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|US Delegation Pledges Help to West African Countries|
A US government delegation pledged to assist the West African nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Senegal in addressing developmental aspects of their cotton industries. The delegation was led by Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Butler and included other officials from the State Department, US Agency for International Development and the NCC, which was represented by American Cotton Producers Chairman John Pucheu.
The main items discussed with the West African officials in the Mali meeting included helping West African cotton farmers improve their crops by more effective use of fertilizers, water management, biotechnology and integrated pest management. A follow-up conference in Mali in June ’05 will examine other technologies that can benefit West African cotton production and quality. Additionally, under the Cochran and Borlaug Fellowship programs, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will invite West African officials and scientists to the United States to learn more about cotton classification procedures and soil science.
|USDA Raises US Crop Estimate|
In its January crop report, USDA estimated a ’04-05 US crop of 23.01 million bales, up 191,000 bales from the December report. Upland production was estimated at 22.27 million bales and ELS production at 736,000. Yield is expected to average a record high 846 pounds per harvested acre, surpassing the previous record of 730 pounds set in ’03. Planted acres were revised down 104,000 acres to 13.66 million acres. Record yields are expected in 11 of the 17 cotton producing states – Arkansas, California, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and Kansas.
|World Production Put at 115.6 Million Bales|
World production for the ’04-05 crop year was raised 1.6 million bales to 115.6 million in USDA’s latest report, 17% higher than the previous record set in the ’01-02 marketing year. The world mill use estimate increased 1.1 million bales to 104.4 million. Ending stocks for ’04-05 were raised 590,000 bales to 47.12 million, for a corresponding ending stocks-to-use ratio of 45.1%.
In its January report, USDA raised the US ’04-05 cotton production more than 190,000 bales to 23.0 million. Exports were raised 200,000 bales from last month’s report to 12.7 million. Ending stocks were unchanged at 7.7 million bales. The estimated ending stocks-to-use ratio is 40.7%.
|Anderson, Cochran Keynoting Annual Meeting|
NCC Chairman Woody Anderson and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Appropriations Committee chairman, will address the Jan. 31 general session of the NCC’s ’05 Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. Also on Monday’s program is Dr. Larry Sabato, a political analyst and the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the U. of Virginia, and Cotton Incorporated President/CEO Berrye Worsham.
Among other important sessions at the convention is the American Cotton Producers session on Jan. 27, where the NCC’s planting intentions survey results will be announced. The National Cotton Ginners Assoc. annual meeting will feature addresses from Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) and Dunavant Enterprises' Bill Dunavant, III, who will discuss US export customers’ quality requirements and how they affect US ginners.
The Jan. 29 luncheon will offer Communications Strategist Torie Clarke’s discussion of “How Washington Works.” Go to www.cotton.org/events/amreg for information on the meeting, themed “Cotton’s Capitol Agenda.”
|First Grasslands Easement Completed|
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced the first conservation easement completed in the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) - on 83 acres of grassland in Sumter County, SC.
"Our nation's grasslands provide significant economic and ecological benefits and play a key role in environmental quality," Veneman said. "This program helps conserve grasslands and helps maintain viable ranching and farming operations. This easement provides permanent protection for the property’s ranching operation from conversion to non-grassland uses."
GRP, a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore and enhance grasslands on their property, is administered by NRCS, the Farm Service Agency and the Forest Service. The program emphasizes protection for grasslands that are under threat of conversion to cropland or other uses.
GRP participants may enroll eligible lands through rental agreements consisting of 10, 15, 20 or 30-years, or through 30-year or permanent easements. In FY04, NRCS and FSA jointly processed 10,122 GRP applications on 6.5 million acres. Since the program’s beginning in FY03, 302 easement projects have been approved in 37 states covering 184,842 acres valued at about $61 million.
|Strong Week for Sales, Shipments|
Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 6, ’05 were 270,900 bales (480-lb.), resulting in total ’04-05 sales of almost 9.1 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’03-04 marketing year were about 9.5 million bales. Total new crop (’05-06) sales are 309,200 bales. Shipments for the week were 341,800 bales, bringing total exports to date to 3.7 million bales, below the 4.1 million at the comparable point in the ’03-04 marketing year.
|Mattresses/Bedclothes Rules Published|
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (2-0) to issue proposed safety standards to reduce deaths and injuries from fires involving mattresses and bedclothes. The mattress and foundation market (excluding filling) is about 65,000 bale equivalents of cotton. The bedclothes market is more than 1 million bales if sheets are included (sheets and pillowcases are about 600,000 bales).
