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|Preserving Farm Law, Influencing Trade Debate Key ’04 Priorities|
Retiring NCC Chairman Bobby Greene said defense of the US farm program and influencing trade negotiations will continue as NCC priorities in '04.
He noted that growing budget deficits will generate pressure for change in ’04, including proposals to save money by modifying programs or reducing benefits.
“Others in Congress will work to cut funds from production agriculture in favor of conservation, nutrition or other more politically attractive programs,” the Courtland, AL, ginner said. “The cotton industry is very fortunate to have members of Congress who understand our industry and are willing to address key issues. But we must be prepared to adapt to change with several pending retirements in the Senate and re-districting issues in the House.”
Greene, who will chair the NCC’s Operations Committee in ’04, reminded delegates that the NCC’s trade agenda stands virtually shoulder-to-shoulder with farm policy in determining U.S. cotton’s ultimate success.
Among NCC actions this coming year in the trade arena are: continuing discussions with the US Trade Representative’s office (USTR) to ensure that World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations regarding the US cotton program will be conducted in the context of the overall agricultural negotiations, while reiterating concerns about the elimination of US textile tariffs; carrying out a newly-approved NCC resolution that urges Congress to defer consideration of a Central American Free Trade Agreement until such time as the textile provisions are thoroughly reviewed and significantly improved; working to ensure that the extraordinary damage caused by market disruptions generated by China is addressed by the Administration and Congress; studying each new bilateral trade initiative proposal carefully to ensure it will benefit the U.S. cotton industry and not non-signatory third countries; and consulting further with USDA and the USTR to ensure that every effort is made to successfully defend the US cotton program against Brazil’s WTO challenge.
Among other challenges the NCC will focus on in ’04 are: 1) helping to defend legal challenges to the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, 2) providing solid support and leadership to Cotton Council International - given that 65% or more of US cotton fiber and more than 4 million bale equivalents of additional cotton yarn and fabric are now moving through export channels, 3) strengthening industry partnerships including alliances with The Cotton Foundation’s agribusiness members who help underwrite many NCC initiatives and 4) increasing industry leaders’ commitment to the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton.
Prior to outlining upcoming challenges, Greene reviewed key NCC action in ’03. Among those were: 1) defending the farm bill throughout the budget debate and appropriations process and from foreign competitors through WTO challenges, 2) garnering strong industrywide support for 3 trade-related China initiatives and 3) obtaining strong financial backing for CCI and The Cotton Foundation.
Dr. Gary Adams, NCC vice president for Economics and Policy Analysis, said in his ’04 Economic Outlook that US cotton will continue to see shifting demand as exports increase while the domestic textile industry experiences further contraction. He said exports of raw cotton are expected to reach 13.20 bales for the current marketing year, accounting for 72% of the ’03 crop.
“US cotton continues to meet price competition and will maintain its current trade share, despite extremely competitive conditions in the world market,” Adams said. “Customers for US exports have changed slightly the past few years as China became a significant buyer of US raw cotton during the ’02 and ’03 marketing years.”
He said the NCC expects China will continue to be a net importer of raw cotton for the near future, but imports will drop as China’s crop recovers. Adams noted that as a response to stronger prices and increased competition from man made fibers, world mill use is expected to decline to 97.1 million bales, with US mill use estimated at 6.2 million bales for ’03. China’s mill use is expected to increase some 700,000 bales to 30.2 million, joining a short list of countries with projected mill increases in the current marketing year. Currently, China consumes 1 out of every 3 bales of cotton produced in the world.
NCC delegates were reminded that the US textile industry continues to struggle against surging imports of cotton textile products. The NCC economists said the cotton goods import surge will continue, particularly once all quotas are eliminated on Jan. 1, ’05. Total US imports of cotton goods were estimated at a 9.0% gain to 19.3 million bale equivalents in ’03, but the NCC projects these imports will increase to 20.5 million bales in ’04.
