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|’08 Beltwide Draws 3,000 Attendees|
During his review of key industry issues, NCC Chairman John Pucheu told attendees at the ’08 Beltwide Cotton Conferences that he believes the US cotton industry has excellent prospects for achieving profitable cotton production and processing. His and other reports are available on the NCC’s web site at http://www.cotton.org/news/meetings/2008bw/index.cfm.
“Research, education and technology transfer continue to be critically important,” Pucheu said. “I assure you that the Council will continue its longstanding commitment of its resources for technology development and transfer and bringing resolution to the technology-based priorities.
More than 3,000 attended the forum at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.
In an outline of the development, progress and future timetable of the new farm law, NCC Senior Vice President, Washington Operations John Maguire told attendees that House and Senate commodity titles include provisions that were recommended by NCC leaders to improve market orientation, enhance competitiveness, add value, improve flow and assist domestic manufacturers.
“Unfortunately, due to a shortage of funding, the projected increased costs of the improvements necessitated a slight reduction in target price to generate savings necessary to pay for changes as required by budget rules,” Maguire said. “Council leaders will continue to work closely with Congressional leaders to ensure that the cotton title of the new legislation includes provisions which allow the industry to successfully adjust to new market conditions.”
He said the House and Senate bills include provisions which will lead to significant changes in payment rules and regulations. Both bills eliminate the three-entity rule while allowing spouses to qualify as separate persons for payment limits. The bills have slightly different limits for direct and counter-cyclical payments and both terminate certificate redemptions, but also eliminate limits on marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments. The bills modify the Adjusted Gross Income test. The House establishes a cap of $1 million above which individuals lose program eligibility. The Senate gradually lowers the $2.5 million to $75,000 by ’10, but exempts those who earn more than 66⅔% of their income from farming, ranching or forestry.
He said House and Senate leaders have expressed a strong desire to complete work by early February, and the NCC has joined other organizations in urging prompt passage so farmers have information before making final cropping decisions. The Administration, through Acting USDA Secretary Conner, has continued to threaten to veto legislation that includes tax provisions and fails to achieve significant reform to payment limitations.
In an economic update, NCC Vice President of Economics & Policy Analysis Dr. Gary Adams said that current economics continue to show strong competition for available acres in ‘08. In addition to the economic signals, there are also concerns about water availability in California that could lower acres.
“While there are ample reasons to expect acres to fall further in ’08, there are also some factors that could limit further declines,” Adams said. “First, there were significant shifts in ’07 and growers with vertical investments in gins and warehouses might be reluctant to make another significant reduction in cotton acreage. Second, in a number of counties, crop insurance data show shifts of 50,000 acres out of cotton and into grains. It may be the case that much of the ’08 adjustment occurs on those same acres. In other words, we could see those acres now shift from grain into a double crop of wheat and soybeans.”
Adams said intentions will be clarified more following the NCC’s annual survey of cotton acreage intentions, to be released on Feb. 8.
The economist said if current estimates are accurate, the ‘07 marketing year will be the first in five years with global consumption significantly above production. Even if there is a slowdown in the demand, that relationship should hold true in ’08 as well. The result would be further tightening of the balance sheet.
Cotton Incorporated President/CEO Berrye Worsham focused his report on one of six of that organization’s objectives – sustainability. He said Cotton Incorporated will continue researching, developing data and communicating cotton’s improvements – US cotton’s in particular – in sustainability to both consumers and to the industry.
“If the day comes when the eco-issues are important in the consumer buying process for apparel and home textiles, we want cotton positioned as the “eco-choice: for consumers,” Worsham said. “In this process, we want to avoid costly certification and undue regulatory constraints.”
He also pointed to efforts with NCC and Cotton Council International (CCI) in conjunction with corn, wheat and soybeans associations and technology providers to ensure that sound science – not preconceived opinions -- drives private organizations’ defining of sustainability standards.
In a briefing for news media, CCI President Michael Adams said global demand for cotton has risen more than 36 million bales (39%) since ’00 and export demand for US cotton fiber responded by rising to an estimated 16.2 million bales in ’07 -- a 140% increase from ’00.
