|Trade, Farm Policy Remain Key Industry Issues|
Retiring NCC Chairman Woods Eastland told delegates at the NCC’s Annual Meeting in Tucson, AZ, that many of the NCC’s priority issues in ’05 will continue in the year ahead, including the need for maintaining a sound farm program and achieving workable trade agreements.
Regarding trade, Eastland said the US cotton industry is deeply concerned about the possible ramifications of the cotton-specific references in the WTO ministerial text. Trade ministers have set a date of April 30 to finalize modalities and July 31 for tabling schedules.
“An intense period of further WTO negotiations is immediately ahead,” he said. “Cotton has been asked to give up more than other commodities and there will be strong pressure for even additional concessions. We have made it clear to US negotiators that should a final Doha agreement contain significant additional concessions on cotton policy, it could result in an uncertain future for an agreement in Congress.”
The process of developing a new farm bill is just beginning, Eastland noted, and Congressional farm bill hearings will occur this year and continue early next year. Several factors will shape a new farm bill, including any final WTO agricultural agreement, Congressional budget authority, and the balance between nutrition/conservation and commodity spending.
Eastland also reiterated a challenge he issued this past year. That goal is for the industry to lead in developing an effort to strengthen global cotton promotion in order to increase demand.
“If we fail to implement this global effort without delay, we face very serious consequences,” Eastland said.
In presenting the NCC’s ’06 Economic Outlook, Dr. Gary Adams, vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, said the US cotton industry’s economic health will be affected by cotton’s ability to regain global market share relative to manmade fibers. Stronger demand, he said, gives the US industry a better chance to continue its current raw cotton export pace.
“As we look at challenges facing the global market, the ability to increase demand and regain market share relative to manmade fibers is paramount,” Adams said.
Even though an estimated record ’05-06 world cotton consumption of 116.8 million bales is well below total manmade fiber use of 180 million bales, Adams said there is reason for optimism. Fueled by growth in China, India and Pakistan, world mill cotton use for ’06-07 is projected at 119.8 million bales, higher than the projected world production of 116.2 million bales.
The economist emphasized that the economic outlook for the US cotton industry is directly affected by China which “is on pace to be the largest consumer of US cotton. China has emerged as the largest importer with potential purchases of 17 million bales (global) in the current marketing year. The economist also noted, though, that to protect the US textile industry’s economic health, it is imperative that Chinese textiles are not unfairly dumped into the export market.
“The US textile industry is expected to remain under pressure, but further losses in mill use should be mitigated by the current agreement limiting textile imports from China,” he said.
Adams said for ’06-07, US mill cotton use is projected at 5.75 million bales, as compared to USDA’s estimate of 5.90 million bales for ’05-06 and US cotton exports for ’06-07 are seen at 15.83 million bales, below USDA’s current ’05-06 estimate of 16.4 million. For Outlook details, go to http://www.cotton.org/econ/reports/annual-outlook.cfm.
Mark Manis, international trade specialist for USDA-FAS, provided a report on the status of the WTO negotiations during the joint session with delegates.
|USDA to Issue 2nd Advance CCP|
USDA has notified state and county offices that the 2nd advance Counter-cyclical Payment (CCP) rate for the ’05 upland cotton crop will be at the maximum allowable level of 9.61 cents/lb (70% of 13.73 cents/lb), less any amount received in the first advance payment. For those who took the full amount of the 1st advance payment of 4.81 cents, they will receive 4.80 cents in the coming days.USDA also announced the 2nd advance CCP rates for corn, sorghum, barley, rice and peanuts. For recipients who took the 1st advance for other commodities, the 2nd advance rates will be as follows: corn – 14 cents/bu; sorghum – 9.45 cents/bu; barley – 5.25 cents/bu; rice – 0.0525 cents/lb; and peanuts – 1.82 cents/lb.
|CAFTA Concerns Conveyed|
In a letter to USTR Ambassador Rob Portman and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, the NCC is seeking their assistance in resolving several possible unintended consequences created by the so-called “rolling” implementation of the US-Central America Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreements (CAFTA-DR).
