Cotton's Week: January 19, 2007

Cotton's Week: January 19, 2007


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Interim Transfer Process Begins

USDA announced that an “interim” process for transfer of loan cotton will begin Jan. 22, ’07.

The process permits a one-time transfer of Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) loan cotton from one approved warehouse to another. The interim process will be replaced March 1, ’07 by a process more fully supported by CCC loan software. This transfer process is consistent with NCC resolutions on cotton flow developed by the NCC’s Performance and Standards Task Force and approved at the mid-year meeting of the NCC’s Board of Directors. The process will allow merchants and marketing cooperatives to respond more quickly to domestic and export sales opportunities.

NCC Chairman Allen Helms, a Clarkedale, AR, producer, said, “I am pleased that USDA is making the necessary procedural changes that will permit the U.S. cotton industry to meet the latest challenges in efficient delivery of competitively priced fiber.”

The full announcement is at

House Ag Subcommittee Members Named

The House Agriculture Committee announced subcommittee chairmen and ranking members for the 110th Congress.

The Subcommitee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research will be chaired by Rep. Holden (D-PA), and Rep. Lucas (R-OK) will serve as ranking member. The Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry will be chaired by Rep. Baca (D-CA), and Rep. Bonner (R-AL) will serve as ranking member. The Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management will be chaired by Rep. Etheridge (D-NC), and Rep. Moran (R-KS) will serve as ranking member. The Subcommitteee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture will be chaired by Rep. Cardoza (D-CA), and Rep. Neugebauer (R-TX) will serve as ranking member. The Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry will be chaired by Rep. Boswell (D-IA), and Rep. Hayes (R-NC) will serve as ranking member. The Subcommittee on Specialty Crops, Rural Development and Foreign Agriculture will be chaired by Rep. McIntyre (D-NC), and Rep. Musgrave (R-CO) will serve as ranking member.

Bills Confer Ambassador Status

Sen. Dole (R-NC) and Rep. Hayes (R-NC) have introduced companion bills that would confer the rank of Ambassador on the US Trade Representative's chief textile negotiator. The elevation in status would enable the chief textile negotiator to more effectively engage counterparts in negotiations.

The NCC joined textile organizations in urging support for the legislation so the US negotiator is better able to represent US interests by carrying the equivalent diplomatic status as his counterparts.

NCC Backs Aldicarb Re-Registration

The NCC responded to a request from EPA for comment on the agency’s revised risk assessment of aldicarb (Temik®) insecticide). In this final phase of EPA’s aldicarb review, NCC provided product use data and support for the continued use of aldicarb, which is applied to approximately 25% of the US cotton crop. Aldicarb is one of a handful of compounds not yet fully reviewed by EPA under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).

On Aug. 3, ’06, EPA completed 99% of the pesticide tolerance reassessments required under the FQPA, which was signed into law in ’96. According to Jim Jones, director of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, only the review of the carbamate class of chemistry, which includes aldicarb, remains to be completed.

In addition to requiring the safety assessment of all food use pesticide registrations over this 10-year period, FQPA mandates a single, health-based standard for pesticide residues.

EPA Meeting Addresses MSMA

Jim Gulliford, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, held a meeting with the NCC to discuss issues surrounding the current review by EPA of MSMA herbicide.

The NCC was represented by NCC producer director Bowen Flowers of Clarksdale, MS, who is a NCC Environmental Task Force member. Flowers explained to the Administrator and EPA staff that if producers lose MSMA due to cancellation, and control of weeds by glyphosate and ALS inhibitors is ineffective, growers are left without affordable options to control problematic weeds.

Dr. Alan York, North Carolina State U. extension weed scientist, also spoke on behalf of growers and the scientific community. He elaborated on resistance issues, particularly in North Carolina and Georgia, and outlined a current weed management plan that university extension services are recommending based on chemical rotation among seasons to combat resistance. 

Letters supporting re-registration of this product have been submitted to EPA from across the Cotton Belt. The NCC also sent summary comments to the EPA public docket in support of continued MSMA use.

Conservation Programs Hearing Held

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, held a hearing to discuss working land conservation programs, specifically the Conservation Security Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Chairman Harkin was the author of the CSP in the ’02 farm law and is tremendously interested in conservation programs.

Testifying before the Committee were:  Arlen Lancaster, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Lisa Shames, acting director, Natural Resources and Environment at the Government Accountability Office; Craig Cox, executive director, Soil and Water Conservation Society; Kathleen Merrigan, assistant professor, Friedman School of Nutrition and Science and Policy, Tufts U.; Duane Hovorka, farm bill outreach coordinator, National Wildlife Federation; and James Ham, president, Georgia Assoc. of Conservation District Supervisors. 

