increase your profit.  The producer can receive loan value up front and once invoiced the warehouse storage deduction stops as well.”

Are they going to hold cotton and do nothing, hoping loan interest rates and storage fees don’t eat into whatever profit comes from the price they agree to?

“Basically, you’re running on borrowed money with high interest and if you add storage fees on top of that, it’s hard to hold out for long,” said Bryan Baker, producer in Sudan, Texas. “And buyers know that, too, so they hold out. We’re all bluffing until someone folds.” 

The Teams

As prices and input costs currently stand, there are some producers who will largely minimize their cotton acres for this coming season.

“Up here we have more options,” Shieldknight added. “We’re going to increase our corn, milo and soybean acres to put us in a better position and decrease the risk. With loan interest rates double what they were, grains are just a better option for us.”

Baker said he grows black-eyed peas alongside cotton.

“They are similar to cotton in that they don’t need much water,” he added. “And prices for peas are better than cotton right now with less input cost. Prices for black-eyed peas are set at 65 cents per pound, so 1,000 pounds gives you $650 an acre. I’m still a cotton man though, don’t get me wrong.”

When to Play

The consensus from sources is that producers would let their unsold 2022 cotton go for 90 cents to $1.

“We would pull the trigger for $1,” Stoerner said.

“I did the math on what my operation needs to break even and it’s 85 cents,” Baker added. “I’d rather make a profit, so I’m hoping to see 90 cents before I have to make a decision.”

“Producers are holding on because the market sits at a break-even price,” said Guyle Roberson, manager of Texas Producers Cooperative Association. “They’re holding on and rolling the dice because they need a profit.  Normally you can sell cotton at 85 cents and be happy with that, but input costs this year change what used to be considered normal.”

“I believe if we saw 90 cents, most of our producers would sell,” said Reed and Jerrell Key, manager of Adobe Walls Gin in Spearman, Texas.

“There’s got to be a rally here somewhere,” Shieldknight added. “We’re going to break through 90 cents eventually. It’s been challenging because it gets up to 89 then falls back to 85 the next day. It’s fascinating to me that we’re not already at 90 cents after the disaster that Texas went through in 2022. We get to 90 and I think everyone will start selling like crazy.”

Baker also noted that the market could go back up once the USDA Risk Management Agency sets the 2023 projected insurance price at the end of this month.

Regardless of the strategy used when marketing and selling cotton, producers in the Texas High Plains play to win, even if they come up short.

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No-Till Texas Soil Health Symposium

Register Here

January 27, 2023

Welcome to the January 27, 2023 issue of “Cotton News,” a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

What’s the Deal with ERP Phase 2?

Phase 2 of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) has been talked about for months with the anticipation that the process would model that of Phase 1. However, the rule for Phase 2, published almost two weeks ago, is fundamentally different from Phase 1 in both formula and eligibility determination. 

A Comparison of Methodology

To understand the difference in implementation between the two phases of ERP, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison.

The Challenges with Phase 2

Gross Income
A producer’s actual production history (APH) is an adjusted average of 10 years’ yields, which is a more accurate measurement of expected gross income. Phase 2, however, is operating off a one-year base period using an individual’s taxable information. And, in some cases, this is not a true reflection of an individual’s crop production year. Obviously, expenses are not considered, and with input costs ever rising, it’s unfortunate that gross income is the litmus test here. 

Farm Service Agency
Phase 1 went relatively smoothly for FSA local offices. Producers received a pre-filled application from USDA and merely had to verify, sign and return to their local FSA office. Phase 2 requires local offices to input the data themselves, making it more labor intensive for offices that are already short staffed. Phase 1 was streamlined. Phase 2 is not.  

If a producer were to jump through all the hoops and become eligible, the initial payment is a maximum of $2,000. If total calculated payments exceed the total funding available for Phase 2, the rule states that the ERP Factor may be adjusted and the final payment amounts will be prorated to stay within the amount of available funding. 