The letter conveyed the concern that in the trade agreement’s transition from a unilateral temporary trade preference program to a reciprocal, permanent, and comprehensive trade framework, the transition itself will be highly disruptive if the rolling implementation does not fully reflect and accommodate the range of regional partnerships and trade patterns that presently exist. One interpretation is that countries which accede to the CAFTA-DR last would retain the greatest ability to use US and regional inputs. Conversely, those countries that accede to the CAFTA-DR early lose the most opportunities to use regional and US inputs. This scenario, if allowed to persist, will cost US textile and apparel companies millions of dollars in excess duties paid and lost export sales.Specifically, the letter urged that: 1) the CBTPA stays in effect until the CAFTA-DR enters into force for the last CAFTA-DR signatory country. In this way, companies who are currently producing using the supply chains built up in connection with the trade preference programs will not be forced to operate at a disadvantage as they are navigating the transition and 2) countries which accede to the CAFTA-DR early are able to fully avail themselves of the CAFTA rules of origin during the period of rolling implementation. In this way, companies who have responded to the incentives of the Jan. 1, ’04 textile and apparel implementation date and kept business in this region will not be penalized.
|Letter Urges Peru Pact Adoption|
A letter to Ambassador Portman from John Maguire, NCC senior vice president, Washington Operations, informed the Ambassador that NCC delegates endorsed the Peru Free Trade Agreement by passing the following resolution: “The National Cotton Council should support the adoption of the Peru Free Trade Agreement provided that the rules of origin for cotton textiles and apparel are not detrimentally changed with the accession of any other Andean country.”
The letter stated that NCC determined the Peru agreement will be beneficial for US cotton producers and for US textile and apparel manufacturers. NCC membership also expressed their support for a strong rule of origin and their concern that other Andean countries might attempt to weaken those rules as they attempt to finalize a free trade agreement with the United States.“The maintenance of a strong rule of origin in the Peru agreement is central to this endorsement by the NCC membership,” the letter noted. “The NCC supports enactment of legislation designed to implement the Peru agreement. We appreciate the Administration’s efforts to negotiate this agreement.”
|Sales, Shipments Stay Strong|
USDA said net export sales for the week ending Feb. 9 were 457,900 bales (480-lb.). This brings total ’05-06 sales to about 12.7 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’04-05 marketing year were almost 10.8 million bales. Total new crop (’06-07) sales are 243,500 bales.
Shipments for the week were 347,100 bales, bringing total exports to date to 6.5 million bales, compared with the 5.2 million bales at the comparable point in the ’04-05 marketing year.
|CPSC Approves Mattress Flammability Standard|
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a federal mattress flammability standard for small open flame to take effect July 1, ’07. Cotton is used in mattresses as the cover fabric and in batting and barrier materials.
The standard is designed to limit the spread and intensity of a mattress fire, giving consumers more time to escape from their homes. This standard is essentially the same standard that became effective on Jan. 1, ’05 in California.CPSC estimates, that when this new mandatory standard for mattresses is fully effective, it is likely to save as many as 270 lives a year, preventing 78% of the deaths occurring every year. The agency also has a rulemaking underway on bed clothes (i.e., mattress pads, comforters, blankets, etc.).
|Select Beltwide Reports Available Via Confex|
Participants in the ’06 Beltwide Cotton Conferences may access conference presentations via the Confex Podium Service. Only the reports turned in by presenters are included in this service. To access these presentations, go to http://ncc.confex.com/ncc/2006/techprogram/MEETING.HTM. Monsanto and Stoneville Seed sponsored this service. Complete proceedings of the ’06 conferences are scheduled to be mailed by mid-May.
|Allen Helms Elected NCC Chairman|
Allen Helms, Jr., a Clarkedale, AR, producer, was elected NCC chairman for ’06 at the NCC’s annual meeting He served as the NCC’s vice chairman in ’05 and succeeds Woods Eastland.
Helms is co-owner of Helms Farms, a Clarkdale, AR, operation that includes cotton, corn, soybeans, rice and wheat. He also serves as president of Crittenden Gin Company and as a director of Planters Cotton Oil Mill. He served as the NCC’s secretary-treasurer from ’02-04, as the chairman of the American Cotton Producers in ’98 and ’99, and as president of The Cotton Foundation in ’04-05. He is the current Foundation chairman. He also has served as president of the Agriculture Council of Arkansas and the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Assoc.
