An Update on the Circus: PCG CEO Kody Bessent Spends the Week in DC
It was a crazy week with the U.S. government in full force amid yet again another possible government shutdown. Thankfully, a stopgap spending measure was passed in both chambers with President Biden signing the legislation on November 16. PCG CEO Kody Bessent and National Cotton Council Chairman and Dawson County Producer Shawn Holladay were on the Hill this week as well, advocating for the Farm Bill and adjustments to the 2022 Emergency Relief Program.
Plains Cotton Growers Inc. is grateful for Congress and its leadership in taking the necessary steps in passing H.R. 6363, the Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act of 2024, also known as a continuing resolution (CR). With passage of the CR, a government shutdown was ultimately averted — keeping federal agencies open at a critical time when farm program assistance is being implemented, such as the marketing assistance loan and the 2022 Emergency Relief Program (ERP).
Additionally, included in the CR was an extension of the current Farm Bill through September 30, 2024. This extension provides farm program support going into the 2024 cotton season, while simultaneously affording the cotton industry and House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership additional time to continue to work on the 2024 Farm Bill. We hope to make substantive improvements to farm policy that adequately address immense pressures such as inflation, cost of production, disasters and other critical issues that cotton producers and the industry as a whole continue to face. We look forward to continuing to work with industry and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in the new year to develop a new and vastly improved farm bill as soon as possible.
Update on Rectification of Disparities within Implementation of 2022 ERP
This week a coalition letter depicting the grave disparity of the 2022 Emergency Relief Program (ERP) lead by the National Cotton Council — supported by PCG and 140 other agriculture organizations — was sent to USDA; House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chairman and Ranking Members; plus the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman and Ranking Members.
The advocacy letter expressed the agriculture industry’s discord with USDA’s ERP 2022 program provisions specifically regarding the progressive payment factors used to prorate payments and the method used to incorporate producer-paid insurance premiums and fees. As stated in the letter neither of the newly introduced provisions were part of the original ERP and both appear to be inconsistent with Congressional intent of the enabling legislation.
While there are multiple pathways forward and work being done by PCG and many others to rectify the current inadequacy of the program while also holding USDA accountable for their actions, we believe the highest probable chance of success is through a legislative adjustment of the 2022 ERP by Congress that is retroactive.
Additionally, we are looking for legislative options in seeking disaster related assistance for the 2023 crop year that is more prescriptive in its guidance to USDA and how they can implement such a program.
West Texas Cotton Quality Report for the 2023 Season
2023 Cotton Quality Report
This is a weekly summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2023 production season.
Lamesa’s average daily number of cotton samples received this week is 4,064. The office is currently 18% complete in the classing of their season estimate of samples.
Lubbock’s average daily number of cotton samples received this week is 28,259. The office is 25% complete in the classing of their season estimate of samples.