To further understand the application of Phase 2, consider the example Paul Neiffer provided to FarmJournal:

The Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase 2 Calculator is now available on the ERP website. This tool can help you determine eligibility for Phase 2 and can provide an estimated program payment calculation. 

The enrollment period for ERP Phase 2 closes June 2, 2023. 

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American Cotton Shippers Association International Cotton Institute

The American Cotton Shippers Association will be hosting the International Cotton Institute at the University of Memphis from June 5-June 30, 2023.

The program is a four-week intense education on the cotton business with emphasis on functions of the trade, risk management, global logistics, and forward-facing global industry objectives.  The curriculum also gives a good foundation of US industry associations and contacts, their roles, and differences.  In addition to the content, this program creates a unique networking opportunity with the trade’s leadership and classmates that are growers, spinners, brand representatives, and policy influencers.

Download Flyer

January 20, 2023

Welcome to the January 20, 2023 issue of “Cotton News,” a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

House Ag Chair Talks Farm Bill

By Chris Torres with FarmProgress

Nearly a week after the chaotic House speaker election postponed the initial farm bill listening session at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, 20 speakers got to talk about their hopes for the 2023 Farm Bill in front of several members of the House Agriculture Committee.

Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, chairman of the committee and the first chairman from Pennsylvania in 170 years, said farm bill negotiations had reached “crunch time” given the current farm bill, enacted in 2018, will expire Sept. 30.

The hearing was the first of what he hopes will be several listening sessions across the country on the comprehensive five-year package that authorizes federal spending on crop insurance, commodity and conservation programs, nutrition (mainly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), trade and more.

A wide range of speakers, from dairy and beef to organic farming advocates and even a representative of a local food bank, talked about their farm bill priorities for the next five years. Thompson gave little insight into a possible timeline of when a new farm bill could be passed or what the spending appropriation for the next five-year package would be.

Given the fraught political environment in Washington, especially the House, it may not be a surprise if farm bill negotiations get bogged down or more complicated as the year goes on. Thompson, though, downplayed the idea of a difficult negotiation.

“The farm bill is always bipartisan, always bipartisan,” he said. “At the end of the day, final votes are fairly bipartisan, and my goal is to keep it that way from the very beginning. I was really pleased with the bipartisan attendance here.”

Members talk priorities

Five members of the House Ag Committee took part in the listening session, along with two other representatives from Pennsylvania, and Russell Redding, state ag secretary.

Rep. Austin Scott, committee member and Republican leader of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Management subcommittee, said his goal is to help reduce the risk for ag producers, not guarantee a profit “as it distorts markets,” he said.

Scott said that reference pricing of commodities — for example, the loan rate for corn, $2.20, for the Marketing Assistance Loan program — are out of date and need updating across many programs.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California, member of the committee and the Republican leader of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, said that voluntary participation is key to the success of conservation programs in the farm bill, not a mandated approach.

He is skeptical of climate change programs, particularly those that emphasize carbon reductions on farms, stating that agriculture and other industries are already burning cleaner engines and making improvements to land management that can reduce harmful emissions.

“We are already on a direction in this country of doing the most of any Western country, or third-world country, of reducing or controlling carbon dioxide,” he said.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, urged the importance of funding conservation programs, increasing rural broadband availability and funding nutrition with a focus on healthy dieting.

Ag leaders talk issues

But most of the listening session focused on local ag leaders and their wishes for the next farm bill.

Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, said a more reliable and year-round workforce is needed to address labor shortages in dairy, calling the current H-2A program inadequate to address the industry’s labor needs.

He also suggested the government look at raising the current coverage level cap of $9.50 in the Dairy Margin Protection Program to better reflect rising commodity feed costs and increasing the current Tier 1 production cap above 5 million pounds.

