|’07 Priorities: Achieving Sound Farm Policy, Positive WTO Outcome|
Positioned at the top of the NCC’s priority list in ’07 will be the passage of good farm policy and a positive outcome for the WTO negotiations, retiring NCC Chairman Allen Helms told delegates at the NCC’s Annual Meeting in Austin, TX.
Helms said, for example, there are serious concerns with several provisions in the Administration’s farm bill proposal that impose additional constraints on benefit eligibility. In addition, he said the Congressional Budget Office’s reduced budget baseline also will have a significant influence on the farm bill debate and timeline -- as other groups, including conservation, specialty crops, dairy and energy, seek additional funds.
“If funds cannot be added, the remaining options present significant challenges for all of agriculture,” Helms stated. “As efforts continue by WTO trade ministers to re-start the Doha negotiations, any reductions in domestic support through farm law modifications will undermine the U.S. negotiating leverage. The Council must remain fully engaged in this process with USTR, USDA, our friends in Congress and other commodity groups.”
Helms said the Council also must take advantage of other opportunities to enhance profitability and competitiveness. He noted that quality and flow issues will continue to be critical in the coming year and for the foreseeable future “to account for export-dominated markets and to identify the obstacles in our industry’s infrastructure that hinder the efficient movement of U.S. cotton.”
He noted that the need for a strategic approach to increasing efficiency and reducing costs will be addressed by a joint initiative with Cotton Incorporated this year. The project will identify the industry’s top non-policy challenges, involve industry and agribusiness stakeholders, establish priorities and ensure that industry resources are effectively concentrated on clearly defined goals.
In presenting the NCC’s 2007 Economic Outlook, Dr. Gary Adams, the NCC’s vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, said US cotton’s situation in ’07 will be shaped by a number of uncertainties and challenges, but there is some cause for optimism.
He noted the recent improvements in US cotton yields, which were highlighted by the ’06 average of 819 pounds per harvested acre despite “less than ideal” weather across much of the Cotton Belt. That was the third highest US yield average on record “providing further evidence that new varieties, better management, and the success of boll weevil eradication are contributing to better yields,” Adams said. “Higher yields are also helping growers partially offset the negative impacts of higher production costs.”
Another reason for optimism is that for ’07, China is projected to increase cotton imports as their production should fall due to reduced plantings while mill consumption continues to grow.
Even under that scenario, Adams said that in the ’06-07 marketing year, all cotton exports from the United States are expected to drop sharply from the previous year’s level -- to a best-case scenario of between 14-14.5 million bales.
Combining those exports with the projected five million bales of US textile mill cotton consumption, results in total ’06-07 US cotton offtake of 19.47 million bales – 3.9 million bales less than last year. That would leave ending US stocks of more than eight million bales, the highest since ’85. Looking to ’07-08, however, Adams said the NCC sees US exports recovering to 16.22 million bales. Even with increasing Asian textile imports resulting in a projected lowering of US mill use to 4.52 million bales – ’07 US offtake will increase to 20.74 million bales due to the higher export number.
Adams said total world mill use of cotton will approach 121 million bales in the ’06 marketing year while solid world GDP growth will support further expansion in mill use to124 million bales in ’07.
“Barring exceptional yields, current prices of cotton relative to competing crops will not hold production at a level necessary to meet expected demand,” Adams said. “As a result, further declines in world stocks are projected in 2007.”
Adams also noted that although policy changes stemming from the upcoming farm bill debate or from the trade arena will not take effect in 2007, the current uncertainty surrounding U.S. farm policy only adds to the risk associated with making the long-term investments necessary to remain competitive. In the meantime, he urged industry’s continued aggressiveness in: 1) improving production and controlling costs, 2) satisfying the customers’ fiber quality needs and 3) timely and efficient distribution of its raw cotton.For additional details on the ’07 Cotton Economic Outlook, go to http://www.cotton.org/econ/reports/annual-outlook.cfm.
|Johanns Testifies on Farm Bill Proposal|
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns appeared before the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding the Administration’s farm bill proposal released last week. (See Feb. 2, ’07, issue of Cotton’s Week for a summary of the USDA farm bill proposal.)