The NCC’s vice chairman for ’06 is John Pucheu, a Tranquility, CA, cotton producer. Elected a NCC vice president was Robert Norris, a Bakersfield, CA, cooperative official. Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Charles Owen, a Pima, AZ, ginner; Gail Kring, a Lubbock, TX, crusher; Fred Underwood, a Lubbock, TX, warehouseman; Robert Weil, II, a Montgomery, AL, merchant; and Harding Stowe, a Belmont, NC, textile manufacturer. Craig Shook, a Corpus Christi, TX, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.Dr. Mark Lange was re-elected NCC President and CEO; Dr. Gary Adams, vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, Producer Affairs; Fred Johnson, vice president, Administration and Program Coordination; Dr. Andy Jordan, vice president, Technical Services; and Dr. Bill Norman, vice president, Ginner Services; all of Memphis; and John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations; and Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Operations; both of Washington, DC.
|NCC Names ’06 Directors|
NCC directors elected to the NCC Board during interest caucuses at the Annual Meeting were:
Producers – Sam Spruell, Mount Hope, AL; Bowen Flowers, Tunica, MS; Rickey Bearden, Plains, TX; Don Cameron, Helm, CA; and Jon “Jay” Hardwick, Newellton, LA. Ginners – Richard Holder, Kinston, NC; Richard Kelley, Burlison, TN; Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; Barbara Haralson, Safford, AZ; and Russ Kuhnhenn, Glendale, AZ. Warehousemen – Donald Robinson, Garner, NC; Thomas Stallings, Funston, GA; Wendell Tucker, Quanah, TX; Robert Weatherford, Corpus Christi, TX; and Rick Willis, Brownfield, TX. Merchants – W. B. Dunavant, III, Memphis, TN; John Mitchell, Memphis, TN; Manfred Schiefer, Lubbock, TX; Gary Taylor, Memphis, TN; and Bill Winburne, Phoenix, AZ. Cottonseed – Gary Conkling, Oklahoma City, OK; Bobby Crum, Harlingen, TX; Larry Johnson, La Crosse, WI; Robert Lacy, Jr., Lubbock, TX; and Sammy Wright, Tifton, GA. Cooperatives – Meredith Allen, Greenwood, MS; Wally Darneille, Lubbock, TX; Tommy Funk, Jr., Harlingen, TX; Jarral Neeper, Bakersfield, CA; and Michael Quinn, Garner, NC. Manufacturers – Robert Chapman III, Inman, SC; Duke Kimbrell, Gastonia, NC; Van May, Lubbock, TX; Jerry Rowland, Winston-Salem, NC; and Malloy Evans, Cheraw, SC.
|Burns Named CCI President For ’06|
David Burns, a Laurel Hill, NC, cotton producer, was elected president of Cotton Council International (CCI) for ’06, moving up from first vice president. He was named during CCI’s board of directors meeting at the NCC’s Annual Meeting.
Burns previously has served on CCI’s Board and on its Executive Committee and as chairman of The Cotton Foundation. He succeeds Gary Taylor, a Memphis merchant, who becomes CCI board chairman.
Other CCI officers elected for ’06 are: first vice president Michael Adams, cooperative official from Greenwood, MS; second vice president Robert Weil, II, a Montgomery, AL, merchant, and treasurer, Clyde Sharp, a Roll, AZ, producer. Mark Lange of Memphis, TN, was re-elected secretary and Allen Terhaar of Washington, DC, was re-elected assistant secretary.
CCI elected three new directors for ’06 – Larry McClendon, producer, Marianna, AR; Manfred Schiefer, merchant, Lubbock, TX; and Harding Stowe, manufacturer, Belmont, NC.
Re-elected directors include: Producers - Cliett Lowman, III, Kingsville, TX; Ted Sheely, Lemoore, CA; Larry Starrh, Shafter, CA; Jimmy Webb, Leary, GA; Mark Williams, Farwell, TX; and Richard Kelley, Burlison, TN. Ginners - Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; and Robert Glassman, Fresno, CA; Merchants - Rodger Glaspey, Fresno, CA; Dale Grounds, Richardson, TX; Adolph Weil, III, Montgomery, AL; and Bil Winburne, Phoenix, AZ; Cooperatives - John Burch, Bakersfield, CA; David Hand, El Paso, TX; and Lonnie Winters, Lubbock, TX; Cottonseed Processors/Dealers: Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX; Warehousemen - Vance Shoaf, Milan, TN; and Manufacturers - Owen “Trey” Hodges, III, Columbus, GA.
|Hardwick Elected Chairman of ACP|
Jon W. “Jay” Hardwick, a producer from Newellton, LA, was elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the NCC for ’06 during the NCC’s annual meeting. He succeeds John Pucheu of Tranquillity, CA.
