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|Sign-Up Period Extended for ’04 Cottonseed Payment Program|
Teresa Lasseter, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), extended the ’04 Cottonseed Payment Program (CPP) sign-up period until April 14. Sign-up for the program was originally scheduled to end March 27. The CPP provides up to $10 million in assistance to eligible producers and first-handlers of the ’04 cottonseed crop.
“This program helps producers overcome cotton industry losses caused by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004,” Lasseter said. “Extending the sign-up period gives producers and gins the extra time they need to enroll in this program.”
Cotton producers and first-handlers must operate in those counties that received presidential disaster declarations caused by ’04 hurricanes and tropical storms. First-handlers of cottonseed can apply for CPP funds. First-handlers are gins that have eligible payment quantities.
Applications, instructions and a complete list of eligible counties receiving Federal Emergency Management Agency designations for individual disaster assistance are available by request and online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/psd/Cottonseed.htm. The CPP fact sheet and all eligibility requirements are available at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov/agas04.htm.
Applications must be sent by fax to (202) 690-1536 or by overnight mail to FSA’s Price Support Division at: USDA/FSA/PSD, Attention: Chris Kyer, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 0512 – Rm 4089, Washington, DC20250-0512. Contact Chris Kyer by phone at (202) 720-7935 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
|NCC Briefed on Insurance Concepts|
NCC staff attended a briefing session at the offices of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to review analysis on revenue insurance concepts.
The United Soybean Board (USB) is supporting work by AgRisk Management, LLC to investigate the performance of revenue insurance under various types of program structures. The USB has asked AFBF to coordinate with the various commodity organizations in sharing analysis and presentations.
Representatives of AgRisk described conditions under the current WTO “Green Box” definitions that would affect implementation of a revenue insurance program. Discussion also focused on how producers would qualify for support, the size of any support payment, whether qualifications and payments were based on crop-specific or whole-farm losses, and if the losses were measured based on net or gross income.
AgRisk officials took comments and suggestions for further analysis and indicated another meeting likely would take place in late April.
|’06 CSP Sign-Up Ends March 31|
The ’06 Conservation Security Program (CSP) sign-up, the third CSP sign-up, is scheduled to end March 31.
CSP, which is being offered in 60 watersheds nationwide, is a voluntary conservation program that supports ongoing stewardship of private agricultural lands by providing payments for maintaining and enhancing natural resources. Payments are made using three tiers of conservation contracts. Land currently enrolled in CSP covers nearly 11 million acres in the 220 eligible watersheds.
USDA announced preliminary selection of 110 watersheds for FY06 based on the President's budget request. However, based on available funding, CSP was offered in 60 watersheds across all 50 states. The sign-up only will include those producers who do not have an existing CSP contract. To be eligible for CSP, most of a producer's agricultural operation must fall within the boundaries of a selected watershed.
Applications which meet CSP's minimum requirements will be placed in enrollment categories. Producers should begin the application process by filling out a self-assessment to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for CSP. Self-assessment workbooks are available in hard copy at USDA Service Centers within the watersheds and on the Internet. After completing the self-assessment, producers should schedule an appointment to discuss their application with the NRCS local staff to determine if they meet specific CSP eligibility requirements.Additional information about CSP, including a map detailing the current eligible watersheds, is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp. Producers also are encouraged to visit their local NRCS office.
|Georgia Hosting Farm Bill Hearing|
Georgia cotton producers Wavell Robinson, Pavo, and Mike Newberry, Arlington, will be among the witnesses at a farm bill hearing before the House Agriculture Committee’s general farm commodities and risk management subcommittee.The hearing, set for March 28 at 9:00 a.m. in Valdosta at the Valdosta State U. Pound Hall Auditorium, is being held to take suggestions on the next farm bill and to review federal commodity programs. For more information, contact Merritt Myers at (202) 225-5831 or e-mail email@example.com.
|House Ag Panel Names Vice Chairman|
House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) announced that the Committee’s new vice chairman is Rep. Pombo (R-CA). Having served on the Committee since ’93, Rep. Pombo will occupy the position formerly held by newly-elected House Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH).
"I have enjoyed working alongside Richard (Pombo) for many years and I know that he will continue to work hard for American agriculture in his new position as vice chairman,” Rep. Goodlatte said.
Rep. Pombo said that as vice chairman, he “will continue to work on solutions so American family farmers have the tools they need to produce domestically and around the world. Specifically, I'll continue to work for opening both domestic and export markets for our agriculture products as well as push for increased investment in the rural community for the competitive edge."