Richard Roush, dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, said there is close to $11.1 billion in deferred maintenance costs nationwide for ag-related facilities. In contrast, he said China is outspending the U.S. and is becoming more of a world power in agriculture.

“The competition is real. It’s about winning the world ag market and competing,” Roush said.

Elizabeth Hinkel, president of the Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association, who operates a 2,000-acre hog and grain operation in western Schuylkill County, said that while 65% of the state’s nearly 1 million corn acres are insured, many producers still believe the cost of crop insurance vs. potential returns is not good enough to sign up. She urged committee members to update crop insurance to make it more affordable for more farmers.

Aaron Young, co-CEO of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative in northern Pennsylvania, speaking on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said that much more needs to be done to bridge the urban-rural internet divide and to ensure broadband reaches as many rural areas as possible.

David Graybill, member of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, said the state is mostly in line with the American Farm Bureau Federation’s farm bill initiatives, including the idea of maintaining a unified farm bill with nutrition and agricultural titles as part of the same package, and ensuring USDA staffing and resources for technical assistance.

“This next farm bill will ensure ag is an attractive industry for many years,” Graybill said. “Our members rely heavily on crop insurance. Farming is a major risk, but Congress can lessen the risk with better crop insurance programs.”

Submit Your Feedback to the House Ag Committee On the Farm Bill Here

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What is Different About PCG’s Annual Meeting This Year?

The 66th annual meeting of Plains Cotton Growers Inc. will be March 28th at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas.

This year, PCG has partnered with the High Plains Journal and StoneX Group to offer workshops after the annual meeting.

PCG’s meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and end with lunch featuring keynote speaker John Kriesel.

The Cotton U workshop provided by High Plains Journal will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a reception following.

Cotton U will feature a legacy agriculture panel, three breakout sessions — that will repeat so attendees can choose two out of the three to attend — a farmer production panel, and end with a social hour. CEU credits are available for attendees. 

The Cotton Marketing and Hedging Workshop will also be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. featuring speakers John Robinson and Mark Welch from Texas A&M University Extension Service, and Jared Morgan, Bailey Thomen and Donna Hughes from StoneX Group. Topics include: Current futures market conditions, risk management strategies and a physical overview of small grains and cotton.

PCG is excited to offer these learning options to our members. To register for this free event, click here.

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January 13, 2023

Welcome to the January 13, 2023 issue of “Cotton News,” a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

Washington D.C. Update

Chairman Jodey Arrington

Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) was selected to serve as House Budget Committee Chairman for the 118th Congress Jan. 9, 2023.

 “I am humbled by the confidence and trust of my colleagues to lead the effort to rein in spending, reduce our debt and restore fiscal responsibility in our nation’s capital as chairman of the House Budget Committee,” Arrington said. “With the national debt surpassing $31 trillion and over 120% of our entire economy, I believe confronting our unsustainable debt is the greatest challenge of the 21st century. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to ensure hte next generations of Americans inherit the same freedoms and opportunities we did.”

Debbie Stabenow Announces Retirement

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich), Senate Agriculture Committee Chair, announced January 5th she will not seek re-election in 2024. 

“Inspired by a new generation of leaders, I have decided to pass the torch in the U.S. Senate,” she said. “For the next two years I am focused on continuing the work to improve the lives of Michiganders. This includes leading the passage of the next five-year Farm Bill, which determines our nation’s food and agriculture policies.”

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88th Texas Legislature Convenes

The Texas Legislature convened Jan. 10, 2023, for the 88th legislative session and elected Rep. Dade Phalen (R-District 21) as Speaker of the Texas House for a second term.

The chamber’s priorities for this session include: 

  • Providing lasting, meaningful property tax relief;
  • Increasing access to and giving patients greater control over their healthcare;
  • Prioritizing criminal justice reform;
  • Utilizing the state’s once-in-a-lifetime budget surplus to improve infrastructure;
  • Fighting back against the exploitation, sexualization and indoctrination of Texas children;
  • Making schools safer for students and teachers;
  • Extending postpartum health coverage for new mothers to a full year; and
  • Addressing the threats posed by a porous border.
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Gore Receives 2022 Cotton Genetics Research Award

Dr. Michael Gore, noted scientist and professor in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS), is the 2022 Cotton Genetics Research Award recipient.

