NCC: Trade Assistance Will Provide Economic Relief

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council extended its thanks to the Administration after USDA announced details regarding the second tranche of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the 2019 crop year.

NCC Chairman Mike Tate, an Alabama cotton producer, said this assistance is timely as U.S. cotton’s economic health has deteriorated significantly during 2019. He noted that lost market share to China and a slowdown in global cotton demand have contributed to cotton futures prices having fallen by approximately 30 cents per pound since summer 2018. With average yields, that drop equates to about $250 less revenue per acre.

“This second round of MFP payments is much needed for mitigating the impacts of retaliatory tariffs being placed on U.S. raw cotton to China,” Tate said. “We are encouraged from Administration reports about the state of the trade talks with China in an effort to finalize a Phase 1 agreement that would include a significant commitment by China to purchase U.S. agricultural commodities.”

The first tranche of MFP payments provided 50 percent of the expected county payment rate per acre and the second tranche – to begin being processed by USDA during the week of November 18 – is providing an additional 25 percent of the county payment rate.

Tate said the U.S. cotton industry is urging USDA to proceed with facilitating the third MFP tranche, which the agency has indicated will be 25 percent of the 2019 MFP. USDA indicated a January timetable for that tranche, but its initiation could be affected by a potential Phase 1 agreement with China.

Hollifield and Torrance Presented 2019 King Cotton Awards

kingcotton219County UGA Cooperative Extension Service agents are an incredible resource for cotton farmers across Georgia.  Agents are known for delivering timely and accurate information, which is instrumental for the success of Georgia’s farmers.  They also do community specific research, education, and outreach programs, designed at helping farmers maximizing yields and efficiency.

For the nineteenth year in a row, the Georgia Cotton Commission sponsored the King Cotton Awards to recognize outstanding contributions of county agents to Georgia cotton producers. The Senior Award is for agents with 10 or more years of experience, while the Junior Award, named the Allen B. Fulford Award, is for those with less than 10 years of service. The latter award honors the accomplishments and memory of Allen B. Fulford as a county Extension agent and state cotton agronomist.  The awards were presented at the 2019 Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting & Professional Improvement Conference held in Dublin in November.  The Georgia Cotton Commission is proud to salute the excellent work that County Extension Agents do for farmers across the state.

The 2019 Senior King Cotton Award Winner is Stephanie Hollifield of Brooks County, where she serves as County Extension Coordinator as well as Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.  Hollifield has worked for Extension from 1994 to 1998 and 2013 to present. She has ten years of service, all in Brooks County.  In addition to holding producer education programs regarding agronomics and defoliation, Hollifield conducts county research on cotton.  The priorities for her local research are made in collaboration with local growers.  Recent trials have been on issues such as areolate mildew, planter downforce, defoliation tank mixes, and many more.

The 2019 Allen B. Fulford Award recipient is Ty Torrance of Grady County, where he serves as ANR Agent.  Torrance started with extension in 2015, and previously served producers in Decatur, Schley, and Marion Counties.  Ty has been recognized nationally for his work regarding irrigation scheduling and serves as a member of the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Research Advisory Committee, which analyzes and makes recommendations on research programs funded by the Commission.  Ty also participates in the UGA Cotton Team’s on-farm variety trials, a program designed to inform producers on yield and fiber quality data from the numerous commercial cotton varieties available to farmers across the state.

The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call (478) 988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.

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