|Senate Continues Debate on New Farm Law|
Chairman Harkin (D-IA) announced intention to object to any other legislation intervening, except defense related issues, until work is completed. Senators debated and completed action on number of amendments including overwhelmingly rejecting proposal to eliminate sugar program. Led by Sen. Lugar (R-IN), they rejected 53-45 (60 votes required) effort to limit debate and establish definitive time for completion of work on measure.
At debate’s beginning, Chairman Harkin made several modifications to provisions of S. 1731, as reported by Committee, designed to shore-up support among Sun Belt Democrats and to address strong opposition to dairy provisions originally included in S. 1731. Adjustments included provision to eliminate 1.25 cents Step 2 threshold through July 31, ’03; modification to rice provisions to address industry concerns; and major revisions to dairy provisions. Latter was particularly important as effort to eliminate dairy provisions failed on very narrow vote early in debate. During remaining debate, amendments are expected to be offered related to export sales to Cuba, country-of-origin labeling for certain foods, concentration in certain processing industries and reductions in payment limitations and/or application of means test as qualification for receiving farm program benefits. Sens. Roberts (R-KS) and Cochran (R-MS) also are expected to offer substitute proposal, details of which were outlined in 12/7 Cotton’s Week http://www.cotton.org/news/cweek/2001/1207cw.cfm.
NCC continues to work with other commodity and farm organizations to urge Senate to complete work as quickly as possible so producers have predictable, improved financial support to facilitate cropping and financing plans for ’02 and beyond.
|Ag Groups Urge Opposition to Payment Limit Amendments|
NCC organized letter, joined by all major farm organizations except National Farmers Union, to all Senators urging them to oppose new farm legislation amendments that would further reduce limitations on farm program benefits below levels in S. 1731 (bill passed by Senate Ag Committee). Letter states reduction in limits would nullify efforts to improve financial safety net for farmers who face increasing costs and historically low prices.
Sen. Dorgan (D-ND) is expected to offer means test amendment and Sen. Johnson (D-SD) is expected to offer amendment drastically reducing payment limit levels and eliminating 3-entity rule. Votes are expected on these and other amendments during further consideration of S. 1731 on Tuesday, 12/18.
|Senate Panel Approves TPA Legislation|
Senate Finance Committee approved bi-partisan legislation crafted by Chairman Baucus (D-MT) and Grassley (R-IA) to give President authority to negotiate new trade agreements (Trade Promotion Authority) and submit them to Congress for approval or disapproval without amendment. Legislation is similar to bill (HR 3005) approved 215-214 by House, but adds provisions on investor disputes, US trade laws, labor rights and Congressional consultations.
During consideration, Committee rejected amendment by Sen. Conrad (D-ND) that would have required certification of soundness of country’s currency before TPA would apply to negotiations. Finance Committee legislation includes provisions establishing objective of preserving US export credit programs and eliminating export subsidies. Provision also urges US negotiators to complete WTO round by Jan. 1, ’05 and to seek broadest possible market access.
Committee was to convene Dec. 14 to consider additional amendments, but Chairman Baucus and Ranking Republican Grassley have committed to resist all amendments. Senate Majority Leader Daschle (D-SD) has indicated Senate will not consider TPA until ’02.
|USDA Estimate Lowers Production to 20.06 Million Bales|
In its December cotton production report, USDA lowered estimate of ’01-02 crop to 20.06 million bales. Estimated upland crop was lowered 121,000 bales to 19.44 million, while ELS production was raised 10,000 bales to 628,000. Cottonseed production estimate was lowered 41,000 tons to 7.53 million.
Report lowered estimated ’01-02 world cotton crop to 96.00 million bales (480 lb.), reduced expected world mill use to 91.62 million bales and lowered projected world stocks to 43.51 million bales. This has corresponding world stocks-to-use ratio of 47.5%. Estimates for ’01-02 US marketing year show reduced mill use at 7.90 million bales, increase in exports to 9.80 million and ending stocks of 8.40 million bales for 47.5% stocks-to-use ratio.
|Workshops, Seminars Offer Info from Skip to Drip|
’02 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference workshops and seminars Jan. 9-10 in Atlanta will offer abundance of data on production practices, from skip row planting to drip irrigation.
Jan. 9 includes session with growers sharing their experiences with skip row system, including variety selection, equipment modification and fertilizer requirements; New Developments From Industry; and "Ag-Chem Consolidation: What Does It Mean For Growers?" Also featured will be computer-related sessions on introduction to Quick Books, computer tools for your business and Internet Center free time.