The announcement was made today during the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference, which convened as part of the National Cotton Council-coordinated 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans. Gore, who was selected by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee, received a plaque and a monetary award.

SIPS Director Dr. Jocelyn Rose, one of Dr. Gore’s nominators, said his ground-breaking cotton genetics research has had a lasting impact on the cotton breeding and genetics community and beyond. She said that he has an innate passion for genetically improving crops through the large-scale identification of causal genes and the development of predictive models that are now being collaboratively used by breeders to accelerate the breeding process.

Specific to cotton, Dr. Rose said Dr. Gore’s research supported efforts to transfer the superior fiber traits of Pima cotton to higher yielding upland cotton. She noted that among other achievements, he has helped reveal the levels and patterns of genetic diversity for several cotton species and “his work has helped breeders on how to best find and utilize allelic diversity to increase the resiliency of cotton to changing weather patterns and rapidly evolving pests and pathogens.”

Another nominator, Dr. Jonathan Wendel, a professor in Iowa State’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, said Dr. Gore is “a remarkably productive, versatile, and accomplished scientist” who has been awarded more than $9.3 million in grant funding and his research accomplishments reported in 143 peer-reviewed articles. He said Dr. Gore, in fact, has averaged an astonishing 10 peer-reviewed publications per year in predominantly high impact journals since completing his Ph.D. in 2009. Dr. Gore, a member of multiple scientific and professional societies, currently serves as editor of The Plant Phenome Journal.

Dr. Gore has received numerous awards throughout his career among them being recently named a Fellow by the Crop Science Society of America.

Dr. Gore earned his bachelor’s degree in Plant Breeding from Cornell and his master’s and his Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Tech. He was a researcher for Rohm and Hass, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Lancaster Labs before joining USDA’s Agricultural Research Service as a research geneticist in Arizona in 2009. In 2013 he joined Cornell in SIPS’ Plant Breeding and Genetics Section as an associate professor later becoming a professor and then chair of that section.

The annual Cotton Genetics Research Award was established in 1961 by U.S. commercial cotton breeders to recognize and encourage basic research in cotton genetics, cytogenetics and breeding. It is administered by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee consisting of representatives of the NCC, the USDA, state experiment stations, Cotton Incorporated and commercial breeders.

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Got Bales?

The January U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report increased its production estimate by 438,000 bales, from 14.24 million bales to 14.68 million bales. This seems a little far-fetched when compared to other reports. The USDA Cotton Ginnings report states 12.6 million bales have been ginned with 141 gins still running, and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will have classed 12.8 million bales of U.S. upland cotton by the end of this week.

Furthermore, regional classing offices are near completion. For reference, the Lubbock office is estimated to be 98% complete; Abilene is estimated to be 90% complete; and Lamesa is estimated to be 94% complete.

So, why an increase in production estimates? According to the WASDE, yield estimates averaging at a record of 947 pounds per acre in the US. That being said, one regional producer’s sentiment from last year may still prove true at the end of the season: “Did y’all ride around on your unicorns in Narnia finding all this cotton?” To be continued as final cotton crop production numbers come in.

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Emergency Relief Program. Phase II Published

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the official rule for Phase II of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP).

As it stands today, this is the methodology used to determine a Phase II payment. 

ERP Phase 2 Payment Calculation

Although producers will be able to apply for both the 2020 and 2021 disaster years, as applicable, on one form, ERP Phase 2 payments will be calculated separately for each disaster year. If a producer indicates that they have expected revenue for both specialty and high value crops and other crops for a disaster year, a payment will be calculated separately for specialty and high value crops and other crops for a disaster year.