“No one has done more than the US cotton industry in stimulating demand and bringing attention to the importance of cotton in the global economy,” the cooperative official said. “CCI will continue to partner with Cotton Incorporated and local industry to find ways to keep cotton attractive and interesting to the consumer, particularly in major developing countries like India and China where overall fiber demand will grow strongly at both the mill and consumer levels.”
|Paterson Gets Genetics Award|
Dr. Andrew H. Paterson, a research professor in the U. of Georgia’s Crop and Soil Sciences and its Genetics departments, is the recipient of the ’07 Cotton Genetics Research Award. He was recognized during the Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference and received $1,000.
Paterson is an internationally recognized authority in plant genomics, and his contributions to cotton genetics, genomics, cytogenetics and breeding have been significant.
Among other award winners recognized at the conferences were: 1) Dr. Robert G. Lemon, professor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service agronomist for cotton with Texas A&M U., as the ’07 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year, an award sponsored by Bayer CropSciences and 2) Danny Moore of Marion, AR, the ’07 Cotton Consultant of the Year, an award sponsored by Syngenta and Cotton Farming magazine. (See 1/04 Cotton’s Week for the High Cotton and Cotton Achievement Award recipients).
|USDA Sees 19.03 Million Bales|
In its January report, USDA estimated the ’07-08 US crop at 19.03 million bales. Upland production was estimated at 18.21 million bales and ELS production at 825,000 bales. Harvested area was an estimated 10.49 million acres implying a non-harvested area of 338,000 acres based on USDA’s acreage report. The resulting abandonment rate is roughly 3.12%. The national average yield per harvested acre was estimated to be 871 pounds, 90 pounds above the five-year average. If realized, the yield will be the largest on record, surpassing the previous record of 855 pounds per acre set in ’04.
On a regional basis, the Southeast crop is estimated at 3.21 million bales based on harvested acres of 2.17 million and a regional average yield of 711 pounds, 6 pounds above the five-year average for the region. In the Mid-South expected production is 5.29 million bales. Harvested area is estimated to be 2.72 million acres with an expected yield of 931 pounds per harvested acre. The Southwest upland crop is an estimated 8.48 million bales. Expected harvested area is 4.91 million acres and the regional average yield is 829 pounds per harvested acre. Upland production in the West is an estimated 1.24 million bales with a harvested area of 404,000 acres and a regional average yield of 1,471 pounds per harvested acre, 131 pounds above their five-year average.
The ELS crop is an estimated 825,000 bales. Harvested area is pegged at 288,000 acres with an average yield of 1,374 pounds per harvested acre.
|Mill Use Unchanged, Exports Slip|
USDA’s January report projected US ’07-08 mill use unchanged from the previous month at 4.60 million bales while exports were down 200,000 bales to 16.00 million bales. This generates an ending stocks value of 7.90 million bales and a projected stocks-to-use use ratio of 38.3%.The report lowered ’07-08 world production by 510,000 bales to 118.25 million bales from December’s report. The beginning stocks estimate was lowered 200,000 bales to 60.76 million bales. Projected world mill use was decreased 250,000 bales to 128.02 million bales. The projected world ending stocks for ’07-08 is now pegged at 54.75 million bales for a corresponding stocks-to-use ratio of 42.8%.
|CCI Showcases US Cotton|
US cotton and cotton products were promoted at Heimtexil, regarded as the world’s largest home furnishings show. Held in Frankfurt, Germany, the event drew 2,844 exhibitors from 65 countries. CCI’s COTTON USA pavilion also featured Cotton Incorporated services and Supima. The booth included high quality products from 17 COTTON USA licensees from around the world.
The event received high praise from participants who were impressed at the international reach of the gathering. Visitor flow at the pavilion was heavy on all days, giving CCI, Cotton Incorporated and Supima numerous opportunities to meet with current and prospective COTTON USA licensees.
|Sales Weak, Shipments Steady|
Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 3 were 70,600 bales (480-lb). This brings total ’07-08 sales to about 8.3 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’06-07 marketing year were about 6.3 million bales. Total new crop (’08-09) sales are 222,500 bales.Shipments were 198,500 bales, bringing total exports to date to 5.4 million bales, compared with the 3.3 million bales at the comparable point in the ’06-07 marketing year.
|Prices Effective Jan. 11–17, ’08|