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Cotton News

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: plainscotton.org. 

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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. 

Sincerely,

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

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December 9, 2022

Mary, Taylor, Steve, Patricia, Whitney, Katie and Kristopher Verett at Steve’s induction ceremony in New Orleans.

Steve Verett Inducted into Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame

Steve Verett, producer in Crosby County and former PCG CEO, was inducted into the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame on December 7, 2022. 

The following is excerpted from his acceptance speech. 

After being notified of this honor, I began reflecting on my career both as a cotton farmer and a staff member of Plains Cotton Growers. 

I have been blessed to work with many of the past and current leaders of the industry over the last 40 years, but there is one effort that holds a special place in my life.

In February 1988 Secretary of Agriculture Richard Lyng established the Advisory Committee on Cotton Marketing.

The charge of that committee was to review the cotton marketing system and to recommend ways of improving its efficiency. 

The review included cotton classification, cotton standards and market information programs, and the impact of high volume instrument (HVI) classification on the price support loan structure. 

I was surprised to find that there were four members of that committee — Billy Carter, Jack Hamilton, Hal Lewis and Preston Sasser — already inducted into the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame (CRPHOF) and, now, I will be the fifth. Additionally, Jesse Moore, who headed the cotton division of the Agricultural Marketing Service, is also a CRPHOF member. 

I can assure you the work of the committee was not easy as we were trying to change a system that had been in place since 1937. I say all of this to remind us how far this industry has come since the adoption of HVI as the official class beginning with the 1991 crop. 

While there was great deliberation by the committee in making that decision, and some consternation, I believe all of us would now have to say that adopting HVI as the official class for U.S. cotton — along with changes to the loan premium and discount schedule — allowed the USDA class to become the world standard and provided a system that enabled the U.S. cotton industry to make great improvements in the U.S. crop over the last 31 years.

I am thankful and honored that I was a small part of that effort and now important history of the U.S. cotton industry. I appreciate the efforts of Cotton Inc. and the Cotton Board, which have played a significant role in the advancement of the U.S. cotton industry. 

Again, thank you for honoring me with this special award.  

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Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson Elected House Agriculture Committee Chair

The House Republican Steering Committee elected Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Pa.) as chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture for the 118th Congress on December 7.

Thompson has served as a Congressional member and on the House Agriculture Committee since 2008. He served alongside former representative Mike Conaway who he credits for his education on the cotton industry.

“We will keep our foot on the gas to deliver principled solutions, robust oversight and a Farm Bill that is responsive to the needs of our country’s farmers, ranchers and foresters,” Thompson said.

Learn more about Thompson from his story in the June 24, 2022 issue of Cotton News.

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

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

Lamesa: 3,943

Lubbock: 28,885

Lamesa: 5,102

Lubbock: 25,988

Lamesa: 4,123

Lubbock: 113,263

Lamesa: 63.6

Lubbock: 71.0

Lamesa: 30,620

Lubbock: 190,204

Lamesa: 

21+ – 46.9

31 – 45.7

12 – less than 0.05

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 42.6

31 – 49.9

12 – 0.3

Lamesa: 2.7

Lubbock: 3.08

Lamesa: 36.64

Lubbock: 36.85

Lamesa: 4.16

Lubbock: 3.88

Lamesa: 30.88

Lubbock: 31.06

Lamesa: 80.66

Lubbock: 80.51

Lamesa: 7.4

Lubbock: 24.9

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 117,677

Lubbock: 832,378

Lamesa: 

21+ – 53.6

31 – 39.5

12 – 0.1

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 46.8

31 – 42.8

12 – 1.8

Lamesa: 2.53

Lubbock: 2.96

Lamesa: 36.63

Lubbock: 36.89

Lamesa: 4.21

Lubbock: 3.98

Lamesa: 30.72

Lubbock: 31.17

Lamesa: 80.62

Lubbock: 80.67

Lamesa: 7.3

Lubbock: 20.2

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Request for 2022 Disaster Assistance

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. joined 33 other agricultural organizations in a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee requesting language in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending package that would extend the Emergency Relief Program to cover losses for  the 2022 crop. 

“Farm and ranch families from across the country continue to be harmed by extraordinary natural disasters, including a severe and chronic drought gripping much of the U.S.,” the letter states. “Hurricane Ian, damaging freezes in the southeastern U.S. earlier this year, and late planting due to flooding and other weather conditions, to name only a few hardships facing producers in 2022.” 

The letter also mentions strengthening the farm safety net in the 2023 Farm Bill to reduce, if not eliminate, the need for ad hoc programs. “However, including an extension of ERP for 2022 losses would serve as a critical bridge to the next farm bill,” the letter added. 

 To read the full letter, click here.