To determine a producer’s ERP Phase 2 payment amount, FSA will calculate:

(1) The ERP factor of 70 percent [8] multiplied by the producer’s benchmark year allowable gross revenue, adjusted according to 7 CFR 760.1903, if applicable, minus

(2) The producer’s disaster year allowable gross revenue; minus

(3) The sum of the producer’s net ERP Phase 1 payments for the 2020 program year, if the calculation is for the 2020 disaster year, or for the 2021 and 2022 [9] program years, if the calculation is for the 2021 disaster year; minus

(4) The sum of the producer’s net CFAP payments (excluding payments for contract producer revenue), net 2020 WHIP+ payments, and net 2020 Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program payments, if the calculation is for the 2020 disaster year; and

(5) Multiplied by the percentage of the expected disaster year revenue for specialty and high value crops or other crops, as applicable.

ERP Phase 2 payments are subject to the availability of funds. FSA will issue an initial payment equal to the lesser of:

The amount calculated as described above; or

A maximum initial payment of $2,000.

If a producer has also received a payment under ERP Phase 1, FSA will reduce the producer’s initial ERP Phase 2 payment amount by subtracting their ERP Phase 1 gross payment amount.[10] 

If total calculated payments exceed the total funding available for ERP Phase 2, the ERP Factor may be adjusted and the final payment amounts will be prorated to stay within the amount of available funding. If there are insufficient funds, a differential of 15 percent will be used for underserved producers similar to ERP Phase 1, but with a cap at the statutory maximum of 70 percent.[11] 

For example, if the ERP Factor is set at 50 percent, the factor used for underserved producers will be 65 percent, but if the factor is set at 55 percent or higher, the factor for underserved producers will be capped at 70 percent. An initial payment to a producer will not be recalculated or reduced if the total calculated ERP Phase 2 factored payment for that producer is less than the initial payment amount.

If a producer receives additional assistance through CFAP or ERP Phase 1 after a producer’s ERP Phase 2 payment is calculated, the producer’s ERP Phase 2 payment will be recalculated and the producer must refund any resulting overpayment.

If you have questions you may call the office at 806-792-4904 or contact your Farm Service Agency county office. 

Timeline for Phase II signup is January 23, 2023, through June 2, 2023.

Read the Rule for Phase II Here

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Barker Farm Grants Texas A&M AgriLife Research Rights

Texas A&M AgriLife is gaining new ground in the South Plains for research, thanks to the generosity of Dolle Barker co-owner of Willingham Southwest Cotton Gin in Cochran County. 

Stephen Cisneros, Texas A&M AgriLife Research associate director of operations and development, said Barker has entered into a multi-year agreement to grant Texas A&M AgriLife personnel the right to utilize the property in Cochran County, now known as Barker Research Farm, to conduct research on irrigated and non-irrigated cropland. 

“We’re so excited and thankful for Dolle for allowing us to take our research from the lab to the field and engage with stakeholders and develop relationships within the community,” Cisneros said. 

The project will involve both AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel from the center in Lubbock, according to Kerry Siders, AgriLife Extension Integrated Pest Management agent in Cochran, Lamb and Hockley Counties. 

Barker contacted Siders about allowing long-term research and educational programs on a 200-acre farm just east of Morton, Texas. This farm currently has 156 acres of center pivot irrigation, 34 acres in sub-surface drip irrigation and about 40 acres of non-irrigated corners.

Read the rest of the story in the West Plains IPM Newsletter.

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January 6, 2023

Welcome to the January 3, 2023 issue of “Cotton News,” a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

PCG’s New Website Now Live!

On July 13, 2022, the Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Board of Directors approved the redesign of the organization’s website.

PCG contracted with a local web development firm with the goal of improving functionality for PCG membership as well as external audiences. 

Key Features for Membership

Online Payment: Members can now donate to the PCG PAC online as well as pay associate member dues through PCG’s new secure payment portal.  