On a brighter note, Adams said that an estimated 7.4 million bale equivalents of ’03 imports, or 38.1%, contained cotton grown in the US.
|NCC Board Reaffirms CAFTA Policy|
Throughout the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) negotiations, NCC worked with officials in the Office of the US Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce in an effort to help shape an agreement that would serve the interests of the US cotton industry. NCC President and CEO Mark Lange said, “Our analysis suggests that the most realistic opportunity we have for improving the economic outlook for US cotton through trade agreements is to influence the source of apparel and home product imports and, therefore, the origin of textiles and fibers consumed in them.”
NCC Chairman Woody Anderson said, “This awareness explains our support for Western Hemisphere trade agreements that preserve benefits for signatory countries and deny unnecessary benefits for 3rd countries. Such agreements would facilitate the use of US cotton and US textiles in apparel and home products as opposed to Asian cotton and textiles.” Anderson noted that “Maintaining viable US cotton and textile industries hinges on our ability to achieve a fair and equitable trading environment that does not permit China to dominate world textile trade but preserves reasonable opportunities for the US and its other trading partners.”
Sharing these views, NCC’s Board of Directors unanimously reaffirmed its CAFTA policy in the following Feb. 1 resolution: “The NCC has consistently stated its strong belief that a good CAFTA agreement is essential to preserving a viable US cotton and textile industry. To this end, the Council has urged the Administration to negotiate a CAFTA with provisions that preserve benefits for signatory countries and deny unnecessary benefits to 3rd countries.
“The Council’s Board of Directors reaffirms its conviction that a good CAFTA is essential to the economic viability of the US cotton and textile industries and pledges its support for passage of an agreement that fosters benefits for signatory countries. Inasmuch as the CAFTA agreement in its current form does not meet this fundamental objective, the Council (a) opposes passage of the current CAFTA agreement and (b) urges Congress to defer consideration of CAFTA until such time as the textile provisions are thoroughly reviewed and significantly improved.”
|Texas Producer Woody Anderson Elected NCC Chairman|
Texas producer Woody Anderson was elected NCC chairman at the NCC’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. He served as NCC’s vice chairman during ’03 and succeeds Alabama ginner Robert W. “Bobby” Greene.
Anderson has served in various NCC leadership positions, including vice chairman, Southwest Region for the American Cotton Producers from ’96-’02 and as chairman of the NCC’s Crop Insurance Committee from ’95-’01.
Other NCC officers elected for ’04 include: Woods E. Eastland, a Greenwood, MS, cooperative official, vice chairman; and vice presidents Charles Owen, Pima, AZ, ginner, and Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX, crusher. G. Stephen Felker, Monroe, GA, textile manufacturer; Fred A. Underwood, Lubbock, TX, warehouseman; and Robert S Weil, II, Montgomery, AL, merchant, were re-elected NCC vice presidents, and Allen B. Helms, Jr., Clarkedale, AR, producer, was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
Dr. Andrew G. Jordan was elected vice president, Technical Services. Re-elected NCC staff officers were: Dr. Mark Lange, NCC president and chief executive officer, Dr. Gary Adams, vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, Craig Brown, vice president, Producer Affairs; Dr. Bill M. Norman, vice president, Ginner Services; and Fred Johnson, vice president, Administration and Program Coordination, all of Memphis; and John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations, and Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Operations, both of Washington.