Chief Lancaster informed the Committee of conservation accomplishments on private lands for FY06, which included planning conservation systems and practices that cover more than 50 million acres; reducing soil erosion by more than 75 million tons; improving irrigation water management on 2.2 million acres; , conserving 158 million-acre inches of water; and creating, restoring or enhancing 318,000 acres of wetlands.

Lancaster also gave the committee an update on EQIP and CSP. A recurring theme among the non-governmental panelists was that CSP could be an excellent program, but due to lack of funding, confusing rules and implementation problems, it has not reached it full potential. It is likely that Chairman Harkin will focus on correcting these problems in the upcoming reauthorization of the farm law.

JCIBPC Meeting Registration Opens

The Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee meeting will be held on Feb. 28 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel. Letters to JCIBPC members, advisors and other interested parties will be mailed soon, but attendees may register for the meeting by going to

For room reservations, contact the hotel at 901-684-6664 or 800-445-8667 and use the group name “Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee.” The cut-off date for reservations is Feb. 6.

Dale Thompson, NCC’s manager of marketing and processing technology, said agenda items at this year’s meeting include: 1) a review of experimental test programs, 2) a staff report on moisture vapor transfer (MVT) research and 3) a review of compatibility tests for plastic (PET) strapping materials.

For more information, contact Maxine Shepard or Thompson at 901-274-9030.

BWCC Survey Input Urged

Jan. 27 is the deadline for ’07 Beltwide Cotton Conferences attendees to participate in a post-forum survey. Attendees are encouraged to complete the questionnaire, which can be found at

The information helps the NCC in efforts to improve program planning and overall conferences operation. Survey respondents are eligible for a chance to win two round-trip airfares (from anywhere in the United States) to the ’08 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Jan. 8-11 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

Registered attendees will be able to access all reports that were submitted to the Confex Podium Service. The availability of these reports will be announced in a later issue of Cotton’s Week. Complete proceedings of the conferences are scheduled to be mailed by mid-May.

McClendon Gets Achievement Award

Larry McClendon, a Marianna, AR, cotton producer, received the ’06 Cotton Grower Achievement Award. He was recognized at the ’07 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.

The Award, sponsored by Case IH and Monsanto, recognizes and honors growers who are outstanding innovators, sound stewards of the environment, and leaders in their communities as well as the cotton industry.

McClendon, who also is a ginner and warehouseman, is chairman of the National Cotton Ginners Assoc. (NCGA). In ’02 he was named Ginner of the Year by the Southern Cotton Growers Assoc. and the following year was named the National Cotton Ginner of the Year by the NCGA.

CCI Cotton Event a Success

Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated presented US cotton and cotton products at Heimtexil.Regarded as the world’s largest home furnishings show, the Frankfurt, Germany event hosted 3,000 exhibitors from 73 countries and attracted about 89,000 international trade visitors – many of whom took the opportunity to meet with current and prospective COTTON USA licensees.

The joint US cotton pavilion featured CCI’s COTTON USA program, Cotton Incorporated’s services and Supima. High quality products from 20 COTTON USA licensees from around the world were displayed.

Sales, Shipments Strong

Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 11 were 279,900 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’06-07 sales to approximately 6.6 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’05-06 marketing year were approximately 11.0 million bales. Total new crop (’07-08) sales are 287,900 bales.

Shipments for the week were 195,700 bales, bringing total exports to date to 3.5 million bales, compared with the 5.2 million bales at the comparable point in the ’05-06 marketing year.

Step 3 Import Quota Announced

Competitiveness provisions triggered a Step 3 quota based on price conditions for the week ending Jan. 18. When the Friday through Thursday weekly average US northern Europe price exceeds the northern Europe price ("A" Index) by more than 1.25 cents per pound for any four consecutive weeks, a special Step 3 import quota is triggered.

The quota is for 97,616 bales (480 lb), equal to one week of upland cotton mill use based on the seasonally adjusted data for the period Aug. ’06 through Oct. ’06, the most recent three months for which data are available. The quota will be established as of Jan. 25 and applies to upland cotton purchased no later than April 24 and entered into the United States no later than July 23.

Currently, there are two import quotas opened in the total amount of 195,231 bales.

Prices Effective Jan. 19-25, '07

Adjusted World Price, SLM 11/16

44.34 cents


Coarse Count Adjustment

0.00 cents

Marketing Loan Gain Value

7.66 cents

Import Quotas Open


Step 3 Quotas (480-lb. bales)


ELS Payment Rate

 0.59 cents

*No Adjustment Made Under Step I
Five-Day Average
Current 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe

60.44 cents

Forward 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe


Coarse Count c.i.f. Northern Europe


Current US c.i.f. Northern Europe

63.20 cents

Forward US c.i.f. Northern Europe


2006-07 Weighted Marketing-Year Average Farm Price  
Year-to-Date (August-November)

46.41 cents


**August-July average price used in determination of counter-cyclical payment

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