Event Portal: The new events portal allows members to see events in calendar or list view as well as add events to their personal calendars. 

Social Sharing: Events, as well as Cotton News posts, are shareable via social media. 

Resource Center: The resource center allows you to download the most recent reports, request older reports, and access resources outside PCG via the quick links section. 

Additional Features

Home Page: Showcases the High Plains cotton industry’s most recent news and events; allows visitors to access social media channels and subscribe to the PCG Cotton News newsletter; and view important reports and information.

Meet PCG: This section showcases the impact PCG has had on the High Plains and cotton industry as a whole. It also introduces visitors to PCG leadership and staff.  

Cotton Facts: This page — under “Resources” — provides reference material supporting the impact of our industry, which educates external audiences. 

While the site is new, the URL is not. To view the new website, visit: 

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2023 Seed Cost Calculator Now Available!

The 2023 version of the Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Seed Cost Calculator is available for download on the PCG website at the bottom of the “Resources” page. 

The PCG seed cost calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices.

Questions about the tool can be directed to PCG Director of Policy Analysis and Research Shawn Wade. 

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

Links for 12/23/22 Quality Reports Below:

Lamesa Report

Lubbock Report

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December 23, 2022

PCG’s Advocacy Efforts on FY23 Omnibus Spending Package

The language for the 2023 fiscal year (FY) $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package was released Dec. 20, 2022. The Senate quickly took up and passed the bill following several days of debate. As of press time, the House is still awaiting formal paperwork from the Senate. However, they are expected to receive all text and pass the bill before the current Continuing Resolution expires at midnight. Based on the language in the bill, we highlight the successes of Plains Cotton Growers’ advocacy efforts in Washington D.C. over the last year.

PCG Chairman Brent Nelson, PCG President Martin Stoerner and PCG CEO Kody Bessent advocating for High Plains cotton producers in Washington D.C. September 2022.

Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for 2022 Crop Year

The bill includes $3.7 billion earmarked for 2022 crop year disaster related assistance.

While disaster assistance has been extended to include the 2022 crop, legislative language gives USDA broad authority when developing and implementing the 2022 program but emphasizes that funding be dedicated for expenses related to losses of revenue, quality or production losses of crops. PCG will continue to engage with Congress and USDA as this much needed assistance is enacted and advocate that it be implemented in a similar fashion as ERP Phase 1.

Boll Weevil Eradication Program

This request was fully funded at $15.95 million — The role of the Cotton Pest Program is to eradicate the boll weevil and pink bollworm from all cotton-producing areas of the U.S. and northern Mexico in cooperation with the U.S. cotton industry, and Mexico.

USDA-AMS Cotton Classing Lab Upgrades

This request was funded at $4 million for “necessary expenses associated with cotton classing activities including equipment and facility upgrades.”

USDA Market Access Program and the USDA Foreign Market Development Program

Full funding was maintained.

Encourage USDA-NASS to Reinstate Ag Level District Estimates for Cotton

The agreement directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service to “continue to work with stakeholders to better understand how to capture supplemental information for certain crops to help offset data losses from the discontinuation of agricultural statistics district level estimates.” However, the language does not mandate the restoration of district level estimate reporting for cotton as requested.

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Update on Infrastructure-Related Spending Measures in the FY2023 Appropriations Bill

Assistance for Cotton Merchandisers

The merchandising segment of the cotton industry was successful in securing $100 million for the Cotton Merchandiser Pandemic Assistance Program. Subject to terms and conditions, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, this program will provide payments to merchandisers that purchased cotton from a U.S. cotton producer or marketed cotton on behalf of a U.S. cotton producer during the period of March 1, 2020 to the date of enactment of the FY23 spending bill.