Elected as vice chairmen were Chuck Coley, Vienna, GA, and Clyde Sharp, Roll, AZ. Danny Davis, Elk City, OK, was re-elected as ACP vice chairman.
Elected as regional directors for the ACP are: Sam Spruell, Mount Hope, AL, Bowen Flowers, Tunica, MS, representing the Mid-South, and Don Cameron, Helm, CA, representing the West.
Re-elected representing the Southwest was Rickey Bearden, Plains, TX.
Elected state producer chairmen for the ACP were: Alabama – Charles Speake, Eufaula, and Mike Tate, Huntsville; Arizona – Thomas W. Isom, Casa Grande, and Greg Wuertz, Coolidge; Arkansas – Herrick Norcross III, Tyronza; California – Greg Palla, Bakersfield, and Tom Teixeira, Dos Palos; Florida – B. E. “Sonny” Davis, Cottondale; Georgia – Chuck Lee, Pembroke, and Ronnie Lee, Bronwood; Kansas – Robert Miller, Wellington; Louisiana – Boyd Holley, Bastrop, and Thomas Parker, Lake Providence; Mississippi – Lawrence Long, Indianola; Missouri/Illinois – Charles Parker, Senath, MO; New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, Carlsbad; North Carolina – David Dunlow, Gaston, and Jay Brinn, Jr., Belhaven; Oklahoma – Keeff Felty, Altus; South Carolina – Roy Baxley, Dillon, and Frank Rogers III, Bennettsville; Tennessee/Kentucky – Larry Rice, Covington, TN; Texas – Jimmy Dodson, Robstown, and Michael Alexander, Colorado City; and Virginia – Larry Darden, Carrsville.
|NCC ’06 State Unit Officers Named|
NCC state unit officers elected for ’06 are (chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries, respectively):
Alabama –Larkin Martin, producer, Courtland; Neal Isbell, producer, Muscle Shoals; and Stanley Walters, producer, Gallion. Arizona – Clyde Sharp, producer, Roll; Lon Emerson, cooperative, Glendale; and Steve Straussner, ginner, Coolidge. Arkansas - Neill Sloan, warehouser, Portland; Danny Brown, cottonseed, Marianna; and Curtis Stewart, ginner, Dumas. California – Kevin Long, cooperative, Bakersfield; Robert Crume, warehouser, Bakersfield; and Stanley Creelman, ginner, Tulare. Florida - Jerry Davis, producer, Jay; Joe Hall, ginner, Bascom; and David Yoder, ginner, Marianna. Georgia – Kent Fountain, ginner, Surrency; Chuck Lee, producer, Pembroke; and Ronnie Lee, ginner, Bronwood. Kansas – Robert Miller, producer, Wellington; Randy Lucas, producer, Satanta; and Gary Feist, ginner, Anthony. Louisiana – Stephen Logan, producer, Gilliam; John Carroll, ginner, Gilbert; and Thomas Parker, producer, Lake Providence. Mississippi – Scott Middleton, Jr., cottonseed, Jonestown; Thomas Hayes, III, producer, Clarksdale; and Meredith Allen, cooperative, Greenwood. Missouri/Illinois – Steven Droke, producer, Sikeston, MO; Jimmie Johnson, producer, Vanduser, MO; and Charles Parker, producer, Senath, MO. New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, producer, Carlsbad; Alberto Pondo, ginner, Mesquite; and Gil Jones, warehouser, El Paso, TX. North Carolina – Taylor Slade, producer, Williamston; David M. Dunlow, producer, Gaston; and Coalter Paxton, Jr., warehouser, Wilson. Oklahoma – Jay Cowart, warehouser, Altus; Keeff Felty, producer, Altus; and Danny Davis, producer, Elk City. South Carolina – Frank. Rogers, III, producer, Bennettsville; John Olson, producer, Saint Matthews; and Evans Tindal, manufacturer, Cheraw. Tennessee/Kentucky – Chris Clegg, Sr., ginner, Tiptonville, TN; Jimmy Moody, cooperative, Dyersburg, TN, and Jeffery Hill, producer, Gates, TN. Texas – Sam Simmons, producer, Harlingen; Ron Craft, ginner, Plains; and Ronnie Riddle, producer, Abilene. Virginia – Mark Hodges III, ginner, Emporia; Thomas Alphin Jr., ginner, Windsor; and Larry Darden, producer, Carrsville.