|NCC Names ’04 Directors|
NCC directors elected to the NCC Board during interest caucuses at the Annual Meeting were:
Producers – Ronald C. Fleming, Scotland Neck, NC; Laudies Brantley, Jr., England, AR; Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX; Wiley Murphy, Tucson, AZ; and John E. Pucheu, Jr., Tranquillity, CA.. Ginners – Robert W. Greene, Courtland, AL; Larry R. McClendon, Marianna, AR; Mike D. Berry, Altus, OK; Stanley R. Creelman, Tulare, CA; and Sid Brough, Edroy, TX. Warehousemen – Thomas W. Stallings, Funston, GA; Wendell L. Tucker, Quanah, TX; LaDell Harrison, Memphis, TX; Robert Weatherford, Corpus Christi, TX; and Shane Stephens, Greenwood, MS. Merchants – W. B. Dunavant, III, Memphis, TN; Eduardo L. Esteve, Jr., Dallas, TX; John D. Mitchell, Cordova, TN; Gary W. Taylor, Cordova, TN; and G.W. Winburne, Phoenix, AZ. Crushers – Danny W. Brown, Pine Bluff, AR; Bobby Crum, Harlingen, TX; Robert L. Lacy, Jr., Lubbock, TX; J. Scott Middleton, Jr., Jonestown, MS; and Sammy Wright, Tifton, GA. Cooperatives – Meredith Allen, Greenwood, MS; Tommy R. Funk, Jr., Harlingen, TX; Robert W. Norris, Bakersfield, CA; David Stanford, Lubbock, TX; and Michael Quinn, Garner, NC. Manufacturers – Roger W. Chastain, Greenville, SC; W. Duke Kimbrell, Gastonia, NC; Jerry D. Rowland, Winston-Salem, NC; D. Harding Stowe, Belmont, NC; and Van A. May, Lubbock, TX.
|Pucheu Elected Chairman of American Cotton Producers|
John E. Pucheu, Jr., a producer from Tranquillity, CA, was elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the NCC for ’04 during the NCC’s Annual Meeting.
Robert A. Carson, Jr., Marks, MS; Sam Spruell, Mount Hope, AL; and Daniel M. Davis, Elk City, OK, were elected vice chairmen.
Elected as new regional directors were: Ronald C. Fleming, Scotland Neck, NC, representing the Southeast, and Wiley Murphy, Tucson, AZ, representing the West. Re-elected regional directors were Laudies D. Brantley, England, AR, representing the Mid-South, and Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX, representing the Southwest.
Elected state producer chairmen were: Arizona – Clyde Sharp, Roll; Kansas – Robert H. Miller, Wellington; Mississippi – Daniel T. Branton, Leland; Missouri-Illinois – Charles Parker, Senath, MO; North Carolina – Taylor Slade, Williamston; Oklahoma – Monty H. Kahle, Newkirk; and Tennessee-Kentucky – Larry W. Rice, Covington, TN.
Re-elected state producer chairmen were: Alabama – Mike Tate, Hazel Green; Arkansas – Herrick D. Norcross, III, Tyronza; California – Donald J. Cameron, Helm; Georgia – C.B. Coley, Vienna; Florida – B. E. “Sonny” Davis, Cottondale; Louisiana – Boyd Holley, Bastrop; New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, Carlsbad; South Carolina – Frank B. Rogers, III, Bennettsville; Texas – Barry W. Evans, Kress; and Virginia – Cecil Byrum, Windsor.