Assistance for Texas Cotton Gins

Unfortunately, although highly advocated for by PCG and others, assistance for Texas cotton ginning infrastructure was not included in the final spending package. The logistics discussion of cotton industry infrastructure assistance is ongoing. PCG will continue to strive to address the lack of risk management tools especially in terms when throughput is short for infrastructure going into the new year as opportunities arise and as we move into 2023 Farm Bill discussions.

Next year, PCG will continue advocating for the capture of nearly $72 billion dollars in ad hoc assistance — distributed since the 2018 Farm Bill — into the 2023 Farm Bill baseline. It will take substantial financial resources to establish a healthy funding objective or baseline in which to execute strong farm policy. Robust farm legislation will be crucial to the cotton industry as we move forward, especially in terms of improvements to Title I programs such as Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs, disaster assistance, crop insurance, trade and supply chain issues along with rising input costs.

We are proud to advocate for this industry and will continue to make sure your voices are heard, and solid policy is implemented that benefits our producers and industry as a whole.

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

Links for 12/23/22 Quality Reports Below:

Lamesa Report

Lubbock Report

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FiberMax Center for Discovery Announces $2.6 Million Gift for ‘AgWorks’ Children’s Wing

Craig and Ann McDonald, Terry and Sheri Hurst and Joe and Christy Hurst contributed a combined gift of $2.6 million toward the ‘Ag Works’ exhibit wing to be constructed next year at the FiberMax Center for Discovery.

Christmas came early for the FiberMax Center for Discovery, based in Lubbock, Texas. A $2.6 million combined gift was announced by the nonprofit agricultural history and education center on Wednesday, December 21st.

The joint donation was made by Craig and Ann McDonald of Lubbock, Joe and Christy Hurst of Idalou, and Terry and Sheri Hurst of Idalou. Their gift is the final funding needed to start construction on a one-of-a-kind agricultural literacy wing called AgWorks.

“It’s an honor to be able to be a part of this. When they first mentioned this, I knew this would be our deal for the museum,” said Joe Hurst at the press conference as he addressed the crowd on behalf of the three families.

AgWorks is a hands-on gallery focused on fourth grade and below, teaching visitors of all ages where their food and fiber come from and connecting them back to producers. Exhibits will include an irrigation water table, crop cycles, a large animal vet clinic, animal barn, grocery store, and more. Throughout the 5,000-square-foot gallery, visitors will also find a theme of careers in agriculture, where children can explore a variety of jobs from truck drivers to scientists.

“Every school, even 80-100 miles from here, every year, I’m going to say a 3rd or 4th grader will visit this museum on a field trip,” Joe Hurst said, emphasizing the educational impact the new wing would have.

Joe, Terry and Craig sold Hurst Farm Supply to South Plains Implement in November. “While we were sad to let go of the store, we knew it was time,” Joe added. “And it allowed us to be a part of this special project.”

The museum will break ground on the new exhibit wing in 2023. Construction will include a the agricultural literacy wing, Cotton Heritage Center, classroom and rotating exhibit gallery.

The museum will break ground on the new ‘AgWorks’ children’s wing in 2023.

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December 16, 2022

PCG Fights for Extension of ERP for 2022 Crop Year and Allocated Assistance to Cotton Gins

The historical drought seen in 2022 has affected producers and infrastructure alike, which is why Plains Cotton Growers (PCG) Inc. has been working with Congress and other allied organizations, such as Texas Farm Bureau, to request funding in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending package to address producer and infrastructure needs.

With counsel from PCG CEO Kody Bessent, Representatives Ronny Jackson, Jodey Arrington and August Pfluger sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership requesting an inclusion of the Emergency Relief Program funding for the 2022 crop year and an allocation of funding for cotton infrastructure segments.  

The letter was signed by 11 other congressional members: Kevin Brady, Pete Sessions, Henry Cuellar, Louie Gohmert, Vicente Gonzalez, Michael Cloud, Lance Gooden, Troy Nehls, Pat Fallon, Jake Ellzey and Brian Babin. 

