Lower Surplus Forecast; Could Affect Farm Bill Timing
White House released extraordinarily tight budget forecast for rest of President Bush’s term, suggesting there is little room for additional spending. For fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, Administration projected budget surplus of $158 billion, but only $1 billion remained after excess Social Security receipts are excluded. Administration estimated another slim $1 billion non-Social Security surplus in ’02, $2 billion in ’03 and $6 billion in ’04.
Administration officials emphasized overall surplus numbers, noting that this year’s surplus will be 2nd largest in history. But with both parties saying Social Security surplus could not be used for additional spending, report suggested that combination of slowing economy and President's tax cut had left both parties with little fiscal maneuvering room in coming years.
Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) mid-session budget review included this statement: "Farm Bill. The costs of the farm bill now moving through Congress, which restructures farm programs through the next several years, will have to be offset where necessary to maintain [the] on-budget surplus."
One media report predicted that with this conflicting information from Capitol Hill, funding issue relative to new farm bill debate is now major issue, and will add another major complication to new farm bill’s timing.
More should be known when Congressional Budget Office releases its updated budget surplus projections Aug. 28. But most sources already note that CBO projections will reflect lower surplus than OMB’s.
Sen. Helms to Retire; ’02 Senate Races Include Cotton Belt States
Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), member of Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Committee and one of most powerful conservatives on Capitol Hill for 3 decades, announced he will retire when his term expires in ’03.
North Carolina will be among 10 Senate races of interest in ’02, according to wire report that was based on views from Democrats, Republicans and independent analysts. Cotton Belt state races include:
NORTH CAROLINA: Republican Sen. Helms’ retirement opens field in this state. Republicans, including those in White House, hope to lure Elizabeth Dole, former Cabinet secretary and presidential candidate, to run. Several other Republicans, including Rep. Burr, have shown interest. Democrats failed in several recruiting bids, but Secretary of State Elaine Marshall is running.
ARKANSAS: Incumbent Republican Sen. Hutchinson faces challenge from Democratic Attorney Mark Pryor. Hutchinson has huge lead in campaign money, but Pryor comes from politically influential family. He’s son of David Pryor, former US senator and governor.
MISSOURI: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Carnahan is expected to seek re-election after her appointment to Senate last year after death of her husband in airplane crash. Republicans expect Jim Talent, former congressman who narrowly lost last year’s race for governor, to make this race competitive.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Retirement of Republican Sen. Thurmond makes this 1 of 2 open seats. Rep. Graham is likely GOP candidate in this Republican-leaning state. Democrats hope Alex Sanders, former state lawmaker and outgoing president of College of Charleston, will challenge Graham.
OTHER COTTON BELT STATES to watch: Tennessee, if GOP Sen. Thompson retires; Georgia, if Republicans field strong candidate against Democratic Sen. Cleland; Louisiana, if GOP can unite behind candidate against Democratic Sen. Landrieu.
Other states with Senate races to watch include, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota and, possibly, New Jersey.
Retailer Fined for Selling Flammable Polyester Children’s Sleepwear
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that The Limited Inc. and its subsidiary, Mast Industries, have agreed to pay $500,000 civil penalty. This settles CPSC allegation that companies violated federal Flammable Fabrics Act. CPSC alleged that these companies placed children at risk by knowingly importing and selling 100% polyester pajamas with satin finish and 100% polyester fleece bathrobes, that failed to comply with federal children’s sleepwear flammability standards.
Producers Invited to Eradication Program Impact Sessions
Cotton producers and producer interest organizations are invited to attend listening sessions regarding National Boll Weevil Eradication Program’s impact on actual production history (APH) yields. Purpose is to solicit, assimilate and report input from individual growers, grower groups and associations about proposed method(s) to adjust producers’ reported APH yields. Research methods and results will be reported. Session times/locations:
- Greenwood, MS, Sept. 10, 10 am – noon, North Leflore County Civic Center, 200 Highway 7. For information and RSVP: Gay Smith, 662-453-4065;
- Montgomery, AL, Sept. 11, 10 am – noon, Richard Beard Bldg., Alabama Dept. of Agriculture and Industry, 1445 Federal Drive. For information and RSVP: Buddy Adamson, 334-613-4216;
- Tifton, GA, Sept. 13 10 am – noon, Tifton Campus Conference Center, Rural Development Center. For information and RSVP: Karen McBrayer, 229-386-3416.
NCC Fall Board Will Convene in Memphis
NCC’s Board of Directors fall meeting is set for Sept. 12-14 at Adam’s Mark Hotel in Memphis.
Open session Sept. 13 will feature presentations from NCC Chairman Jim Echols; CCI President Hans Kretschmer; Washington update from John Maguire, NCC vice president, Washington Operations; economic outlook from Mark Lange, NCC vice president, policy analysis and program coordinator; and reports on other key NCC programs and industry issues.
Members of ’00-01 and ’01-02 Cotton Leadership Classes will attend.
