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March 1, 2024
 

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PAST ISSUES/ARCHIVES
 
Cotton's Week: April 5, 2024
Cotton's Week: March 22, 2024
Cotton's Week: March 15, 2024
 
 


 

Government Shutdown Averted - Again

The House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution (CR) by a bipartisan vote of 320-99 to maintain government funding at roughly FY23 spending levels at all federal departments and agencies for at least one more week. This CR, which also passed the Senate by a 77 - 13 vote, is expected to be signed into law by President Biden, averting a partial government shutdown that otherwise would have begun today.

Under the terms of the new CR – the fourth in four months – federal funding for USDA; the Food and Drug Administration; the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Veterans Affairs will continue through March 8. Funding for the Department of Defense and all other portions of the federal government will continue through March 22.

This CR provides House and Senate appropriators more time to finalize new legislation to fund the government for the remainder of FY24. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have tentatively agreed to cap FY24 spending at $1.66 trillion, though this deal faces criticism from some conservative House Republicans.

 

 

Growers Reminded to Upload Bales Today to Receive Level 1 Payment

Growers currently enrolled in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and participating in Level 1 of the Climate Smart Cotton Program are reminded to upload their 2023 bales by March 1 in order to receive payment.

The Climate Smart Cotton program began less than one year ago and already has approved applications for 778 farming entities of the 1,650 available. To date, close to $1.5 million in payments have been made to growers, with more planned before March 30.

For assistance with uploading bales ahead of today’s deadline, growers are encouraged to reach out to their gin. For more details growers should visit TrustUSCotton.org and for questions email info@trustuscotton.org.

 

Vilsack Testifies Before the Senate

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee for a wide-ranging hearing lasting nearly three hours.

Vilsack’s Senate testimony was similar to the message he delivered to the House Agriculture Committee on February 14. While no single topic dominated, Vilsack highlighted recent years of high farm income while recognizing the many challenges currently facing producers going forward, including high input costs. He also spoke at length about the need for greater equity in the agriculture sector and mentioned USDA efforts to encourage voluntary conservation programs.

In opening remarks, both Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) stressed the need for a new farm bill, with Boozman especially emphasizing the importance of a strong producer safety net. Vilsack expressed a willingness to work with Congress on strengthening the safety net, suggesting that the Commodity Credit Corporation could play a role in that effort either in conjunction with a new farm bill or independent of legislative action.

The hearing can be viewed in its entirety at https://bit.ly/3uXG7SC.

 

NCC Urges Confirmation of STB Member Patrick Fuchs

The NCC joined the American Cotton Shippers Association and numerous other agriculture organizations on a letter at https://bit.ly/3IotNxO urging swift confirmation of Patrick Fuchs to serve another term on the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which primarily regulates freight rail.

The letter, which is addressed to Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-TX), praises Fuchs for shaping “many rulemakings to help the rail industry better serve its customers and the American public.”  

Prior to serving on the STB, Fuchs was a staff member for the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, in which role he drafted the STB Reauthorization Act, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act.

 

Senate Confirms Basil Gooden

The Senate confirmed Dr. Basil Gooden to serve as USDA’s Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development.

Dr. Gooden replaces former Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small in the role, which is tasked with managing one of USDA’s seven major mission areas, responsible for administering dozens of grant programs. He had most recently been serving as USDA’s Director of State Operations for Rural Development.

 

NCC Comments on Scientific Integrity Policy

The NCC submitted comments on the notice of EPA's Scientific Integrity policy document. The comments at https://bit.ly/4318093 concentrated on issues such as a lack of transparency on guidance documents while regulating guidance as if they were regulations.  Another issue concerned EPA's method of using peer review panels consisting of scientists who submitted studies to EPA in support of the agency's positions.

 

NCC Comments on Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program

This NCC joined comments submitted by the Pesticide Policy Coalition (PPC) on EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). The comments at https://bit.ly/3VhJ1wD expressed concerns about lack of clarity in terms and the data packages that are currently submitted for pesticide registrations.

 

Ginner Schools Registration Urged

Certified ginners, gin managers and superintendents are urged to register for one of the 2024 Ginner Schools.

School locations and dates are: Southwest Ginners School at the South Plains Ginning Laboratory in Lubbock, TX, on April 1-3; Western Ginners School at the Southwest Ginning Research Laboratory Mesilla Park, NM, on May 7-9; and the Mid-South-Southeast Ginners School at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA on June 4-6. The Mid-South-Southeast school will return to the Stoneville, MS location in 2025.  

Online registration and course descriptions are at www.cotton.org/ncga/ginschool/index.cfm. The schools will continue to offer the Levels I, II and III of course instruction as well as the continuing education courses. Due to limited class size and availability, there will be no onsite registration. 

The three schools' programming is coordinated by the National Cotton Ginners Association (NCGA), working in conjunction with the three USDA ginning laboratories.

Programming for Levels I, II and III will feature practical information on all aspects of ginning. Among topics to be covered are seed cotton drying/cleaning through the ginning process and gin waste disposal methods. The schools' overall emphasis will be on increasing ginning efficiency, turning out high quality fiber and, as always, a focus on improving safety. The school’s Continuing Education Courses are being develop and will appear on the NCGA website when finalized.  

School cooperators include USDA's Agricultural Research Service, NCGA and its member associations, the NCC, the Texas Cotton Ginners Trust, Cotton Incorporated, gin machinery/equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and select land grant universities.
 

 

Packaging Committee Approves Specifications and Hang-Tag Phase Out

At its annual meeting in Memphis, the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC), chaired by Chris Berry, a Wellman, TX ginner, approved the updated 2024 Bale Packaging Specifications and set a sunset date for paper PBI hang tags. No test programs were requested for 2024 season.

The committee determined hanging PBI bale tags that use small gauge wire or zip ties are to be removed as an approved product from the specifications after the 2024 crop year. The Council will be sending notice of this phase out to all U.S. gins and tagging manufacturer companies. 

 

Sales Weaken, Shipments Steady

Net export sales for the week ending February 22, 2024 were 46,800 bales (480-lb.).  This brings total ‘23-24 sales to approximately 11.04 million. Total sales at the same point in the ‘22-23 marketing year were approximately 10.99 million bales. Total new crop (‘24-25) sales are 850,300 bales (480-lb.). 

Shipments for the week were 279,700 bales, bringing total exports to date to 5.7 million bales, compared with the 5.6 million bales at the comparable point in the ‘22-23 marketing year.

 

Capital Calendar

February 26

The Senate convened.

February 28

The House convened.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to receive testimony from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. More information and a link to view the hearing are at https://bit.ly/3uXG7SC.

Next Week

March 5

The House and Senate convene.

 

 
Effective March 1-7, 2024

 

Adjusted World Price, SLM 11/16 77.47 cents *
Fine Count Adjustment ('22 Crop) 1.26 cents  
Fine Count Adjustment ('23 Crop) 1.51 cents  
Coarse Count Adjustment 0.00 cents  
Marketing Loan Gain Value 0.00 cents  
Import Quotas Open 13  
Special Import Quota (480-lb. bales) 400,911  
ELS Payment Rate 0.00 cents  
*No Adjustment Made Under Step I  
     
Five-Day Average  
Current 5 Lowest 13/32 CFR Far East 101.74 cents  
Forward 5 Lowest 13/32 CFR Far East  NA
Fine Count CFR Far East 102.68 cents  
Coarse Count CFR Far East 106.28 cents  
Current US 13/32 CFR Far East 106.75 cents  
Forward US 13/32 CFR Far East NA