|NCC ’04 State Unit Officers Named|
NCC state unit officers for ’04 were elected at the Annual Meeting. Chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries, respectively, of the state units are: Alabama – Sam R. Spruell, producer, Mt. Hope; Larkin Martin, producer, Courtland; and Neal Isbell, producer, Muscle Shoals. Arizona – Clyde T. Sharp, producer, Roll; Lon R. Emerson, cooperative, Glendale; and Jim L. Gale, ginner, Eleven Mile Corner. Arkansas - Neill M. Sloan, warehouseman, Portland; Larry R. McClendon, ginner, Marianna; and Curtis H. Stewart, ginner, Dumas. California – Robert W. Norris, cooperative, Bakersfield; Roger Dallner, ginner, Fresno; and Craig N. Pedersen, producer, Lemoore. Georgia – Van F. Murphy, ginner, Quitman; Kent D. Fountain, ginner, Surrency; and Don E. Daily, ginner, Dexter. Florida - Jerry H. Davis, producer, Jay; Joseph S. Hall, ginner, Bascom; and Bruce McMullian, ginner, Marianna. Kansas – Robert H. Miller, producer, Wellington; Randy Lucas, producer, Satanta; and Gary D. Feist, ginner, Anthony. Louisiana – Ted Schneider, producer, Lake Providence; Stephen E. Logan, producer, Gilliam; and George G. LaCour, ginner, Morganza. Mississippi – J. Scott Middleton, Jr., crusher, Jonestown; Thomas S. Hayes, III, producer, Clarksdale; and Michael M. Adams, cooperative, Greenwood. Missouri-Illinois – Christopher D. Matthews, ginner, Sikeston, MO; Jimmie G. Johnson, producer, Vanduser, MO; and Corky Dalton, ginner, Senath, MO. New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, producer, Carlsbad; Bob Mayberry, producer, Artesia; and Robert Najera, warehouseman, Fabens, TX. North Carolina – D.E. Josey, III, producer, Scotland Neck; Allen McLaurin, producer, Laurel Hill; and W. Coalter Paxton, III, warehouseman, Wilson. Oklahoma – Bob N. Collins, ginner, Frederick; Jay T. Cowart, warehouseman, Altus; and Daniel M. Davis, producer, Elk City. South Carolina –Frank. B. Rogers, III, producer, Bennettsville; Harry S. Bell, ginner, Ward; and John Olson, producer, Saint Matthews. Tennessee-Kentucky – Christopher D. Clegg, Sr., ginner, Tiptonville, TN; Jimmy Moody, cooperative, Dyersburg, TN; and John F. Lindamood, producer, Tiptonville, TN. Texas – Samuel E. Simmons, producer, Harlingen; Ron Craft, ginner, Plains; and Ronnie Riddle, producer, Abilene. Virginia – M. L. Everett, Jr., producer, Capron; Keith Dunn, producer, Yale; and G. Thomas Alphin, Jr., Windsor.
|Brough Heads NCGA in ’04|
Sid Brough, general manager of EdCot Coop Gin in Edroy, TX, was elected ’04-05 president of the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) at the organization’s annual meeting. Brough, who served last year on the NCGA’s Executive and Ginning Technology committees, also is a director of the NCC and its export promotions arm, Cotton Council International (CCI). He also serves on the NCC’s Research and Education Committee.
Other NCGA officers elected include: 1st vice president, Larry McClendon, Marianna, AR; 2nd vice president, Russell Kuhnhenn, Buckeye, AZ; and 3rd vice president, Van Murphy, Quitman, GA. Outgoing president Richard Holder, Kinston, NC, now serves as board chairman, and Dr. Bill Norman, Memphis, TN, is executive vice president.
McClendon also was named NCGA’s ’03 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year. The NCGA award is given to those individuals who have provided a career of distinguished service to the US ginning industry.
The Marianna, AR, native has been farming since the ’70s and ginning since ’89. His gin handled more than 100,000 bales in ’02, double the volume of just 2 years earlier. He has served on several NCGA committees and was a NCC and CCI director in ’03. He holds a B.S. degree in Agriculture Business from the U. of Arkansas.
The NCGA’s ’03 Distinguished Service Award recipient is Herb Willcutt, Extension professor and specialist of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Mississippi State U. for the past 20 years. Previously, he served the cotton industry for 9 years as an employee of Cotton Incorporated, working with the cotton module builder and conservation tillage systems for cotton production.
|NCC’s Booker Receives Cotton Service Award|
Gaylon Booker, who has played a pivotal role at the NCC during his 40-plus years of service, beginning in Economic Services and culminating as president and chief executive officer, was honored as the recipient of the ’04 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 an individual who has provided extraordinary service, leadership and dedication to the US cotton industry.
In presenting the award, outgoing NCC Chairman Bobby Greene said Booker, like Harry S. Baker, has given freely of his time, “and through uncommon leadership, has provided invaluable assistance to the cotton industry.”