Secretary Johanns’ testimony received mixed reactions from the Senate Agriculture Committee. Both Chairman Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Grassley (R-IA) lauded the Administration’s proposal to tighten payment limitations and significantly decrease the AGI limit. However, Ranking Member Chambliss (R-GA), as well as Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Cochran (R-MS), strongly questioned the means testing and the stricter payment limits in the proposal. In addition, Senators on both sides of the aisle questioned whether the proposal offered a true safety net to farmers and whether it met the Administration’s goal of being equitable.
|JCIBPC Hotel Cutoff Extended|
The cut-off date for room reservations at the Hilton Memphis Hotel for the Feb. 28 Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee has been extended to Feb. 13. Contact the hotel at 901-684-6664 or 800-445-8667 and use the group name “Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee.”
Attendees still may register for the meeting by going to http://www.cotton.org/tech/bale/jcibpc-form.cfm.
For more information, contact Maxine Shepard or Thompson at 901-274-9030.
|Warehouse Reporting Takes Effect|
USDA’s Storage Contract Branch Chief Steve Searcy issued a letter reminding warehouse operators that new mandatory weekly reporting of the warehouse’s cotton flow is required.
The requirement is part of Amendment 2 to the Cotton Storage Agreement (CSA), which all warehouse operators with CSAs were asked to sign on Dec. 15, ’06. The amendment stated that beginning Jan. 8, ’07 all warehouses were required to begin completing the weekly cotton flow report on their electronic provider’s web site, including warehouses with no inventory. This report must be completed every Monday, or the next business day if Monday is not a business day for the warehouse operator.
The letter stated that failure to submit a weekly report will result in a telephone call from the Storage Contract Branch office. A second failure to submit will result in a letter of reprimand. Failure to submit three weekly reports within a 12-month period will result in the removal of a warehouse from the Commodity Credit Corp. “List of Approved Warehouses.” In order to be reinstated, a warehouse operator must submit all missing cotton flow reports and pay a reinstatement fee.
If a warehouse operator has any problems with submitting this report, please advise the Storage Contract Branch as soon as possible. Questions may be directed to Paul Rodriguez at 816-926-6662 or email@example.com.
The letter also noted that Amendment 2, which updated Part III, S., Delivery and Shipping Standard, redefined the minimum weekly delivery and shipping standard to 4.5% of the greater of the CSA approved storage capacity or the maximum number of bales on hand at any time during the crop year.In a separate communication, Roger D. Hinkle of USDA’s Commodity Operations Warehouse and Inventory Division, Washington, DC, also reminded US cotton warehousemen of CSA -Part 3 Section (3) that states, “CCC will not include or credit any shipped bale toward meeting the bales made available for shipment (BMAS) requirements in this section if the warehouse receipt remains open or un-canceled past the close of business of the next business day.”
|6th Circuit to Hear NCC Petition on EPA’s NPDES Rule|
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear NCC’s challenge of EPA’s final rule on National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting. (See 12/15/06 Cotton’s Week.)
The NCC and other organizations, such as CropLife America’s member companies, the Delta Council and the Southern Crop Production Assoc., filed legal challenges against the rule on the basis that the EPA document only outlines forest canopy and aquatic uses, and does not explicitly state that all agricultural production applications do not require a NPDES permit.
The petition’s intent is to clarify that agricultural applications are governed under FIFRA, and the applicator holds no legal obligation to obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act.As a standard procedure, the courts consolidated all petitions from agricultural allies disputing EPA’s rule and randomly selected a court of appeals to rule on the lawsuits. Because the 6th Circuit was selected, proceedings in National Cotton Council vs. EPA will begin this year.
|Sales at High End of Expectations, Shipments Steady|
Net export sales for the week ending Feb. 1 were 254,300 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’06-07 sales to about 7.3 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’05-06 marketing year were slightly more than 12.2 million bales. Total new crop (’07-08) sales are 315,000 bales.
Shipments for the week were 185,700 bales, bringing total exports to date to 4.0 million bales, compared with the 6.2 million bales at the comparable point in the ‘05-06 marketing year.
|Cotton's Leaders for '07|
The following are leaders elected to lead the National Cotton Council and other cotton interest organizations for '07.
|Pucheu to Lead NCC in ’07|
John E. Pucheu, Jr., a Tranquillity, CA, producer, was elected NCC chairman for ’07. Named during the NCC’s annual meeting in Austin, TX, on Feb. 1-5, he served as the NCC’s vice chairman in ’06 and succeeds Allen Helms, Jr., a Clarkedale, AR, producer.