“PCG fully supports the request for an extension of ERP funding for 2022 for cotton producers and the allocation of adequate assistance to cotton infrastructure segments to help mitigate the economic challenges they continue to face,” Bessent added. “Texas has been plagued by one of the most catastrophic droughts on record in 2022, which has had a detrimental effect on our cotton producers and infrastructure segments. 

“PCG fully supports and appreciates the bipartisan effort led by Representatives Jackson, Arrington and Pfluger, along with additional House and Senate members, acknowledging the challenges faced by the cotton industry. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure these key initiatives are addressed in the upcoming FY 2023 spending package.”

Congress will unveil the FY 2023 spending package next week, as well as make a decision on allocation of assistance to cotton producers and infrastructure for the 2022 crop year. 

To read the letter, click here.

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Continuing Resolution Passed/Export Sales Trivial

Continuing Resolution Passed

The House and Senate passed a continuing resolution to extend government funding through December 23. Work is proceeding on an omnibus spending bill that would fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2023.

Export Sales Trivial

The U.S. Export Sales report showed trivial sales for the week ending December 8. Net sales of 18,600 Upland bales were reported for the 2022/23 crop year and 28,200 bales for the 2023/24 crop year. The biggest buyer for the week was South Korea, who purchased 17,900 Upland bales, followed by China with 10,900 bales, and Mexico with 4,600 bales. Cancellations were more pronounced on this report as well, with net cancellations of 47,500 bales for the week. Shipments were similar to what was reported last week, with 141,900 Upland bales exported. Lastly, Pima sales of 1,300 bales were booked for this crop year, with a total of 3,800 bales shipped. 

-PCCA Staff


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2022 Cotton Quality Report

Links for 12/16/22 Quality Reports Below:

Abilene Report

Lamesa Report

Lubbock Report

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Letter to Editor: D&J Gin Inc. Hits One Millionth Bale Milestone

From left to right: Mark and Kelley McCormick, producers, David Foster, gin manager, Martin Stoerner, producer and PCG president.

D&J Gin Inc. of Lockney, Texas, ginned their one millionth bale of cotton on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, at approximately 9:40 p.m. The bale of cotton was produced by Mark and Kelley McCormick of Floydada; the variety harvested was DeltaPine 1822 XF.

It has taken 39 years to reach this accomplishment. D&J Gin Inc. was established in 1984 when David and Jody Foster purchased the Hi-Plains Gin from Lubbock Cotton Oil Mill with the loving help of our grandfather, JR Belt, and our dad, Eddie Joe Foster. 

The gin was originally purchased so we could gin our own family cotton; however, several area farmers kept asking if they could gin their cotton with us as well. After diving into repairing the gin, we realized it would take more than just our own cotton production to sustain the expenditures required for the repair and maintenance of the operation, so we opened it up to the public. 

The staff and family want to give a big thank you to all the producers and landlords who have ginned cotton with D&J Gin over the last 39 years. We want to thank you for your business and friendship. It has taken every bale harvested and ginned to reach this milestone.

Being in the cotton ginning business has been very rewarding. We have met other ginners, gin machinery people, parts suppliers, module truck drivers, bagging and ties salesmen, warehouse men, cottonseed buyers, oil mills staff, cotton merchants, textile mills staff, mote buyers, burr haulers, truckers, electricians, motor repairmen, wiring and controls repairmen, gin stand repairmen, lint cleaner repairmen, as well as gin laborers, several of whom come back year after year to help gin the cotton. This list could go on and on and we probably left some out, but with that being said, we will cherish these relationships for a lifetime. 

Through all of this, our No. 1 goal is to gin each bale of cotton to its best potential, knowing at the end of the day we can say to the farmer that we’ve done the best we can with ginning your cotton and have merchandised it even better. 


David and Dar Lee Foster
Jody and Shawnda Foster
Lesca Durham
Ricky Hernandez

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