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December 2, 2022

Cotton Outlook in Georgia, Oklahoma and South Texas

At the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show Cotton Conference yesterday, Kody Bessent, Plains Cotton Growers CEO, opened his outlook presentation saying, “It’s been a wild year.” 

Many High Plains producers, ginners and merchants have stated this year is unprecedented in terms of input costs, market volatility, crop conditions, etc. 

The High Plains is not alone.  

Georgia

“The southeast had a decent crop year,” said Taylor Sills, executive director of the Georgia Cotton Commission. “We needed it, too. Parts of the state, especially southwest Georgia, hasn’t had a good crop in four to five years.” 

Sills added that Georgia has harvested roughly 90% of their crop, but overall yield is still hard to measure at this point. 

“I think Georgia farmers could plant a lot more corn in 2023, but time will tell.” 

Oklahoma

 “The gin is going to process maybe 8% to 10% of what it normally gins,” said Tom Buchanan with Cotton Growers Co-Op in Altus, Oklahoma. “We’re at a relative total loss in this area.” 

Buhanan added that Tillman County, east of Altus, has about 15,000 acres with good groundwater, which has resulted in better quality and good yields.

“The bright spot is that it’s wet out here, which is a good issue to have for next year. This is as green as this country has looked in a long time. A lot of wheat has been planted, which is what our guys are using for their cover crops. These are the best wheat stands we’ve had in years. It makes you feel better when you drive down the road and the country is green.”

He added that the lake’s level still needed to rise for next year’s success. 

“We all need to start going to church,” Buchanan quipped. “We all need more rain!”  

South Texas

“Smith Gin Coop typically gins 85,000 to 100,000 bales — this year we ginned 20,000,” said Jon Whatley, producer in San Patricio and Nueces Counties in the Coastal Bend region. “Ginning after the demand charge was a huge concern for us this year.” 

North of Corpus Christi the crop never came up, added Whatley. “South of Corpus Christi there was some cotton and a little along the coast, but the crop year was pretty much awful from beginning to end. And windy.” 

Toby Robertson, producer in Nueces County, said yields were better than expected in terms of quality, but yield suffered. “My average for the last five years is around 1,300 pounds per acre. This year I averaged 300 pounds per acre.” Robertson harvested 85% of his crop, battling 10 inches of rain during the last two weeks of the harvest season. 

“Out of 25 years of farming, this crop year is No. 1 on my hit list,” he added. “I can’t forget it.” 

Due to the rainy season South Texas is currently experiencing, next season is off to a good start as far as moisture is concerned, but input prices are another story. 

“Obviously, there’s time between now and planting,” Bessent said. “However, given where prices sit compared to input cost, there are many producers concerned about what they’re going to do next year. There are opportunities to take advantage of, but much is still uncertain.”  

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Rail Strike Averted

The Senate passed legislation Thursday with a 80 to 15 vote to avert a rail shutdown following a warning from President Joe Biden that a strike could cause economic turmoil 

The measure is now headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law. 

Without Congressional action, a rail strike could have begun as early as December 9, causing product shortages, spiking prices and halting factory production.

It could have also disrupted commuter rail services for millions of travellers a day as well as the daily transportation of thousands of carloads of food and farm products, among other items, according to a collection of business groups. 

Union leaders, however, are not pleased with the deal brokered by the White House, arguing it did not meet workers’ demands for paid sick leave. 

– Jim Wiesemeyer, ProFarmer

 

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

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

Lamesa: 3,822

Lubbock: 26,881

Lamesa: 4,594

Lubbock: 25,988

Lamesa: 4,743

Lubbock: 101,231

Lamesa: 47.1

Lubbock: 61

Lamesa: 27,594

Lubbock: 181,916

Lamesa: 

21+ – 59.6

31 – 33.6

12 – less than 0.05

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 46.1

31 – 46.1

12 – 0.4

Lamesa: 2.48

Lubbock: 3.02

Lamesa: 36.64

Lubbock: 36.98

Lamesa: 4.19

Lubbock: 3.9

Lamesa: 30.66

Lubbock: 31.18

Lamesa: 80.56

Lubbock: 80.66

Lamesa: 7.1

Lubbock: 25.0

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 87,066

Lubbock: 642,426

Lamesa: 

21+ – 55.9

31 – 37.3

12 – 0.1

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 48

31 – 40.7

12 – 2.2

Lamesa: 2.48

Lubbock: 2.93

Lamesa: 36.63

Lubbock: 36.91

Lamesa: 4.23

Lubbock: 4.01

Lamesa: 30.66

Lubbock: 31.20

Lamesa: 80.61

Lubbock: 80.71

Lamesa: 7.2

Lubbock: 18.9

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‘Don’t Go to Sleep on the Markets’

Given the volatile nature of the market, Darren Newton, southwest cotton buyer for Viterra Agriculture USA, advises to watch it vigilantly.  