‘Technology - The Common Thread’ Is ’02 Beltwide Cotton Conferences Theme
"Technology - The Common Thread" is theme of ’02 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Jan. 8-12 at Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA. Included is 47th annual Beltwide Cotton Production Conference, set for Wednesday, Jan. 9 and Thursday, Jan. 10. That conference’s general session will feature reports and panel discussions on biotechnology, cotton improvement, cultural practices for least-cost production, fiber quality, global competition, marketing, new technologies and other topics. Afternoon hands-on workshops will focus on electronic tools, nematodes and precision agriculture. Seminars and panels will cover agricultural chemical consolidation, E trading, insurance and new developments from industry. Cotton technical conferences, including joint sessions and poster sessions, will run Jan. 11 and Jan. 12. Cotton Foundation Technical Exhibit will be open Jan. 9-10.
Conferences’ information booklet will be mailed Sept. 10 to previous attendees, and information will be posted at www.cotton.org/beltwide. For further information, contact NCC’s Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis, TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FX (901) 725-0510 or email email@example.com.
Stocks 6 Million, Mill Use at 7.7 Million in July
Commerce Department estimate of stocks on hand effective Aug. 1 is 6 million 480-pound bales. Estimate for July (4-week month) cotton consumption in domestic mills was 248.76 million pounds for seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 7.72 million. This is lower than last year’s July annualized rate of 10.01 million bales, and lowest annualized rate since December ’90 when seasonally adjusted annualized rate was 7.71 million bales.
Department also revised June (5-week month) estimate of domestic cotton mill use down slightly to 361.83 million pounds, approximately 4.16 million pounds below previous estimate of 365.99. Seasonally adjusted annualized consumption rate for June is 7.76 million bales, 2.7 million bales below last June’s 10.46 million bale estimate.
Preliminary August domestic cotton mill use and revised July figures will be released by Commerce Department Sept. 27.
’01 PIE Concludes With Tour in Southeast
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri cotton producers toured cotton and other crop production operations in last of 4 ’01 Producer Information Exchange program tours.
Mid-South cotton producers started tour in Georgia with visits to: NCC Executive Committee Chairman Robert McLendon and Jimmy Webb farms in Leary, where they saw cotton and peanut production; Hamill McNair’s cotton, peanut and grain operations in Camilla; cotton, tobacco and vegetable production at Wavell Robinson Farms, vegetable processing and dairy operation, all in Brooks County; and cotton and purebred cattle production at Louie Perry, Jr.’s farm in Moultrie. Tour also featured visits to Jones Ecological Research Center and peanut processing facility near Albany and Marubeni Denim Mill in Columbus.
In Alabama, group visited Russell Corp. plant in Alexander City, Al; attended dinner with Autauga Quality Cotton Association in Montgomery, hosted by Prattville, Al, cotton producer Jimmy Sanford; and observed cotton, peanut and cattle production on nearby Gaines Farm.
PIE is managed by NCC and supported by a grant to Cotton Foundation from FMC Corp.
Congressional Staffers See Georgia Cotton Operations
Southeast Congressional Education tour allowed 12 Congressional staffers to become better acquainted with US cotton industry during 4-day tour in Georgia. Group visited Lummus Corp. in Savannah; Coffee County Gin Co. in Douglas; National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Lab and Chickasha of Georgia cottonseed crushing facility, both in Tifton; Swift Denim in Columbus; and Robert McClendon's farm in Leary.
NCC participated in tour, which was sponsored by Southern Cotton Growers and Southeastern Cotton Ginners.
‘Grow Smart’ Scholarship Winners Named
High school seniors Angela Odom, Blakely, GA; Braedan Hawkins, Malden, MO; and Traci Williams, Roscoe, TX; were selected as first recipients of $1,500 "Grow Smart" college scholarships. Winners were children of cotton producers. Other eligibility requirements were graduation in spring ’01 with at least B average and plans to enroll in 4-year agriculture-related curriculum beginning fall ’01. Applicants were required to write essay on importance of cotton to US agriculture.
Scholarships are funded by Aventis CropScience through grant to Cotton Foundation. Finalists and winners were chosen from panel of representatives from Aventis, NCC and National Cotton Women’s Committee.
Cotton Sales More than Double Previous Week
Net export sales for week ending Aug. 16 were 317,200 bales (480 lb.), more than double previous week’s sales of 145,300 bales, raising total ’01-02 sales to almost 5.5 million. Total sales at same point in ’00-01 marketing year were slightly more than 3.1 million bales. Shipments for week were 237,300 bales, bringing total exports to date to approximately 412,900 bales, up from approximately 289,100 at comparable point in ’00-01 marketing year.
Effective Aug. 24- 30, ’01Adjusted World Price, SLM 11/16....28.94 cents*
Coarse Count Adjustment.............0.00 cents
Current Step 2 Certificate Value....6.06 cents
Marketing Loan Gain Value..........22.98 cents
*No Adjustment Made Under Step I
Current 3135 c.i.f. N. Eur.........42.94 cents
Forward 3135 c.i.f. N. Eur.........No Quote
Coarse Count c.i.f. N. Eur.........41.52 cents
Current US c.i.f. N. Eur...........50.25 cents
Forward US c.i.f. N. Eur...........No Quote