|’05 Challenges Include Maintaining Farm Law, Obtaining Workable Trade Pacts|
Retiring NCC Chairman Woody Anderson told delegates at the NCC’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, that the NCC will continue to fend off efforts to change the ’02 farm law and payment limit rules, in particular.
“The Council’s biggest and most consistent battle since passage of 2002 farm legislation has been protecting it against attacks from those who want to dismantle it, especially its cotton provisions,” he said. “As usual, the program had to be protected from efforts to single out agriculture for disproportionate cuts as Congress wrestled with a worsening budget deficit. There were the usual efforts to impose stricter payment limits. And, as always, there were media attacks on the cotton program, driven by continuing, misleading allegations of the Environmental Working Group.”
He said trade legislation will be a dominant item on the ’05 Congressional agenda, and the NCC’s top trade concern will be the successful resolution of the Brazil WTO case.
“A ruling on the appeal to the initial decision could be issued in March,” Anderson said. “I must recognize and commend the highly effective job that USTR and USDA have done in developing a credible defense in the initial ruling and their strong appeal. The cotton industry looks forward to a reversal of the initial decision but we must be prepared for any eventual outcome of this ruling.”
Anderson said that in addition to determining continued US membership in WTO and legislation providing the President with fast track negotiating authority, Congress likely will take up legislation to implement the CAFTA agreement which was signed last year. He said current policy calls for the NCC to work for a CAFTA that the industry can support.
“We believe there are opportunities to work with the Administration to improve the competitive situation confronting the U.S. cotton and textile industries,” Anderson said. “Our textile leadership is innovative and determined. We look forward to working with the National Council of Textile Organizations and the Administration both in developing a sound implementation plan for CAFTA and in taking other steps that will improve the competitive situation confronting the U.S. cotton textile industry.”
Anderson said there will be no shortage of challenges for agriculture and cotton in the coming year, but that NCC leaders will be joining Sen. Cochran (R-MS) and other farm-state senators in the fight for a “fair and equitable budget for agriculture.”
Sen. Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told delegates that, “We always know there's a threat of lower levels of payments to producers from some in the Congress. This farm bill is working as it was designed to work and payments are going down because prices are going up, and I will continue to work as hard as I can to oppose any changes in the farm bill payment limits to producers.”
He noted that the budget for agriculture programs is only ½ of 1% of the entire federal budget, but it helps sustain an industry that is responsible for 15% of the nation’s gross domestic product and 25 million US jobs.
“The farm bill of 2002 has resulted in savings of nearly $17 billion below the projected cost of the commodity programs and I think the current farm bill should remain unchanged providing that safety net without modification until it expires in 2007,” Cochran said.
He also told delegates that he and other lawmakers are planning annual exchanges with Chinese government representatives to talk about trade and other issues that are important to both countries. He said agriculture has a lot at stake so it will be one of the key agenda items, and that “it is important that we help make sure that we detect threats from excessive imports before they occur.”
Dr. Gary Adams, the NCC’s vice president, Economics and Policy Analysis, said in his ‘05 Economic Outlook that among policy challenges confronting the industry is the contraction of the US textile industry, which continued in ’04, but at a slower rate than in past years. He said domestic mill use for the ’04 crop year is estimated at 6.20 million bales, 290,000 bales below the ’03 level but the Jan. 1, ’05 removal of quotas on textile and apparel trade increases the competition from imported cotton textiles, and will lead to further downward pressure on retail prices. As a result, further declines are expected for the domestic textile industry. NCC economists expect US mill use to fall to 5.81 million bales for the ’05/06 marketing year. The latest data from USDA, he said, indicate that about 60% of the world’s cotton is spun in China, India and Pakistan, and the percentage should increase in the post-quota environment.