Chairman Goodlatte also announced that Rep. Sodrel (R-IN) was added to the Committee and will serve on the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management and the Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture.
"I am pleased that Mike Sodrel has joined our Committee,” Rep. Goodlatte said. “I look forward to working with him to ensure American agriculture remains competitive and that our producers have what they need to continue to produce the safest, most affordable food supply in the world."
|Legislation Would Amend ESA|
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), likely will begin its review of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the coming weeks. The Committee is expected to convene a hearing on Sen. Inhofe’s proposal to overhaul the ESA.
In September of last year, the House passed a bill sponsored by Resources Chairman Pombo (R-CA). That bill would eliminate the current habitat protection program, revise the way long-term recovery plans are developed and in some cases allow compensation payments to private landowners affected by the law. The bill also would codify a “No Surprises” policy where landowners may no longer be caught off-guard by the costs and delays of getting approval for land use.
After the hearings, the Committee’s mark-up of the bill could take place later this spring.
|Gin School Registration Underway|
Ginners still have time to apply to the ’06 Southwest Gin School to be held in Lubbock on April 3-5. On-line registration should be completed by March 30 for the Southwest school.
The school is offering the traditional levels I-III of instruction. In addition, a Continuing Education course for advanced and certified ginners will be offered. It will consist of one day devoted to quality aspects of ginning. The second and third days will be reserved for safety training – with the offering of the Texas Ginners’ Trust Safety Certification program, including Red Cross first aid and CPR certification. An additional Red Cross certification course for level I-III students will be available on April 6 at the Lubbock Convention Center.
Registration also is open for the’06 Western and Stoneville schools. The Western school is scheduled for May 16-18 at the USDA Gin Lab in Mesilla Park, NM. The Stoneville school is set for June 13-15 at the USDA Gin Lab in Stoneville, MS.
The curriculum offered at all three schools will be identical. Additional information on all schools and on online registration can be accessed at the NCGA web site, www.ncga.cotton.org or by calling Betty Thorne or Dr. Bill Norman at 901-274-9030.
|CCI Hosting Turkish Customers|
Executives from 13 leading textile mills in Turkey – the world’s second largest cotton importer - will see US cotton operations and meet with US cotton exporters and other industry leaders during a coast-to-coast tour April 2-11. Cotton Council International (CCI) is hosting the special trade mission.
The participating Turkish textile mills collectively spun more than 730,000 cotton bales in ’04-05 – of which about 430,000 bales were US cotton. Turkey is the third largest market for US cotton, and the US market share of imported cotton in Turkey is 63% with 2.1 million bales in ’04-05.
The Turkish textile executives will begin their US tour April 3 in New York with a briefing from CCI and a seminar at the New York Board of Trade. In Raleigh, NC, they will attend a seminar with the American Cotton Shippers Assoc. (ACSA), AMCOT, Southern Cotton Growers Assoc. and Cotton Incorporated, whose headquarters they will tour.
In Memphis, the group will tour the USDA classing office, meet with the NCC, participate in a seminar with ASCA, AMCOT and the American Cotton Producers, and tour an ACSA merchandising operation. In Lubbock, the group will tour an AMCOT merchandising operation and participate in a seminar with AMCOT, the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and Plains Cotton Growers Assoc. The tour concludes in California, where the textile executives will visit a farm and gin and participate in a seminar with the Western Cotton Shippers Assoc., AMCOT, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Assoc. and Supima.
|Mill Use Bounces Back|
According to the Commerce Dept., February (4-week month) total cotton consumption in domestic mills was 236.71 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.34 million (480-lb) bales. Last year’s February annualized rate was 6.19 million bales.
The January (4-week month) estimate of domestic mill use of cotton was lowered by 1.04 million pounds to 225.08 million. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for January is 6.25 million bales. This is lower than last year’s January annualized rate of 6.37 million bales.
Based on Commerce estimates from Aug. 1, ’05, - Feb. 25, ’06, projected total pounds consumed during crop year ’05-06 would be 2.9 billion pounds or 5.95 million bales. USDA’s latest estimate of ’05-06 crop year mill use is 5.9 million bales. Preliminary March domestic mill use of cotton and revised February figures will be released by Commerce on April 27.
|Sales, Shipments Continue Strong|
Net export sales for the week ending March 16 were 466,700 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’05-06 sales to about 14.5 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’04-05 marketing year were almost 11.7 million bales. Total new crop (’06-07) sales are 337,000 bales.
Shipments for the week were 399,400 bales, bringing total exports to date to 8.7 million bales, compared with the 7.0 million at the comparable point in the ’04-05 marketing year.
|Prices Effective March 24-30, '06|