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|Anderson Presents Comments at Crop Insurance Hearing|
NCC Vice Chairman Woody Anderson, a producer from Colorado City, TX, presented comments on the implementation of crop insurance reform before the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. The hearing focused on the availability of insurance products and adequate coverage levels, changes that have been made as a result of the implementation of the Agriculture Risk Protection Act and improvements that could enhance the ability of crop insurance to better manage risk for producers.
Anderson referenced the need to base premium rates on individual experience, develop a pilot program for cost of production insurance, improve Group Risk Products, implement cotton quality loss standards on a bale-by-bale basis and improve the Risk Management Agency’s policy of determining loss status dates after final planting dates, among other issues. Anderson stated "Crop insurance must be developed, delivered and administered as an effective risk management tool, and innovative policies must be developed to make crop insurance more useful in various and ever-changing production conditions."
The hearing was chaired by Rep. Moran (R-KS) and was attended by several Cotton Belt members, including Reps. Stenholm (D-TX), Neugebauer (R-TX) and Burns (R-GA).
|August Annualized Cotton Use Estimated at 6.3 Million Bales|
Cotton consumption in domestic textile mills for August (4-week month) was 238.9 million pounds for a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.3 million 480-pound bales, according to the Commerce Department. Last year’s August annualized rate was 7.4 million bales.
Commerce raised the July (4-week month) estimate of domestic mill use of cotton 1.7 million pounds to 227.3 million. The revised seasonally adjusted annualized rate of consumption for July is 7.05 million bales.
The difference in the July and August seasonally adjusted rates are largely explained by monthly seasonal adjustment factors, which are determined by Commerce. The seasonal adjustment factors for July and August were 0.88 and 1.03, respectively. The unadjusted daily rate of cotton consumption for July and August appears to be consistent with mills running in the range of 6.2 to 6.5 million bales on an annualized basis.
Preliminary September and revised August figures will be released Oct. 29.
|New Trade Coalition Formed|
NCC is among 42 charter members of a new broad-based coalition whose focus will be communication with the American people and their elected representatives on the ominous consequences of a huge and expanding US trade deficit and to campaign against unfair international trade practices.
The Free Trade for America Coalition (FREETAC) is comprised of associations, private companies and unions representing cotton and manufactured fibers, steel, paper, glass, copper and brass, cattle, corn, sugar and honey. The coalition is chaired by Wilbur L. Ross, Chairman of WL Ross & Co., LLC, and of International Steel Group, Inc. Ross is a recent entrant in textile manufacturing through his acquisition of Burlington Industries and Cone Mills.
The coalition will pool the resources of some 2,500 corporate constituents and 1 million employees in the common objective of bringing reason and fairness to international trade policy.
NCC Chairman Bobby Greene said, "NCC chairmen and senior management have consistently pointed to the need for all segments of the cotton industry to find common ground on trade policy, to broaden the coalition and to aggressively pursue our objectives. We commend Mr. Ross for his leadership in organizing this coalition, which has the potential to be highly influential in shaping future trade policy."
|Early Hotel Reservations for Beltwide Available|
NCC and Cotton Foundation members can make hotel reservations in advance of the general public until Oct. 22 for the ’04 Beltwide Cotton Conferences scheduled Jan. 5-9 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio.
An online request form is available from the NCC web site – www.cotton.org - for credit card payments only.
Once information is submitted, the NCC will confirm receipt and membership status in separate e-mails. Acknowledgement from the Beltwide Housing Bureau will follow within 3 weeks after submitting a reservation.
Direct any changes or cancellations via e-mail to email@example.com or by fax to 210-207-6702. After Dec. 15, changes must be directed to the confirmed hotel.
|North Mississippi Schedules 3rd Eradication Referendum|
A grower-requested 3rd North Mississippi Delta boll weevil eradication program referendum is scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 10. Farm Service Agency offices will count the results on Oct. 17.
A majority of growers in Leflore, Quitman, Sunflower, Tunica and west Tallahatchie counties supported the program in referendum counts held in June and August but failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required by law for passage. The June tally yielded a 55% affirmative vote, and the percentage increased to 65.95% in August.