Booker joined the NCC in ’61 as a market analyst, eventually leading the NCC’s Economic Services department, where he directed activities relating to world supply and demand for cotton and other fibers. Later, he served as vice president of Operations and from ’88 until ’01 served as senior vice president. In March ’01, he became the NCC’s president and CEO.
Since his retirement in February of ’03, Booker has served as a consultant to the NCC.
Booker is active in volunteer work in behalf of citizens with disabilities. As founder of Partners In Placement, Inc., a Memphis-based non-profit organization, he created a job placement service for citizens with disabilities. Additionally, he is a past member of the board of Shelby Residential and Vocational Services, a Memphis-based organization serving individuals with mental retardation. He currently serves as an advisory member of that board.
Booker also served on the Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and on a special commission appointed by the governor to make recommendations for re-writing Tennessee legislation dealing with mental health and developmental disabilities.
For his voluntary service in behalf of people with disabilities, he has been recognized with special awards from both the State of Tennessee and the City of Memphis. In ’99 he was named Community Leader of the Year by Community Rehabilitation Agencies of Tennessee.
|Cotton's Leaders for '04|
|US, Aussie Trade Agreement Moving Forward|
US-Australia free trade agreement negotiations are reportedly moving toward a conclusion. Reports indicate that President Bush and Prime Minister Howard may talk to determine whether a final agreement can be reached or whether talks should be suspended until after the US and Australian elections.
Agricultural issues including market access for beef, dairy and sugar have been especially controversial. The US has thus far refused to offer increased access for Australian sugar, which has prompted calls to exclude beef as well. US dairy groups also have lobbied the Administration to limit any dairy provision that might be included in an agreement. Business groups, including the US Chamber Business Roundtable and others, released statements in support of concluding the negotiations.
|’05 Budget Would Lift Ag Spending but Cut Discretionary Funds|
The Administration’s FY05 budget proposal for agriculture would total $83.3 billion, an increase of 6% over ’04, but discretionary spending would be reduced by 3% or $720 million below FY04. The budget would increase funding for food safety and nutrition programs, but some conservation programs would be funded at levels below those mandated in the ’02 farm law.
The Conservation Security Program (CSP) would be funded at $209 million, whereas the Office of Management and Budget previously estimated spending would total $240 million if the program operated as authorized in farm law. Funding for the Environmental Quality Incentive Program would be set at $985 million or $215 million less than the $1.2 billion authorized in farm law, and funding for the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program would be set at $59 million or $26 million below the farm bill level.
Funding for the Market Access Program would be maintained at FY04 levels, which is $15 million below the levels provided for FY05 in the farm law.
|CSP Listening Session Scheduled in Mississippi|
A listening session on the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) proposed rule for implementing the new Conservation Security Program (CSP) will be held at the Greenwood (MS) Civic Center on Feb. 11. The session will begin at 1:30 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 3:30.
The public is invited, and participants will be allotted 5 minutes to make comments to a USDA panel. Participants will register at the meeting to make public comments, and all participants will be heard. Comment forms will also be available at the session.
The proposed rule for CSP was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 2. The Greenwood forum is one of 11 being held nationwide for the public to make comments about the proposed rule. A copy of the rule can be found on the USDA-NRCS Web site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2002.
Written comments may be mailed to: David McKay, Conservation Planning Team Leader, Conservation Operations Division, USDA NRCS, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013-2890 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must be received by March 2.
|Export Sales for Week Ending Jan. 29|
Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 29, 2004 were 296,500 bales (480-lb.), resulting in total ’03-04 sales of almost 10.1 million bales. Total sales at the same point in the ’02-03 marketing year were approximately 8.4 million bales. Total new crop (’04-05) sales are 450,500 bales (480-lb.).
Shipments for the week were 339,900 bales, bringing total exports to date to 5.1 million bales, ahead of the 4.4 million bales at the comparable point in the ’02-03 marketing year.
|Prices Effective February 6-12, 2004|