Cotton's Week: January 4, 2008

Cotton's Week: January 4, 2008

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NCC Conveys Disappointment on WTO Panel Ruling

The NCC expressed its disappointment with the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance panel ruling against the US cotton program and called upon the United States to appeal the decision.

In a letter to US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, NCC President John Pucheu stated that the “ruling did not adequately consider the changes that have been made in the U.S. cotton program subsequent to the initial WTO ruling and did not appropriately consider the existing world cotton market situation.”

Pucheu argued that the failure of the Panel to make any finding as to the magnitude of the alleged US program impacts was not responsible.

“The credible economic analysis that was before the Panel generally evidenced international price impacts between 2 and 3 percent. This hardly rises to the level of ‘significant price suppression’ which is the appropriate standard.”

Pucheu thanked the ambassador and USTR and USDA staff for their hard work on the case, but urged them to appeal this “erroneous determination.”



NASS Administrator to Retire

R. Ronald Bosecker, administrator of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), retired after nearly 43 years of service to American agriculture.

Dr. Gale Buchanan, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE), announced that Joseph T. Reilly, currently NASS’s associate administrator, will serve as acting administrator until a permanent successor to Bosecker is selected.

Bosecker was appointed NASS administrator in ’99. Prior to that, he served in various capacities throughout the Agency, including several leadership positions in Washington, as well as tours of duty in the Illinois, Ohio and California field offices.

During his tenure, Bosecker fostered the growth of collaborative efforts between NASS and other USDA Agencies that contributed to more efficient data collection and strengthened partnerships throughout the Department. He also significantly increased NASS’s outreach efforts to minority and limited-resource farm operators, thereby improving USDA’s efforts to deliver programs and services to previously underserved populations. In addition, Bosecker was instrumental in the development of new methodology that significantly improved Census of Agriculture results and led to the first Census that completed the coverage for all components of US agriculture in each county.

“The work of the National Agricultural Statistics Service is critical to the efficient operation of American agriculture in the world economy,” said Dr. Buchanan. “Ron’s leadership has strengthened the already excellent reputation of NASS for confidentiality, security, service and dedication to unbiased accuracy. I am grateful for his contributions to the excellence we strive for in the REE Mission Area and USDA.”

NASS conducts hundreds of surveys every year and issues nearly 500 National reports annually covering virtually every aspect of US agriculture.


CPSC to Propose Flammability Rule

The Consumer Products Safety Commission voted 2-0 to propose a rule on upholstered furniture flammability, based on the CPSC staff's ’07 alternative draft standard contained in the Nov. ’07 briefing package (see Nov. 30 Cotton’s Week).

CPSC Commissioner Thomas Moore issued a statement with his vote, at

http://www.cpsc.gov/pr/moore122707.html. The staff is now preparing a draft Federal Register notice for Commission approval.


JCIBPC Meeting Set

The Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC) will meet Feb. 27 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel.

Appointment letters for new and re-nominated raw cotton committee members will be mailed in the next few days. Following that, meeting notices will be sent to the rest of the committee members and to other interested parties. Curtis Stewart, ginner from Dumas, AR, was appointed to serve as JCIBPC chairman by NCC Chairman John Pucheu.

Persons interested in attending the meeting may register on line by using the link on the right hand side of the Bale Packaging page, http://www.cotton.org/tech/bale/index.cfm. For room reservations, contact the hotel at 901-684-6664 or 800-445-8667 and ask for the "National Cotton Council" group block. The reservation cut-off deadline is Feb. 10.

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


Cotton Board Appointments Named

Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner announced the appointment of 17 members and 17 alternate members to the Cotton Board.

In ’08, the Cotton Board will consist of 37 representatives of cotton producers and importers, their alternates and one consumer advisor. Those members and alternates named to a full term will serve a three-year term, ending Dec. 31, ’10.

“I am very pleased that these U.S. cotton producers and importers have agreed to provide their time, expertise and service to this industry,” said Bob McGinnis, chairman of the Cotton Board.

The re-appointed members are: Larkin Martin, Courtland, AL; Van Murphy, Quitman, GA; Jimmie, G. Johnson, Vanduser,  MO; Robert D. Robbins, Altus, OK; Arthur W. “Whit” James, Jr., Sumter, SC; Willie German, Somerville, TN; Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX; Kenneth. W. Dierschke, San Angelo, TX; A. Mark Neuman, Champaign, IL; Peter McGrath, Plano, TX; Werner Bieri, Maysville, GA; John Clark, Los Angeles, CA; and Nancy A. Marino, Upper Brookville, NY.

The re-appointed alternate members are: Walter Corcoran, Jr., Eufaula, AL; Richard Moss, Doerun, GA; Edward E. Dement, Sikeston, MO; Robert H. Miller, Wellington, KS; Dale W. Player, Bishopville, SC; Larry Rice, Covington, TN; Debra R. Barrett, Edroy, TX; Jeffery Posey, Roby, TX; Linda Tipton, Bella Vista, AR; and Arlene Eastwood, Jackson, NJ.

The newly appointed members are: Dwight Menefee, Lake Arthur, NM; and Gary Eugene Ross, Yardley, PA; Jackie Burris, Wellman, TX; and Yvonne Anderson, Minneapolis, MN. The newly appointed alternate members are: Jack L. Joy, Artesia, NM.; Madison Farmer, Lamesa, TX; Kristin Hughes, San Francisco, CA; Scott D. Hyatt, New York, NY.; June Sassler, Parkton, MD; Sarah F. Kay, Charlotte, NC.; Helga Ying, Piedmont, CA; and Mike P. Sturdivant, Jr., Itta Bena, MS.