“As domestic mill use declines, exports will continue to be relied upon as the primary outlet for the US crop,” Adams said. Regarding the world situation, Adams sees ’05 reduced plantings - induced by weaker cotton prices and a return to average yields - lowering world production to 104.63 million bales, a drop of 11 million from ’04. The current estimates for production and consumption would lead to a decline of global stocks by July 31, ’06 – with a global stocks/use ratio projected at 42.5%, down from 45.1% for the ’04 marketing year.
|Sales, Shipments Strong|
Net export sales for the week ending Jan. 27 were 406,500 bales (480-lb.). This brings total ’04-05 sales to more than 10.1 million. Total sales at the same point in the ’03-04 marketing year were about 10.0 million. Total new crop (’05-06) sales are 364,800 bales. Shipments for the week were 299,000 bales, bringing total exports to date to 4.6 million bales, compared with the 5.1 million at the comparable point in the ’03-04 marketing year.
|Doha Negotiations Discussed with WTO Officials|
Texas producer Woody Anderson, the immediate past NCC chairman, and California producer John Pucheu, American Cotton Producers chairman, met with WTO officials in Geneva to share concerns regarding the ongoing Doha Round of trade talks. Anderson and Pucheu were accompanied by Mark Lange, NCC president/CEO, and John Maguire, NCC senior vice president, Washington Operations.
The group met with members of the USTR delegation based in Geneva, including Ambassador Linnet Deily. They also met with WTO officials and Geneva-based West African officials.During the sessions, NCC representatives conveyed the US cotton industry’s support for a balanced and comprehensive agreement, but reiterated that cotton must not be singled out for different treatment from the remainder of agriculture. The NCC also reminded WTO officials that the cotton subcommittee authorized in the Framework text is a monitoring body and not a vehicle for negotiations. In their session with the West African officials, the NCC representatives expressed their support of developmental programs that can improve farm income in many lesser developed countries, but cautioned the group that continued calls for compensation from the US and an “early harvest” of the US cotton program are unprecedented and would only serve to undermine US support for the ongoing negotiations.
|2005 JCIBPC Annual Meeting Set|
The 38th annual meeting of the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee will be held on March 31 at the Hilton Hotel in Memphis. Meeting participants are urged to register online at www.cotton.org/tech/bale/jcibpc-form.cfm.
JCIBPC Chairman Lee Tiller noted that the committee will review the bale packaging specifications and evaluate a number of experimental test programs. The panel also will evaluate the NCC’s contamination prevention efforts as well as the impact of the elimination of strip coated bags.
|Final US Area Joining Weevil Eradication|
The Texas Department of Agriculture announced that cotton producers and landowners in the Northern Blacklands zone successfully passed a referendum to join the Boll Weevil Eradication program. The area north of Dallas has about 100,000 acres of cotton, and was the last zone in the state and the nation to join the eradication program.
The referendum passed with 84.7% of the ballots cast favoring establishment of a boll weevil eradication zone for the Northern Blacklands, with an assessment of $13.25 per acre of cotton land.
|Paper Calls for Stricter PM Standards|
According to a draft EPA staff paper, the EPA should consider tightening its air quality standard for fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) particles. The draft, citing information in the PM criteria document finalized in Nov. ’04, said the evidence now available provides strong support for considering fine particle standards that would provide increased protection from that afforded by the current PM2.5 standards. The paper, which is part of the required review process for national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) like PM, represents the preliminary conclusions of EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards about whether the PM air quality standards should be revised.
The current standard set by EPA for fine particles in ’97 is 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) based on an annual average or 65 μg/m3 based on a 24-hour average. The agency currently is implementing the standard for fine particles and announced Dec. 17 that 224 counties are not in attainment of the PM2.5 standard. This includes cotton growing and ginning areas in AL, AZ, CA, GA, MO, NC and SC. The staff paper recommended EPA consideration of 2 alternative approaches for revising the fine particle standard: 1) EPA would retain the current annual fine particle standard but lower the 24-hour standard to between 25 and 35 μg/m3; 2) EPA would consider an annual standard between 12 and 14 μg/m3, along with a revised 24-hour standard of 35-to-40 μg/m3. These suggested levels would increase the number of non-attainment areas by as many as 50 and make industry compliance difficult.
The paper also recommended a new standard for thoracic coarse particles, those between 10 microns and 2.5 microns in diameter, which is particularly important to agriculture and cotton ginning. It said EPA should consider setting a 24-hour standard for thoracic coarse particles at 65 to 85 μg/m3, with no annual standard. They also say that an annual standard "could" be considered as part of the "margin of safety," and that the data might support a 24-hour standard as low as 30 ug/m3, though that would give great weight to "very limited and uncertain" epidemiological evidence. The current 24-hour standard for coarse particles is 150 μg/m3, with an annual standard of 50 μg/m3.
|Woods Eastland Elected NCC Chairman|
Mississippi cooperative official Woods Eastland was elected NCC chairman for ’05 during the NCC’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. He served as the NCC’s vice chairman in ’04 and succeeds Texas producer Woody Anderson. Eastland has served as president and chief executive officer of Greenwood-based Staplcotn Cooperative Assoc. and Staplcotn Discount Corp. since ’86. He has been a cotton, soybean and rice producer in SunflowerCounty since ’74.