“Putting your 2022 crop to bed when the market gives you an opportunity isn’t a bad idea, because then you can focus on next year,” he added. 

He went on to say that he understands input prices are high and prices are not optimal, but taking advantage of a “good price” when you see it rather than waiting may be your best option. 

Why are prices not where they should be? It’s all about demand. 

“We can see the market looking for the demand,” Newton said. “It’s just not there. The Far East needs to buy some cotton for the market to pick up.”

The entire supply chain is well stocked from the textile mills to retail stores. “It’s scary when you can pick up the phone and have any size of jeans sent to you overnight,” said Jon Whatley, producer in South Texas, whose wife co-owns Blue Ribbon Country Store in Beeville, Texas. “The retail side didn’t even see that before the COVID-19 pandemic and now everything is so well stocked, they’re trying to offset by sending you more product than you ordered.”  

So, moral of the story: if you see a price that works within your margins, jump on it. 

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November 18, 2022

PCG Partners with High Plains Journal for Annual Meeting March 28, 2023

Plains Cotton Growers Inc. is partnering with the High Plains Journal to deliver the PCG Annual Meeting plus Cotton U on March 28, 2023, at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center. 

Tyne Morgan, host of U.S. Farm Report, will emcee the meeting. She will also provide an agriculture industry outlook.

“I admire so much about farmers and ranchers in the Texas High Plans, but what I admire most is the grit and tenacity they show each and every year,” Morgan said. “This past year that was on full display, and it’s an honor to join PCG for the annual meeting. We’ll dig into the news and issues that matter most to cotton farmers in the area, but I’ll also share stories from across the country that showcase the best of agriculture and rural America.”

Keynote Speaker

PCG is pleased to announce John Kriesel as the 2023 keynote speaker. If Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was writing his incredibly popular book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” today he would need to add a separate chapter on Kriesel. 

In 2006, Kriesel was nearly blown to shreds by a 200-pound roadside bomb in the parched sands of Iraq. He died three times and was shocked back to life. 

He survived four hospitals, 25 surgeries and months of recovery. 

He lost both legs and suffered numerous other major injuries, but it was the loss of two close friends that hurt most. 

The guy who wasn’t supposed to survive and was told he would be wheelchair bound the rest of his life walked out of Walter Reed Amy Medical Center nine months later. Kriesel reveals his motivational story in “Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel,” and will bring this story to PCG’s annual meeting next year.

He is the director of Veterans Services for Anoka County and is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was elected to the state House in 2010 after a vigorous campaign where he was told he could not possibly win the district. He literally wore out the socket in one of his prosthetic legs visiting thousands of homes during his campaign. 

“John Kriesel is a hero for our nation and we look forward to his presentation of resiliency and positivity as we look toward another production year in the cotton industry,” said Martin Stoerner, PCG President. 

Registration

PCG is offering online registration for the upcoming annual meeting. To register and view the meeting’s agenda, click here.

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Letter to the Editor: ‘Mr. Hamburger’

Thank you for the history report that was in the Nov. 11, 2022 issue of Cotton News. I love Texas cotton history.

I was born in Lubbock in 1956. That same year, my daddy, H.A. (Bob) Poteet, went to work for the newly organized Plains Cotton Growers as Director of Field Services. 

My dad had just graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in agricultural economics. He later went to work as vice president for the Lubbock Cotton Exchange upon Mr. Pfeiffenberger’s recommendation. 

I remember “Mr. Hamburger,” a name that I gave him, well. Until I was ready to go to school, and even in Kindergarten, I went to the office with dad. 

I remember Mr. Hamburger even picking me up from school and taking me for a hamburger! 

I remember sample room days where he taught me to run the cotton fibers through my fingers to determine the staple. He was a very stern man and cotton was a very serious business to him. Saturday was just like Friday is today. Every cotton man worked on Saturday!

Thank you for the sweet memory!

-Kandice Poteet, executive vice president, Texas Cotton Association.