CPSC published the following proposals in the Federal Register: (1) a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for the Flammability of Mattresses and Mattress/ Foundation Sets (70 FR 2470) to address fires ignited by an open flame (there is already a CPSC standard to address cigarette ignition of mattresses – 16 CFR 1632) and (2) an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to Address Open Flame Ignition of Bedclothes (70 FR 2514). The bed clothes ANPR addresses all top-of-the-bed products, including filled bed products (e.g., comforters, mattress pads and pillows), blanket, sheets and pillowcases.
The California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI) completed a standard to address open-flame ignition of mattresses/box springs in ’03 (“TB 603”) that was approved in ’04 and became effective earlier this month. The test method in the CPSC NPR is similar to the California standard.
Comments for the mattress NPR are due by March 29, ’05. In the bedclothes ANPR, there is not a proposed test method because CPSC uses an ANPR for information gathering and for determining if there is a need for a mandatory standard. For the bedclothes ANPR, comments are due March 14, ’05.
|Wakelyn Named to Clean Air Panel|
NCC Senior Scientist Dr. Phil Wakelyn has been named to the US EPA Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC). CAAAC is a senior-level policy committee established in ’90 to advise EPA on issues related to implementing the Clean Air Act Amendments of ’90.
The committee is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and has been renewed every 2 years since its creation. The membership includes about 60 senior managers and experts representing state and local government, environmental and public interest groups, academic institutions, unions, trade associations, utilities, industry and other experts. Wakelyn and Bob Avant, head of the Texas Food and Fiber Commission, are the Committee’s only agriculture members.
|’05 High Cotton Award Recipients Honored|
Winners of the ’05 High Cotton Awards, the program that recognizes cotton growers for their contributions to environmental stewardship, are: Shep Morris, Shorter, AL; Bruce Bond, Portland, AR; Mike Tyler, Lamesa, TX; and Mike Cox, Brawley, CA.
Three of this year’s winners plant their crops minimum-till, continuing a tradition that has characterized the program sponsored by Farm Press Publications through a grant to The Cotton Foundation. The 4 recipients were honored at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences.
|Lilly Pulitzer® Named Cotton Champion|
Lilly Pulitzer®, a leading retailer of colorful and uplifting apparel known for its whimsical and stylish fashions, received the ’05 US Cotton Champion Award during the Beltwide Cotton Conferences’ Cotton Counts fashion show.
The King of Prussia, PA-based company was the 6th recipient of the award, which recognizes a company’s commitment to the use of US-grown cotton in its clothing. The award is presented by the NCC on behalf of its National Cotton Women's Committee.
|A&M Scientist Receives Genetics Award|
Dr. C. Wayne Smith, a professor of Cotton Breeding and associate head of Texas A&M U’s Soil and Crop Sciences Dept. in College Station, is the recipient of the ’04 Cotton Genetics Research Award.
Recognized at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, he received $1,000 for his efforts, which include 30 years of scientific and academic service to the US cotton industry combined with his cooperative research with scientists around the globe.
US commercial cotton breeders have presented this award for more than 40 years to a scientist for outstanding basic research in cotton genetics. The Joint Cotton Breeding Policy Committee, comprised of representatives from state experiment stations, USDA, private breeders and the NCC, establishes award criteria.
|Wells Receives Physiology Award|
Dr. Randy Wells, Extension leader and associate department head of Crop Science at North Carolina State U., received the Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology at the Beltwide Cotton Physiology Conference in New Orleans. The annual award, sponsored by Agrivert Inc., recognizes exceptional achievements in cotton research.
Wells was selected for the award by a committee of industry peers and is most prominently known for his research addressing problems associated with genetic and environmental limitations to cotton yield and fiber quality.
|Prices Effective January 14-20, 2005|