Jan. 10 will include in-depth workshops on nematode management and on alternative technologies such as drip irrigation, precision farming and ultra-narrow-row in addition to computer business tools parts 2 and 3. Special sessions will cover introduction to options hedging, advanced options and revenue insurance. Quick Books introduction will be offered again along with Quicken on-farm implementation.
Complete ’02 Beltwide Cotton Conferences’ program, including Jan. 11-12 technical conferences’ schedules, is now available on NCC’s web site at http://www.cotton.org/beltwide/program. Printed programs will be available at conferences. Meeting registration form and travel and other information, including sampling of reduced airline fares, is at http://www.cotton.org/beltwide.
|JCIBPC to Convene at Beltwide Cotton Conferences|
In move to minimize travel and maximize resources, Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee will convene Jan. 8 from 1:30 pm to 6 pm at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, prior to ’02 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. Date replaces Feb. 27 Memphis meeting date published in NCC’s Cotton’s Calendar.
Reports will be heard from JCIBPC Chairman Keith Pendergrass, Donaldsonville, GA, ginner, and from NCC staff. Items to be discussed include changes and additions to ‘02 Specifications for Cotton Bale Packaging Materials and experimental packaging products for ‘02 crop year testing. Questions regarding meeting should be directed to Dale Thompson, NCC’s manager, Marketing/Processing Technology.
|CCI Sees Sub Saharan Africa Presence at Summit|
Some 75 trade executives from Sub Sahara Africa will be invited to participate in "Cotton’s Sourcing Summit 2002," scheduled for April 14-16, in Miami, FL. Invitees identified by 2 Cotton Council International trade teams that visited region this year will enable larger group of US importers and US cotton yarn and fabric manufacturers to meet potential manufacturers from Sub Sahara Africa.
Following passage of African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), Cotton Board’s Importer Supporter Program and Cotton Incorporated contracted with CCI to conduct series of activities designed to enhance importer awareness of sourcing opportunities in Sub Sahara Africa and to investigate export opportunities for US cotton fiber, yarn and fabric.
|NCC Delegates to Help Industry Develop Key Policy|
Delegates will develop policies and programs under theme of "Policy, Program, Purpose" at NCC’s ’02 Annual Meeting, Feb. 7-11 at Hyatt Regency in Dallas.
"National Cotton Council delegates face a challenge in determining a course of action to restore US cotton’s economic health," NCC Chairman James Echols said.
Echols will cover industry’s situation Feb. 11. Session also includes Charlie Cook, Washington political analyst, and J. Berrye Worsham, III, Cotton Incorporated.
Among key sessions on Feb. 8 are NCC’s Policy Advisory Committee on Trade, CCI’s Board of Directors and American Cotton Producers. On Feb. 9, NCC’s Economic Outlook will be given to joint session of NCC’s 6 resolution-approving program committees, and National Cotton Ginners Association will conduct its annual meeting.
|Foundation Gains 2 Members|
Cotton Foundation membership grew to 74 with addition of Nichino America and Catalyst Product Group. Delaware-based Nichino, subsidiary of Japanese firm Nihon Nohyaku, makes plant protection products. Arizona-based Catalyst Product Group manufactures humates, foliar fertilizers, natural fungicides and nematicides and organic based fertilizers.
|No Step 2 Payment for Week Ending Dec. 13|
Step 2 payments will not be made this week. Step 2 payments are issued to exporters and domestic mill users of US upland cotton in week following consecutive 4-week period when lowest US-Northern Europe (USNE) price quotation exceeds Northern Europe (NE) price quotation by more than 1.25 cents per pound, and adjusted world price (AWP) does not exceed 134% of US loan rate. USNE price did not exceed NE price by more than 1.25 cents per pound for week ending Dec. 13. Next eligible date for Step 2 payments will be week beginning Jan. 11, ’02.
|Cotton Sales Lower than Previous Week|
Net export sales for week ending Dec. 6 were 257,100 bales (480-lb.), about 16% lower than previous week, raising total ’01-02 sales to 8.9 million plus. Total sales at same point in ’00-01 marketing year were 4.7 million bales. Week’s shipments were 208,400 bales, bringing total exports to about 3.3 million bales, up from 1.7 million at comparable point in ’00-01 marketing year.
|Prices Effective Dec. 14-20, 2001|
Adjusted World Price, SLM 1 1/16 28.79 cents*
Current 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe 42.86 cents