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2022 Cotton Quality Report

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

Lamesa: 3,664

Lubbock: 23,416

Lamesa: 2,707

Lubbock: 19,597

Lamesa: 4,092

Lubbock: 69,879

Lamesa: 20.9

Lubbock: 30.0

Lamesa: 18,955

Lubbock: 117,579

Lamesa: 

21+ – 58.9

31 – 37.2

12 – 0.4

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 46.6

31 – 44.6

12 – 0.8

Lamesa: 2.49

Lubbock: 2.98

Lamesa: 36.62

Lubbock: 36.89

Lamesa: 4.17

Lubbock: 4.02

Lamesa: 30.76

Lubbock: 30.98

Lamesa: 80.54

Lubbock: 80.63

Lamesa: 6.7

Lubbock: 17.4

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 38,807

Lubbock: 317,066

Lamesa: 

21+ – 59.4

31 – 33.3

12 – 0.3

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 51.8

31 – 33.3

12 – 4.1

Lamesa: 2.42

Lubbock: 2.88

Lamesa: 36.56

Lubbock: 36.89

Lamesa: 4.29

Lubbock: 4.10

Lamesa: 30.68

Lubbock: 31.27

Lamesa: 80.68

Lubbock: 80.84

Lamesa: 7.4

Lubbock: 15.1

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PCG Joins Other Ag Groups in Letter to DC Leadership Over Regulation and Labeling of Pesticide Products

Plains Cotton Growers joined multiple agricultural organizations in a letter written to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing concern over the misinterpretations of long-standing policy regarding the regulation and labeling of pesticide products. 

“Some states have begun to regulate pesticides in a manner contradicting decades of scientific guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency,” the letter stated. 

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November 11, 2022

Faces of Cotton: Veterans Day Edition

Photo credit for header image: Orin Romine. 

By Kara Bishop

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

Kirby Lewis – Cotton Farmer

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

U.S. Navy – Naval Aviator/Flight Instructor
1981-1991

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Randy West – Assistant Manager, Long S Gin

Army Sergeant First Class
1987-1997

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

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

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

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

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

 

Travis Broiller

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

U.S. Marine Corps
2004-2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Crop Progress/WASDE Report Highlights

U.S. Crop Progress

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

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

WASDE Report Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lamesa: 2,002

Lubbock: 15,667

Lamesa: 2,008

Lubbock: 14,907

Lamesa: 2,511

Lubbock: 23,450

Lamesa: 10.7

Lubbock: 19

Lamesa: 10,053

Lubbock: 104,347

Lamesa: 

21+ – 62.4

31 – 26.2

12 – 0.1

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 46.4

31 – 38.9

12 – 2.5

Lamesa: 2.38

 

Lubbock: 3.08

Lamesa: 36.79

 

Lubbock: 37.02

Lamesa: 4.42

 

Lubbock: 4.10

Lamesa: 30.74

 

Lubbock: 31.43

Lamesa: 81.08

 

Lubbock: 81.10

Lamesa: 7.9

 

Lubbock: 16.5

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 19,855

Lubbock: 199,579

Lamesa:

21+ – 59.8

31 – 29.7

12 – 0.1

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 54.9

31 – 26.7

12 – 6.1

Lamesa: 2.36

 

Lubbock: 2.83

Lamesa: 36.51

 

Lubbock: 36.89

Lamesa: 4.40

 

Lubbock: 4.14

Lamesa: 30.60

 

Lubbock: 31.44

Lamesa: 80.81

 

Lubbock: 80.96

Lamesa: 8.1

 

Lubbock: 13.7

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Our 109th Election

By Kody Bessent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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November 4, 2022

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

Who Was George W. Pfeiffenberger?

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

By Kara Bishop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Pfeiffenberger (left) with cotton industry representatives.

 

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

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

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

Signed by Lieutenant Gov. Preston Smith.

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Education Produces Advocates — PCG Hosts OLLI for Cotton Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2022 Cotton Quality Summary

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

Lamesa: 1,361

Lubbock: 11,325

Lamesa: 1,181

Lubbock: 9,452

Lamesa: 2,263

Lubbock: 18,118

Lamesa: 5.3

Lubbock: 9.1

Lamesa: 5,906

Lubbock: 47,260

Lamesa:

21+ – 50.2

31 – 37.4

12 – 0.3

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 61.2

31 – 18.3

12 – 7.9

Lamesa: 2.23

 

Lubbock: 2.65

Lamesa: 36.23

 

Lubbock: 36.87

Lamesa: 4.40

 

Lubbock: 4.17

Lamesa: 29.68

 

Lubbock: 31.39

Lamesa: 80.57

 

Lubbock: 80.91

Lamesa: 5.6

 

Lubbock: 11.5

Season Totals to Date

Lamesa: 9,816

Lubbock: 95,247

Lamesa:

21+ – 57.2

31 – 33.3

12 – 0.2

 

Lubbock:

21+ – 64.1

31 – 13.3

12 – 10.1

Lamesa: 2.34

 

Lubbock: 2.55

Lamesa: 36.22

 

Lubbock: 36.74

Lamesa: 4.38

 

Lubbock: 4.19

Lamesa: 30.46

 

Lubbock: 31.44

Lamesa: 80.53

 

Lubbock: 80.82

Lamesa: 8.4

 

Lubbock: 10.7

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