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) has announced plans to place cotton in those counties, Region IA, under quarantine in January. State law dictates quarantine enforcement in the absence of an eradication program. A quarantine would require that cotton produced in the region be ginned within region boundaries. Cottonseed to be moved from the region will require fumigation at an estimated cost of $5/ton. Movement of all regulated articles will require a certificate showing that the articles have been fumigated or cleaned prior to movement. Growers found in violation of any of the quarantine rules will be subject to fines of up to $1,000 per violation. Producers also will bear the brunt of the cost of a mandatory trapping and spraying program to ensure no weevils are present in the region should there be a request to lift the quarantine.
MDAC estimated annual quarantine costs for growers with land overlapping into adjacent regions to be more than $20/ac. Growers with fields entirely in Region IA should expect costs to exceed $15/ac. The department called these "very conservative" estimates.
Growers will vote on annual assessments of not more than $12/ac. Program managers expect actual assessments to be between $8 and $10/ac. for the next couple of years, then drop to $6 to $8/ac.
Region 1B (Bolivar, Coahoma, and Washington counties) passed the August referendum with a 69% affirmative vote.
The current eradication program started in Mississippi's eastern counties in ’97 and progressed annually westward. The north Delta regions voted to join the 5-year program in ’99.
|Rep. Moran Tours Delta|
At the invitation of the Delta Council and Rep. Pickering (R-MS), Rep. Moran (R-KS) visited the Mississippi Delta to gain a better understanding of Sunbelt agriculture. Moran represents western and central Kansas and chairs the House Agriculture General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee.
Moran and Pickering met with Delta Council leaders to discuss issues related to cotton, rice, soybeans and catfish. The Kansas Congressman reiterated his support for no changes in the current farm bill including payment limits. "Those of us who care about agriculture are a small group, and if we don’t work together, we will get nothing done," he said. "There is no desire among House leadership to revisit the issues in the current farm bill, and the likelihood of the Grassley amendment becoming law is very unlikely." He also discussed agricultural trade policy issues including the recent Cancun World Trade Organization talks. As part of the trip, Moran visited ponds, crop production and ginning operations.
NCC Chairman Bobby Greene and NCC President/CEO Mark Lange joined Moran along with Mississippi leadership for a reception and dinner in his honor and had the opportunity to exchange ideas. Greene stated " I was pleased that Rep. Moran took the time to visit the Delta. He is a dedicated supporter of agriculture and an important member of the House Agriculture Committee."
Moran stated he also intends to visit other parts of the Cotton Belt, including California and West Texas. His district includes the majority of the cotton production in Kansas, which is the newest area of cotton production expansion.
|23 Companies Join COTTON USA Orientation Tour|
Textile executives from 11 countries throughout the world will travel across the US Cotton Belt Sept. 29-Oct. 10 to familiarize themselves with US cotton and how that fiber is produced, processed and marketed.
The participants represent 23 companies in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. Those companies are expected to consume about 2 million bales in ’03 and annually consume an average of 700,000 bales of US cotton.
"This is one of the most extensive groups to participate in this event," said Bobby Carson, president of Cotton Council International (CCI), which sponsors this annual COTTON USA Orientation Tour. "This tour provides a wonderful opportunity for US cotton to strengthen ties with these important customers. These companies not only spin a large amount of US raw cotton, but their countries represent a very healthy market for cotton consumption. "
The Marks, MS, cotton producer said the 11 countries represented are expected to consume 18 million bales in ’03. This represents 26% of the total cotton consumed outside the US. These countries annually import about 10 million bales, of which 4.5 million are from the US. This represents 40% of US cotton’s total worldwide sales.
Tour participants will visit a farm and gin in California’s San Joaquin Valley, observe cotton research in North Carolina and Mississippi and tour the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, TN, and the American Cotton Growers Denim Mill in West Texas. They will meet with exporters in the 4 major Cotton Belt regions and get briefings from CCI, the NCC, Cotton Incorporated, the American Cotton Shippers Assn., the Texas Cotton Assn., AMCOT, the Western Cotton Shippers Assn., the Plains Cotton Growers Assn. and the Lubbock Cotton Exchange.
|Export Sales for Week Ending Sept. 18|
Net export sales for the week ending Sept. 18 were 54,800 bales (480-lb.), resulting in total ’03-04 sales of over 3.6 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’02-03 marketing year were almost 4.8 million bales. Total new crop (’04-05) sales are 135,100 bales (480-lb.).
Shipments for the week were 82,400 bales, bringing total exports to date to 1.2 million bales, ahead of the 1.1 million bales at the comparable point in the ’02-03 marketing year.
|Prices Effective September 26-Oct. 2, 2003|