Board appointments and/or re-appointments for California will be announced soon.


’08 High Cotton Winners Named

The ’08 High Cotton Award winners are: Mike and Timmy Haddock, Trenton, NC, representing the Southeastern states;  “B” Lindsey, Caldwell, AR, the Mid-South; Clint Abernathy, Altus, OK, the Southwest; and “Sonny” Hatley, Scottsdale, AZ, the Far West.

The five will be recognized at the NCC-coordinated ’08 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for Jan. 8-11 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Attendees are reminded that a downloadable version of the ’08 BWCC program is available at http://www.beltwide.cotton.org. Printed programs will be available at the BWCC registration desk.

Farm Press Publications sponsors the High Cotton Awards Program through a grant to The Cotton Foundation.

Hembree Brandon, Farm Press’ editorial director said each of the winners has adopted minimum tillage practices and believes those are helping them take better care of their soil and water.

“This year’s winners represent the best of the environmental ethic displayed by so many of our farmers,” Brandon said.

The Haddock brothers said they found no-till was the only way they could offset the cost of labor, equipment, pesticides, fuel and fertilizer after they began growing cotton in ’90. They said the economics of switching from conventional tillage to no-till became evident after growing a few crops of cotton.

Mid-South recipient Lindsey says the trick to keeping cotton production profitable for his operation along northeast Arkansas’ Crowley’s Ridge is keeping those good soils on the farm. He has installed dozens of drop pipes and drop inlets on the farm, including several V-shaped terraces around 21-inch drop pipes to hold water longer and facilitate flow into the drop pipes. He’s also built berms to divert water into ditches to keep it from washing through the fields.

Southwest winner Clint Abernathy plants about one-third of his family’s irrigated cotton no-till, using minimum tillage practices on the remainder because of the need to create and maintain water furrows for furrow irrigation. But, he says conservation tillage works well with drip irrigation and center pivots. He says 95% of his family’s dryland cotton is no-till.

Far West winner Sonny Hatley literally farms in a fish bowl surrounded by millions of urbanites and governed by state and tribal government regulations in the Phoenix area. Arizona’s air quality/dust regulations are some of the most stringent in the nation. That’s one reason why he and his son/partner, Adam, cultivate far less now than they once did with all their acreage in herbicide-resistant cotton varieties.

“We used to cultivate maybe six times a season,” said Hatley. “It costs at least $10 per acre ever time we drive a tractor through the field. Now we cultivate just once and that to basically make good irrigation furrows early in the season. We dry plant everything and irrigate every other row so we can get around with the first two herbicide applications in a timely manner.”


Anderson Named Achievement Winner

Woody Anderson, a Colorado City, TX, producer and former NCC chairman, was named Cotton Grower magazine’s ’07 Cotton Achievement Award winner. He will be recognized at the ’08 Beltwide Cotton Conferences.

Among the many NCC committees Anderson served on was the NCC’s Boll Weevil Action Committee.

"I became interested in the National Cotton Council in the early 1990s, primarily because of my interest in the boll weevil eradication program (BWEP),” Anderson said in the magazine’s article. “The Council has been right at the heart of it - both in research and technology."

NCC President and CEO Mark Lange said Anderson has long been a contributor to the health of the US cotton industry. For several years, he has served the American Cotton Producers and the NCC in numerous capacities - from working to keep the National Boll Weevil Eradication Program on track in Texas to chairing the Council's Farm Policy Development Task Force.

Lange noted that as NCC chairman in ’04, Anderson testified before Congress on the ’02 farm law's effectiveness to US cotton and agriculture and his statement “helped to prevent damaging amendments from undermining that important legislation.”



Sales, Shipments Weak

Net export sales for the week ending Dec. 27 were 70,500 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’07-08 sales to approximately 8.2 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’06-07 marketing year were approximately 6.2 million bales. Total new crop (’08-09) sales are 222,500 bales.

For ’07-08, China remains the largest export customer with purchases of 2.1 million bales, or 25% of total sales. Mexico and Turkey are second and third with purchases of 1.3 and 1.2 million bales, respectively. In fourth place, Indonesia remains a solid customer with more than 800,000 bales of US cotton purchased. Thailand rounds out the top five.

Shipments for the week were 140,000 bales, bringing total exports to date to 5.2 million bales, compared with the 3.1 million bales at the comparable point in the ’06-07 marketing year.


Prices Effective Jan. 4-10, '08

Adjusted World Price, SLM 11/16

56.43 cents

*

Coarse Count Adjustment

0.00 cents

Marketing Loan Gain Value

 0.00 cents

Import Quotas Open

 NA

Step 3 Quotas (480-lb. bales)

 NA

ELS Payment Rate

10.39 cents

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

72.95 cents

Forward 3135 c.i.f. Northern Europe

NA

Coarse Count c.i.f. Northern Europe

NA

Current US c.i.f. Northern Europe

74.13 cents

Forward US c.i.f. Northern Europe

 NA

 
2007-08 Weighted Marketing-Year Average Farm Price  
 
Year-to-Date (August-November)

51.53 cents

**

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

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