Pucheu, who has been farming since ’66, is co-owner of Pucheu Brothers Ranch and a director of the Westside Farmers Co-op Gin. He has been very active in state, regional and national cotton organizations. He previously served as chairman of the NCC’s American Cotton Producers and as a director of the NCC and Cotton Council International. He is a director and former chairman of both Supima and the Cotton Board. He also has served as president of the California Cotton Growers Assoc. and as board chairman of Calcot, Ltd. Pucheu holds a degree in agricultural economics from the U. of California, Davis, and is a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program.
The NCC’s vice chairman for 2007 is Larry P. McClendon, a Marianna, AR, ginner.
Elected as a NCC vice president was Shane Stephens, Greenwood, MS, warehouseman. Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Robert W. Norris, Bakersfield, CA, cooperative official; Charles Owen, Pima, AZ, ginner; Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX, crusher; Robert S. Weil, II, Montgomery, AL, merchant; and Harding Stowe, Belmont, NC, manufacturer. Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.NCC staff officers for ’07 include: Dr. Mark Lange, NCC president/chief executive officer; John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations; Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Affairs; Dr. Gary Adams, vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis; Craig Brown, vice president, Producer Affairs; Dr. Bill Norman, vice president, Technical Services; Harrison Ashley, vice president, Ginner Services; and Fred Johnson, vice president, Administration and Program Coordination.
|NCC Names ’07 Directors|
Directors elected to the NCC Board during segment caucuses were:
Producers – Sam R. Spruell, Mount Hope, AL; Bowen Flowers, Tunica, MS; Rickey L. Bearden, Plains, TX; Donald J. Cameron, Helm, CA; and Jon W. “Jay” Hardwick, Newellton, LA.
Ginners – H. Burt Rickenbaker Jr., Davis Station, SC; Sledge Taylor, Como, MS; Chris W. Breedlove, Olton, TX; Stanley R. Creelman, Tulare, CA; and Van F. Murphy, Quitman, GA.
Warehousemen – Donald A. Robinson, Garner, NC; Robert Snodgrass, Taylor, TX; Fred A. Underwood, Lubbock, TX; Rick Willis, Brownfield, TX; and Jay T. Cowart, Altus, OK.
Merchants – Andy Weil, III, Montgomery, AL; Dale Grounds, Richardson, TX; Manfred Schiefer, Lubbock, TX; Gary W. Taylor, Cordova, TN; and G.W. Winburne, Phoenix, AZ.
Cottonseed – Gary Conkling, Oklahoma City, OK; Bobby Crum, Harlingen, TX; J. Scott Middleton, Jonestown, MS; Robert L. Lacy, Jr., Lubbock, TX; and Peter Schlee, Hamburg, NY.
Cooperatives – Meredith B. Allen, Greenwood, MS; Wallace L. Darneille, Lubbock, TX; Jeffrey A. Thompson, Prattville, AL; Jarral Neeper, Bakersfield, CA; and Michael Quinn, Garner, NC.Manufacturers – Robert H. Chapman III, Inman, SC; W. Anderson D. Warlick, Gastonia, NC; Van A. May, Lubbock, TX; Vernon C. Tyson, Jr., Winston-Salem, NC; and Malloy Evans, Cheraw, SC.
|Adams Named CCI President For ’07|
Michael M. Adams, director of Export Sales for Staplcotn Cooperative, Greenwood, MS, will serve as ’07 president of Cotton Council International (CCI). He was elected during CCI’s board of directors meeting and succeeds David L. Burns, a Laurel Hill, NC, producer who becomes CCI board chairman. Adams is a NCC delegate and graduate of the NCC’s Cotton Leadership Program.
Other CCI officers elected for ’07 are: first vice president Robert S. Weil, II, merchant from Montgomery, AL; second vice president Clyde T. Sharp, producer, Roll, AZ; and treasurer Wallace L. Darneille, cooperative, Lubbock, TX. Mark D. Lange of Memphis, TN, was re-elected secretary and Allen A. Terhaar of Washington, DC, was re-elected assistant secretary.
