Cotton/Peanut Research Field Day set for Sept. 4, 2019, in Tifton, Georgia

PERRY/TIFTON, Ga. – The Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Peanut Commission and the University of Georgia Extension Cotton and Peanut Teams, will co-sponsor a joint research field day on Wednesday,

Sept. 4, 2019, in Tifton, Georgia.

The field day will start at 8:00 a.m. at the University of Georgia Lang Farm at 276 Rigdon Aultman Road in Tifton, Georgia. Field day attendees will also visit the UGA Gibbs Farm at 226 William Gibbs Road in Tifton, Georgia, before returning to the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center for lunch and a short program. The field day is a free event, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP to Jeannie Evans at jevans12@uga.edu or 229-386-3006 to provide an accurate count for lunch.

The purpose of the tour is to showcase current research, which is funded by the respective commissions, in plot-side presentations by the researchers themselves. The sponsors’ goal is to provide an educational environment for cotton and peanut farmers and give them the opportunity to pose questions directly to the researchers and to express opinions and concerns pertinent to the production of their crops.

Chairmen of the peanut and cotton commissions, Armond Morris and Bart Davis, respectively, agree this event gives farmers the distinct opportunity to interact with the leadership of each commission, other farmers and industry representatives. It is an excellent place for farmers to observe, first-hand, the research programs funded by their checkoff investments.

To view an agenda, visit http://www.georgiacottoncommission.org or http://www.gapeanuts.com.

NCC: Trade Package Will Provide Timely Assistance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The National Cotton Council conveyed its appreciation of the Trump Administration for recognizing the economic pressures caused by the trade tensions with China and providing support to assist American farmers.

This follows USDA’s announcement today of a $16 billion package through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP).

NCC Chairman Mike Tate, an Alabama cotton producer, said this assistance is timely as U.S. cotton’s economic health is deteriorating. He noted cotton futures prices have fallen by 30 cents per pound since summer 2018. That equates to about $250 less revenue per acre for a producer with average yields.

“No doubt that this downward price pressure is due in large part to cotton sales to China being substantially below the level that was expected in absence of tariffs,” Tate said. “On top of that, U.S. cotton has lost market share in China to Brazil and Australia, and pressure is building in the distribution chain as U.S. cotton exports lag and stocks build.”

Tate said that over the course of the past year, there have been significant cancellations and deferrals of U.S. cotton sales to China (1.2 million 480 lb. bales). He said that although there have been press reports of recent possible cotton purchases by China, the reported quantities are insufficient given the rising stocks and exportable supplies expected for the 2019 U.S. cotton crop.

“We realize that President Trump is working to address long-standing market access barriers and structural concerns, but we encourage the Administration to look at all options to increase U.S. cotton’s global competitiveness,” Tate said.

USDA’s news release (http://bit.ly/2MeUqd2) noted that MFP signup at local FSA offices will run from Monday, July 29 through Friday, December 6, 2019, with the intention to begin making the first tranche of payments in mid-to-late August followed by the second and third tranches likely to be made in November and January. However, this schedule will be evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. USDA’s fact sheet at www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp has more information.

The MFP 2019 County Per Acre Payment Rate can be found at https://www.farmers.gov/sites/default/files/documents/PaymentRates.pdf. Assistance through the MFP is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation on crops in that county.

Tate said the U.S. cotton industry also is grateful to the Administration for its allocation under the ATP to promote cotton and cotton manufactured products.

“This allocation will enable the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, to continue positioning U.S. cotton as the “The Cotton the World Trusts” and expand international demand for U.S. cotton fiber, yarn and other cotton products.”

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Conaway Advocated Strongly For American Agriculture

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In response to Representative Mike Conaway’s (R-TX) announcement today that he will not seek re-election, the National Cotton Council said that the Congressman wholeheartedly served U.S. agriculture, including demonstrating superb leadership through the development and passage of the 2018 farm bill.

Conaway, who is serving his eighth term in the House, chaired the House Agriculture Committee from 2015 through 2018, and is currently serving as that committee’s ranking member.

“The National Cotton Council congratulates Representative Conaway for his extraordinary dedication to American farmers, including cotton farmers,” NCC Chairman Mike Tate said.

Tate noted, for example, that Conaway worked tirelessly to bolster the cotton provisions of the 2014 farm law specifically making seed cotton eligible for the Agriculture Risk Coverage/Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC) program as part of a budget agreement in early 2018.

“Congressman Conaway exercised valuable leadership in bolstering cotton’s safety net because U.S. cotton farmers were being hurt by weak global prices and many were being negatively affected by multiple bad weather events,” Tate said. “The entire industry wishes Mr. Conaway and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”