Eastland also serves as vice president and director of AMCOT, and is a director of the Delta Council and The Seam, LLC.
Allen B. Helms, Jr., a Clarkedale, AR, producer who served as NCC secretary-treasurer in ’04, will serve as NCC vice chairman. Re-elected as NCC vice presidents were: Charles C. Owen, Pima, AZ, ginner; Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX, crusher; Fred A. Underwood, Lubbock, TX, warehouseman; Robert S. Weil, II, Montgomery, AL, merchant; and G.Stephen Felker, Monroe, GA, textile manufacturer. Craig D. Shook, Corpus Christi, TX, producer, was elected secretary-treasurer.
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; Fred Johnson, vice president, Administration and Program Coordination; Dr. Andy Jordan, vice president, Technical Services; and Dr. Bill M. Norman, vice president, Ginner Services; all of Memphis; and John Maguire, senior vice president, Washington Operations; and Allen Terhaar, vice president, Foreign Operations; both in Washington, DC.
|NCC Names ’05 Directors|
NCC directors elected to the NCC Board during interest caucuses at the Annual Meeting were:
Producers – Ronald C. Fleming, Scotland Neck, NC; Jon W. Hardwick, Newellton, LA; Rickey Bearden, Plains, TX; Wiley Murphy, Tucson, AZ; and John E. Pucheu, Jr., Tranquillity, CA. Ginners – Burges U. Griffin, Jr, Lewiston, NC; William A. Guthrie, Newellton, LA; Sid Brough, Edroy, TX; Barbara L. Haralson, Safford, AZ; and Larry R. McClendon, Marianna, AR. Warehousemen – Tommy Malin, Memphis, TN; Thomas W. Stallings, Funston, GA; Shane Stephens, Greenwood, MS; Wendell L. Tucker, Quanah, TX; Robert Weatherford, Corpus Christi, TX. Merchants – W. B. Dunavant, III, Memphis, TN; Manfred Schiefer, Lubbock, TX; John D. Mitchell, Cordova, TN; Gary Taylor, Cordova, TN; and G.W. Winburne, Phoenix, AZ. Cottonseed – Austin Rose, Abilene, TX; Bobby Crum, Harlingen, TX; Robert L. Lacy, Jr., Lubbock, TX; J. Gary Conkling, Oklahoma City, OK; and Sammy Wright, Tifton, GA. Cooperatives – Meredith Allen, Greenwood, MS; David L. Hand, El Paso, TX; Jarral Neeper, Bakersfield, CA; Wallace L. Darneille, Lubbock, TX; and Jeffery A. Thompson, Prattville, AL. 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.
|Taylor Named CCI President For ’05|
Memphis merchant Gary W. Taylor was elected president of Cotton Council International (CCI) for ’05. He was named during CCI’s board meeting at the NCC’s Annual Meeting.
Taylor, who is president and chief executive officer for Cargill Cotton Co., is a director of the NCC and the American Cotton Shippers Assoc. of which he is a past president. He also is a past director of the Southern Cotton Association and a founding board member of two Memphis firms, The Seam and EWR, Inc. Taylor succeeds Robert Norris, a cooperative official in Bakersfield, CA, who becomes CCI board chairman.
Other CCI officers elected for ’05 are: 1st vice president David L. Burns, producer, Laurel Hill, NC; 2nd vice president Michael M. Adams, cooperative official from Greenwood, MS; and treasurer, Robert S. Weil, II, a Montgomery, AL, merchant. Mark D. Lange of Memphis, TN, was re-elected secretary and Allen A. Terhaar of Washington, DC, was re-elected assistant secretary.