CCI elected five new directors for ’07: Donald J. Cameron, producer, Helm, CA; Dahlen K. Hancock, producer, New Home, TX; Jack Dailey, producer, Ft. Necessity, LA; Clark Carter, ginner, Rolling Fork, MS; and Gerald C. Marshall, merchant, Cordova, TN.Re-elected directors include: Producers - Cliett A. Lowman, III, Kingsville, TX; Ted D. Sheely, Lemoore, CA; Jimmy Webb, Leary, GA; and Richard Kelley, Burlison, TN; Ginners - Thomas S. “Sid” Brough, Edroy, TX; Merchants – Dale Grounds, Dallas, TX; Adolph Weil, III, Montgomery, AL; G.W. “Bill” Winburne, Phoenix, AZ; and Manfred Schiefer, merchant, Lubbock, TX; Cooperatives - John Burch, Bakersfield, CA; David L. Hand, El Paso, TX; and Lonnie D. Winters, Lubbock, TX; Cottonseed Processors/Dealers: Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX; Warehousemen - Vance C. Shoaf, Milan, TN; and Manufacturers - Owen J. “Trey” Hodges, III, Columbus, GA, and Harding Stowe, manufacturer, Belmont, NC.
|Hardwick Re-elected ACP Chairman|
Jon W. “Jay” Hardwick, Newellton, LA, was re-elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the NCC for ’07.
Re-elected as vice chairmen were Chuck Coley, Vienna, GA, Clyde T. Sharp, Roll, AZ, Daniel M.ny Davis, Elk City, OK. Re-elected as regional directors for the ACP are: Sam R. Spruell, Mount Hope, AL, representing the Southeast; Bowen Flowers, Tunica, MS, representing the Mid-South, Donald J. Cameron, Helm, CA, representing the West, and Rickey L. Bearden, Plains, TX, representing the Southwest.Elected state producer chairmen for the ACP were: Alabama – Charles Speake, Eufaula, and Mike Tate, Huntsville; Arizona – Paco Ollerton, Casa Grande, and Greg Wuertz, Casa Grande; Arkansas – Herrick F. Norcross III, Tyronza; California – Greg F. Palla, Bakersfield, and Tom Teixeira, Dos Palos; Florida – B. E. “Sonny” Davis, Cottondale; Georgia – Chuck Lee, Pembroke, and Ronald C. Lee, Bronwood; Kansas – Robert H. Miller, Wellington; Louisiana – Boyd Holley, Bastrop, and Thomas A. Parker, Lake Providence; Mississippi – Lawrence Long, Indianola; Missouri/Illinois – Charles H. Parker, Senath, MO; New Mexico – Martin K. Sweetser, Deming; North Carolina – David M. Dunlow, Gaston, and Taylor Slade, Williamston; Oklahoma – Danny Robbins, Altus; South Carolina – Roy Baxley, Dillon, and Frank B. Rogers III, Bennettsville; Tennessee/Kentucky – Hedrick Shoaf, Medina; Texas – James F. Dodson, Robstown, and Michael J. Alexander, Colorado City; and Virginia – Larry Darden, Carrsville.
|NCC ’07 State Unit Officers Named|
NCC state unit officers elected for ’07 were: Chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries, respectively: Alabama –Sam R. Spruell, producer, Mount Hope; Stanley Walters, producer, Gallion; and Dan Ellis, ginner, Eufaula. Arizona – Clyde T. Sharp, producer, Roll; Russell L. Kuhnhenn, ginner, Glendale; and Stephen J. Straussner, ginner, Coolidge. Arkansas – Stewart Weaver, Jr., producer, Edmondson; Thad R. Freeland, ginner, Tillar; and Curtis H. Stewart, ginner, Dumas. California – Kevin M. Long, cooperative, Bakersfield; Robert J. Crume, warehouser, Bakersfield; and Stanley R. Creelman, ginner, Tulare. Florida - Jerry H. Davis, producer, Jay; Joseph S. Hall, ginner, Bascom; and Keith Pendergrass, ginner, Marianna. Georgia – Louie Perry Jr., producer, Moultrie; Ben Evans, ginner, Douglas; and Don E. Daily, ginner, Dexter. Kansas – Robert H. Miller, producer, Wellington; Thomas L. Lahey, producer, Moscow; and Gary D. Feist, ginner, Anthony. Louisiana –Stephen E. Logan, producer, Gilliam; John E. Carroll, ginner, Gilbert; and Thomas A. Parker, producer, Lake Providence. Mississippi – J. Scott Middleton, Jr., cottonseed, Jonestown; Thomas S. Hayes, III, producer, Clarksdale; and Meredith B. Allen, cooperative, Greenwood. Missouri/Illinois – David Blakemore, ginner, Campbell; Steven C. Droke, producer, Hornersville, MO; and Charles H. Parker, producer, Senath. New Mexico – Martin K. Sweetser, producer, Deming; Alisa Ogden, producer, Carlsbad; and Gil Jones, warehouser, El Paso, TX. North Carolina – Taylor Slade, producer, Williamston; David M. Dunlow, producer, Gaston; and Jerry L. Hamill, producer, Enfield. Oklahoma – Jay T. Cowart, warehouser, Altus; Danny Robbins, producer, Altus; and Daniel M. Davis, producer, Elk City. South Carolina –Frank. B. Rogers, III, producer, Bennettsville; John Olson, producer, Saint Matthews; and Malloy Evans, manufacturer, Cheraw. Tennessee/Kentucky – Christopher D. Clegg, Sr., ginner, Tiptonville; Hedrick Shoaf, producer, Medina, and Jeffery W. Hill, producer, Gates. Texas – Sid Brough, producer, Edroy; Doyle K. Schniers, producer, San Angelo; and Rick Willis, warehouser, Brownfield. Virginia – Carlton Butler, producer, Carrsville; Lance Everett, cooperative, Stony Creek; and Randy Everett, producer, Stony Creek.