|Kuhnhenn to Lead NCGA in ’06|
Russell Kuhnhenn, Paloma Gin, Buckeye, AZ, was elected ’06-07 president of the National Cotton Ginners Assoc. (NCGA) at its annual meeting. He moves up from NCGA’s first vice president. Other officers elected for ’06-07 include: first vice president, Van Murphy, Quitman, GA; second vice president, Chris Breedlove, Olton, TX; third vice president, Sledge Taylor, Como, MS; and chairman, Larry McClendon, Marianna, AR.
Sid Brough, general manager of EdCot Coop Gin and San Patricio County Coop, is the ’05 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year recipient. Brough, who was the NCGA’s chairman in ’05, is recognized as an innovator who constantly strives to provide quality ginning for his customers.
Active in the industry, Brough is a director and past president of South Texas Cotton and Grain Assoc. He also is a director and past president of the Texas Cotton Ginners Assoc. and served as a NCC director in ’05. He is a graduate of Texas Tech U.Roger Isom, vice president and director of Technical Services for California Cotton Ginners and Growers Assoc., is the recipient of the ’05-06 NCGA Distinguished Service Award. Isom was characterized as being a tireless worker on behalf of the US cotton ginning industry. His efforts on air quality regulations in cotton ginning operations have saved the ginning industry millions of dollars. He also has been an active technical advisor on other issues beyond air quality, including ways to improve worker safety records and reduce unnecessary, burdensome regulations. He recently chaired the NCGA’s Safety Specialist’s Forum. He is a graduate of California State U. – Fresno.
|Cotton Service Award Honors Brumfield|
Bruce Brumfield, a former NCC president and cotton producer from Inverness, MS, is the recipient of the ’05 Harry S. Baker Distinguished Service Award for Cotton. The award, named for the late California industry leader and NCC President Harry S. Baker, is presented annually to a deserving individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the US cotton industry.
A partner in Brumfield Plantation and FTB Farms, Brumfield’s farming operation in Sunflower County, MS, primarily is in cotton, soybeans, wheat and catfish. He also is vice president of Duncan Gin Inc. in Inverness.
Brumfield was honored for his uncommon leadership and his distinguished and invaluable service provided to the US cotton industry. He became chairman of the NCC’s Board in ’95 after serving as NCC president in ’94. He is a past chairman of the NCC’s Producer Steering Committee and a past president of the Delta Council and the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Assoc. He currently serves as a director for Staplcotn Cotton Cooperative, the Community Bank of Indianola, Delta Pride Catfish and Delta Western Inc.
Brumfield was selected as a member to the Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture. This highly influential 11- member commission presented President Bush and Congress a comprehensive report on the status of US production agriculture following the enactment of the FAIR Act.
The Mississippi Agricultural and Home Economics Alumni Assoc. presented its production agriculture award to him in ’81. In ’99, he was named Progressive Farmer’s Mississippi Man of the Year in Agriculture. In ’01, Mississippi State U.’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences named him an Alumni Fellow.
Previous honorees of the Harry S. Baker Award include Duke Barr, Gaylon Booker, Lloyd Cline, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Robert Coker, Rep. Larry Combest, Charlie Cunningham, Billy Dunavant, Jr., Duke Kimbrell, Bill Lawson, Lon Mann, Frank Mitchener, Albert Russell, Jimmy Sanford, Earl Sears, B. F. Smith, Jack Stone, Charlie Youngker, and last year’s recipient, Charles Stenholm.
|Cotton’s Leaders for ’06|
|Prices Effective February 17-23, '06|