CCI elected 2 new directors for ’05 - John Burch, cooperative official, Bakersfield, CA; and Richard Kelley, producer, Burlison, TN. Re-elected directors include: Producers - Cliett A. Lowman, III, Kingsville, TX; Clyde T. Sharpe, Yuma, AZ; Ted D. Sheely, Lemoore, CA; Lawrence E. Starrh, Shafter, CA; James L. Webb, Leary, GA; and Mark D. Williams, Farwell, TX; Ginners - Thomas S. (Sid) Brough, Edroy, TX; and Robert W. Glassman, Fresno, CA; Merchants - Eduardo L. Esteve, Jr., Dallas, TX; Rodger C. Glaspey, Fresno, CA; R. Dale Grounds, Dallas, TX; Adolph Weil, III, Montgomery, AL; and G.W. Winburne, Phoenix, AZ; Cooperatives - David L. Hand, El Paso, TX; and Lonnie D. Winters, Lubbock, TX; Cottonseed: Gail Kring, Lubbock, TX; Warehousemen - Vance C. Shoaf, Milan, TN; and Manufacturers - Jerry D. Rowland, Winston-Salem, NC; Kingsville, TX; and Owen J. (Trey) Hodges, III, Columbus, GA.
|John E. Pucheu, Jr., Re-elected ACP Chairman|
John E. Pucheu, Jr., a Tranquillity, CA, producer, was re-elected chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the NCC for ’05 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 re-elected as ACP vice chairmen.
Elected as regional directors for the ACP are: Jon Hardwick, Newellton, LA, representing the Mid-South; and Rickey Bearden, Plains, TX, representing the Southwest. Re-elected regional directors were: Ronald Fleming, Scotland Neck, NC, representing the Southeast; and Wiley Murphy, Tucson, AZ, representing the West.
Elected state producer chairmen for the ACP were: Alabama – Charles M. Speake, Eufaula, and Mike Tate, Hazel Green; Arizona – Thomas W. Isom, Casa Grande, and Clyde T. Sharp, Roll; Arkansas – Herrick D. Norcross, III, Tyronza; California – Donald J. Cameron, Helm, and Tom Teixeira, Dos Palos; Florida – B. E. “Sonny” Davis, Cottondale; Georgia – C.B. Coley, Vienna, and Chuck Lee, Pembroke; Kansas – Robert H. Miller, Wellington; Louisiana – Boyd Holley, Bastrop, and Thomas Parker, Lake Providence; Mississippi – Daniel T. Branton, Leland; Missouri/Illinois – Charles Parker, Senath, MO; New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, Carlsbad; North Carolina – David M. Dunlow, Gaston, and Taylor Slade, Williamston; Oklahoma – Keeff D. Felty, Altus; South Carolina – Roy Baxley, Dillon, and Frank B. Rogers, III, Bennettsville; Tennessee/Kentucky – Larry W. Rice, Covington, TN; Texas – Jimmy Dodson, Robstown, and Barry W. Evans, Kress; and Virginia – Cecil Byrum, Windsor.
|NCC ’05 State Unit Officers Named|
State unit officers for the NCC for ’05 were elected at the industrywide organization’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.
Chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries, respectively, of the state units are: Alabama –Larkin Martin, producer, Courtland; Neal Isbell, producer, Muscle Shoals; and Stanley H. Walters, producer, Gallion. Arizona – Clyde T. Sharp, producer, Roll; Lon R. Emerson, cooperative, Glendale; and Jim L. Gale, ginner, Eleven Mile Corner. Arkansas - Neill M. Sloan, warehouser, Portland; Larry R. McClendon, ginner, Marianna; 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 Bruce McMullian, ginner, Marianna. Georgia – Kent D. Fountain, ginner, Surrency; Chuck Lee, producer, Pembroke; and Ronald C. Lee, ginner, Bronwood. Kansas – Robert H. Miller, producer, Wellington; Randy Lucas, producer, Satanta; and Gary D. Feist, ginner, Anthony. Louisiana –Stephen E. Logan, producer, Gilliam; John E. Carroll, ginner, Gilbert; and Thomas A. Parker, producer, LakeProvidence. Mississippi – J. Scott Middleton, Jr., cottonseed, Jonestown; Thomas S. Hayes, III, producer, Clarksdale; and Meredith B. Allen, cooperative, Greenwood. Missouri/Illinois – John D. Hux, Jr., cooperative, Sikeston; Jimmie G. Johnson, producer, Vanduser, MO; and Allen Williams, ginner, Cardwell. New Mexico – Alisa Ogden, producer, Carlsbad; Bob Mayberry, producer, Artesia; and Robert Najera, warehouser, Fabens, TX. North Carolina – D.E. Josey, III, producer, Scotland Neck; Allen McLaurin, producer, Laurel Hill; and W. Coalter Paxton, III, warehouser, Wilson. Oklahoma – Jay T. Cowart, warehouser, Altus; Keeff D. Felty, producer, Altus; and Daniel M. Davis, producer, ElkCity. South Carolina –Frank. B. Rogers, III, producer, Bennettsville; John Olson, producer, Saint Matthews; and Evans Tindal, manufacturer, Cheraw. Tennessee/Kentucky – Christopher D. Clegg, Sr., ginner, Tiptonville; Jimmy Moody, cooperative, Dyersburg, and Jeffery W. Hill, producer, Gates. Texas– Samuel E. Simmons, producer, Harlingen; Ron Craft, ginner, Plains; and Ronnie Riddle, producer, Abilene. Virginia – Larry Darden, producer, Carrsville; Mark A. Hodges, III, ginner, Emporia; and Cecil R. Byrum, producer, Windsor.