|Van Murphy to Lead NCGA in ’07|
The National Cotton Ginners Assoc. (NCGA) elected its officers for ’07 at its annual meeting. The officers include: president, Van Murphy, Quitman, GA; first vice president, Chris Breedlove, Olton, TX; second vice president, Sledge Taylor, Como, MS; third vice president, Kirk Gilkey, Corcoran, CA; and chairman, Russell Kuhnhenn, Buckeye, AZ.
Rick Holder, Kinston, NC, president of Harvey Fertilizer & Gas Company, is the ’06 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. Holder has been an active member of his state and regional grower/gin associations. He currently serves as treasurer of Southeastern Cotton Ginners Assoc., director of the North Carolina Cotton Producers Assoc. and treasurer of Southeastern Growers Assoc. The NCGA’s president in ’03-04, he currently serves on NCC’s Cotton Flow Committee and Farm Policy Development Task Force.
The recipient of the NCGA’s ’06-07 Distinguished Service Award is Kelley Green, who has served as director of Technical Services for the Texas Cotton Ginners Assoc. since ’91. Green has worked on a range of issues for the US ginning industry, served as an instructor in NCGA’s gin schools and cooperated in the development of NCGA’s safety programs, educational videos and many other technical programs.
|Heiden Recipient of Service Award|
Former NCC President Bruce Heiden received the ’06 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.
Heiden, whose family business operations in Arizona include H Four Farms and Heiden Land and Cattle Company, was honored for his exceptional leadership and dedicated service to agriculture. He became NCC board chairman in ’90 after serving as NCC president in ’89. He also was the first Arizonan to be elected as board chairman of CALCOT, having served in that capacity from ’95-03. He also has been chairman of the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton’s Steering Committee since ’92.
Heiden’s years as the NCC’s president and Board chairman were marked by: 1) the successful passage of the ’90 farm law, which included an improved marketing loan, 2) legislation to provide an increase in Cotton Incorporated’s funding, and 3) a significant expansion in program activities and funding for Cotton Council International. In ’90, Heiden was selected as the Progressive Farmer Magazine “Man of the Year” in Southwest agriculture. He was inducted into the National Cotton Hall of Fame in ’96.
Outgoing NCC Chairman Allen Helms said, “Those who are close to Bruce know that he is someone who is quick to attribute success to others rather than discussing his own accomplishments, which are numerous. He is always quick to give credit to others.”
|Achievement Award Honors Garrard|
The late William Garrard, the first general manager of Staplcotn Cooperative, is the recipient of the ’06 Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award.
The annual award is presented to an individual, now deceased, who served the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. Recognizing more than office or position held, the award honors someone who, like Oscar Johnston, exerted a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrated character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.
After graduating from Mississippi State College, Garrard began his career at Humphrey Cotton Company in Indianola and then opened his own cotton business, W.M Garrard and Company, a successful merchandising and export business. In ’21, Staplcotn’s originating directors urged Mr. Garrard to become their first general manager. By the time that he died in ’58, Staplcotn had sold more than 10 million bales of cotton valued at $1.5 billion, with buyers in the United States, Europe and Japan. He also participated in the NCC’s organizational meeting and served as a NCC delegate from ’39-58.
Mr. Garrard was known for his winning personality, courage, depth of character and unusual trading abilities. With this pioneering attitude, he was able to bring cooperative marketing to the Mississippi Delta. He also was known for his basic blend of ideas from which emanated the rules of cooperative marketing.
|Prices Effective Feb. 9-15, '07|