USDA Announces 2017 Cotton Loan Rate Differentials
USDA's Farm Service Agency announced in an April 17 news release the 2017-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton. The release contains a link to the loan rate differentials tables.
NCC Conveys Farm Law Priorities
In April 4 testimony before a House panel hearing, NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee said U.S. cotton's central organization looks forward to working with the House and Senate agriculture committees and with other agricultural organizations to gain passage of a farm bill that effectively addresses the needs of all commodities.
USDA Prospective Plantings
USDA’s March Prospective Plantings Report indicates U.S. producers intend to plant 12.2 million acres of cotton in 2017/18, 21.4% more than the previous year. Upland area is projected to be 12.0 million acres, 21.5% more than 2016/17 while extra-long staple (ELS) area is projected at 232,000 acres, a 19.3% increase. The NCC’s planting intentions survey, released in early February, indicated U.S. producers intend to plant 10.8 million acres of upland cotton and 266,000 acres of ELS.
NCC Pleased With EPA’s Chlorpyrifos Action
EPA released an order on March 29 denying in full the petition requesting that the agency revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. EPA now will move forward on updating and revising the human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the ongoing registration review process.
Strong Safety Net Needed
The NCC joined with multiple agricultural organizations on a March 15 letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and the Senate budget and appropriations committees -- stating the clear need for a stronger farm safety net to help farmers and ranchers through this difficult, long-term period of depressed prices and income.
Bring Cotton Back Into Title I
Testifying at a recent Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing in preparation for the next farm bill, Tom Lahey, a Moscow, KS, cotton and grain producer and vice president of the Kansas Cotton Association, 1) cited the critical need for cotton to be brought back into the Title I commodity policies of the farm bill and 2) explained how crop insurance alone cannot provide effective risk management during prolonged periods of depressed market conditions -- as cotton recently has experienced.
USDA January Production Report
In its January crop report, USDA estimated a 2016-17 U.S. crop of 16.96 million bales. Upland production was estimated at 16.40 million bales and extra-long staple production at 558,000 bales. Harvested area was an estimated 9.52 million acres implying a non-harvested area of about 553,000 acres based on USDA’s revised acreage report. The resulting abandonment rate is about 5.49%. The national yield per harvested acre was estimated to be about 855 pounds, 33 pounds more than the five-year average.
STAX Modifications Bulletin Issued (32k pdf)
USDA's Nov. 3 information memorandum PM-15-052 to all approved insurance providers, Risk Management Agency (RMA) field offices and all other interested parties, stated that after considering feedback and input from various program participants during the 2015 insurance year, RMA is making several modifications to the STAX program as follows: 1) allow producers to elect a zero percent coverage range by practice; 2) allow Written Agreements that affect insurable acreage to apply to STAX; and 3) make STAX coverage available for cottonseed through an optional endorsement.
STAX/Farm Bill Workshop/Webinar Information Available
Cotton industry members and agribusiness personnel are encouraged to access information recently presented at the NCC's 25 STAX/Farm Bill workshops as well as information (including audio/video) presented in the NCC's four regional webinars held on Dec. 17-18. Among important elements of The Agricultural Act of 2014 covered in those sessions were an in-depth look at the new Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) and the Supplemental Coverage Option along with regional examples of insurance rates and county yields.
Farm Bill Frequently Asked Questions
Following the series of farm bill education meetings, the NCC prepared a list of frequently asked questions on the The Agricultural Act of 2014.
Farm Bill Summary and Overview (click here)
This NCC-prepared document contains the basic preliminaries of The Agricultural Act of 2014 that passed out of the House/Senate Conference. The bill is subject to verification when legislative language is reviewed.
Cotton Newsline: April 26, 2017 Market volatility and mounting economic pressures underscore the critical importance of an improved safety net for cotton farmers.
Cotton Newsline: April 21, 2017 There has been a recent uptick in complaints to the National Cotton Council from both domestic and foreign textile manufacturers regarding the condition of some U.S. cotton bales.
Cotton Newsline: April 13, 2017 The U.S. cotton industry is seeking to get cottonseed designated as a covered commodity making it eligible for the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs - a move that will serve as a bridge until new farm law is enacted.