|McClendon to Lead NCGA in 2005|
Larry McClendon, president of McClendon, Mann & Felton Gin in Marianna, AR, was elected ’05-06 president of the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA) at its annual meeting. McClendon has served on several NCGA committees and as a NCC and CCI director in ’04. He also was NCGA’s ’03 Horace Hayden Cotton Ginner of the Year.
Other NCGA officers elected include: 1st vice president, Russell Kuhnhenn, Buckeye, AZ; second vice president, Van Murphy, Quitman, GA; and 3rd vice-president, Chris Breedlove, Olton, TX. Outgoing president Sid Brough, Edroy, TX, now serves as board chairman, and Dr. Bill Norman, Memphis, is executive vice president.
Michael Hooper, manager of Farmers Cooperative Gin in Buttonwillow, CA, was named the NCGA’s ’04 Horace Hayden National Cotton Ginner of the Year. The award is given to those individuals who have provided a career of distinguished service to the US ginning industry. Hooper has been active in many capacities with NCGA, having served as its president in ’02-03. He received a bachelor’s degree from California State U., Bakersfield.
The NCGA’s ’04 Distinguished Service Award recipient is Dr. Alan D. Brashears, who has served as research leader for the Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Lubbock since ’02. The agricultural engineer led research that resulted in modifications to commercial cotton strippers that reduced: 1) foreign matter in seed cotton and 2) the number of lint grades being reduced due to bark. Brashears earned bachelors and masters degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M U. and his Ph.D. in Engineering from Texas Tech U.
|Stenholm Recipient of Cotton Service Award|
Former Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm received the ’05 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.
Stenholm was first elected to Congress in ’78 as the Representative of Texas’ 17th Congressional district. In presenting the award, outgoing NCC Chairman Woody Anderson said, “We think of Charlie as a cotton farmer and a leading advocate for production agriculture. And he is. He worked tirelessly to build broad coalitions including production agriculture, nutrition and conservation. He understood, before others, that these coalitions of diverse interests were essential to build the support needed to pass farm law in a modern era. He has served his community, his Congressional district, his state and his nation with dedication and distinction.”
Stenholm was deeply involved in crafting US fiscal and budgetary policy, and, more recently, worked to steer the ’02 farm law through Congress. A former executive vice president of the Rolling Plains Cotton Growers, Stenholm was a leader in the foundation of the NCC’s Producer Steering Committee (now the American Cotton Producers) and a former Cotton Incorporated director.
|Cotton Industry Achievement Award Honors Echols|
The late James E. “Jim” Echols, a long-time Memphis cotton merchant and a former NCC chairman and industry leader, is the recipient of the ’05 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.
Outgoing NCC Chairman Anderson said Echols’ dedication and commitment to the cotton industry was known across the country, and the leadership he provided was invaluable. Having served the industry for 43 years, he was the 4th merchant to hold the NCC’s top leadership position. He also served as president of CCI and the Southern Cotton and the American Cotton Shippers associations. The Memphis native began his career at Hohenberg Brothers in ’60 and retired as their president in ’03. He also had been the chief executive officer of the Worldwide Cotton Product Line, which included the merchandising firm Ralli Brothers and Coney based in Liverpool, England.
|Cotton's Leaders for 2005|
|Prices Effective February 4-10, 2005|