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Highlights From A Busy Beltwide
In San Antonio

Veteran cotton consultant Ray Young of Wisner, La., received one of the most prestigious awards in the industry at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio. His peers honored him with the 2008 Cotton Consultant of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.

A crowd of more than 200 attended the special reception and dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The award is co-sponsored by Cotton Farming magazine and Syngenta.

On hand to honor Young and his wife Dorothy were most of his family – including children and grandchildren. Also in attendance were numerous consultants and colleagues who have worked with him through the years.

Young began his career in 1949 and has spent more than 60 years offering advice to Louisiana farmers.

Deltapine Announces ‘09 Varieties

Monsanto has announced that its D&PL business will market five new varieties as the Deltapine Class of ‘09 for the coming production season.

The varieties – DP 0912 B2RF, DP 0920 B2RF, DP 0924 B2RF, DP 0935 B2RF and DP 0949 B2RF – were studied at hundreds of test locations during the summer of 2008. Company officials say they will offer excellent yield potential with the well established benefits of Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex.

Dave Albers, Monsanto cotton germplasm development lead, says increasing yields is a primary way to increase cotton’s on-farm profitability.

“Across the Belt, these varieties outyielded market standards like DP 555 BG/RR and ST 4554 B2R, which have been cited as the top planted varieties by USDA.

Monks Wins Specialist Award

Dale Monks, professor and Extension specialist with Auburn Univer-sity, has been recognized by his peers as the 2008 Extension cotton specialist of the year.

Sponsored by Bayer CropScience, the annual award and banquet has been a featured event at the Beltwide since 1984.

Extension cotton specialists, representing every cotton-producing state, select a recipient annually based on leadership and industry service.

CI Reveals Results Of Survey

After months of accumulating data from 1,300 producers who participated in an on-line Natural Resource Survey, Cotton Incorporated has announced the preliminary results.

Topping the list of producer concerns in the survey were weed resistance to herbicides, consumer attitudes about agriculture, efficient use of nitrogen and insecticide resistance.

Surprisingly, the survey revealed that producers aren’t relying heavily on computers for information.

The survey ranked the Internet as No. 10 as a source of information. The top ranking information source was other cotton producers, while ag magazines ranked second.

‘Vision 21’ Project Launched

National Cotton Council president Mark Lange announced the launch of a new project that will take a long-range look at several key areas affecting U.S. cotton’s future health.

The project, known as ‘Vision 21,’ will focus on three core areas: 1) assessing cotton textiles’ fastest growing consumer markets, 2) conducting textile product life-cycle studies to strengthen U.S. cotton’s sustainability message and 3) analyzing cotton handling, transportation and logistics with a focus on improving raw cotton shipment flows to textile customers.

The project is supported by an initial Monsanto grant and will be managed by the NCC, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated.

Trio Honored With Genetics Award

The team of Al Bell, Forest Robinson and Dave Stelly received the 2008 Cotton Genetics Award during the Beltwide by accomplishing a major breakthrough in transferring resistance to reniform nematode from a wild cotton species to upland cotton.

In recognition, each team member will receive $400. U.S. commercial cotton breeders have presented the Cotton Genetics Research Award for more than 40 years to a scientist for his or her outstanding basic research in cotton genetics.

The Joint Cotton Breeding Commit-tee, comprised of representatives from state experiment stations, USDA, private breeders and the National Cotton Council, establishes award criteria.

McClendon Reviews ‘08 Season

National Cotton Council chairman Larry McClendon reviewed a very busy year for U.S. cotton and had praise for Congress in passing the Farm Bill and overriding a presidential veto.

He also specifically pointed to the Council’s efforts at making sure the provisions of the new farm law were implemented in a timely fashion.

The Arkansas ginner called on continued industry and Congressional support for agriculture in any World Trade Organization agreement.

Specifically, he said it is critical that the industry press for a balance between reductions in domestic support for U.S. cotton and increased market access in the global arena.

McClendon said the industry has excellent prospects for profitability. He also expressed confidence that the Council will continue its longstanding commitment for technology development and transfer and bringing resolution to technology-based priorities.

Economic Outlook Is Guarded

Despite 2008 being one of the most volatile years in U.S. cotton’s history, NCC economist Gary Adams says it’s too early to tell what might transpire in 2009.

Adams says two factors will influence what kind of economic change will occur for cotton – global mill demand and the economic stimulus package passed by Congress.

The latest global mill consumption shows 116.5 million bales consumed in 2008, compared to 123 million bales during the previous year.

Adams also pointed to the price of cotton compared to polyester as another major challenge for future global cotton consumption.

Finally, he estimated domestic consumption of cotton in 2009 to be in the 4.5-million-bale range, leaving 12.5 million bales that must find a home in the export market.

Transparency Needed In Market

In discussing the market outlook for 2009, Memphis merchant Gary Taylor of Cargill Cotton said improved transparency of all market participants and strengthened enforcement of current regulations must be used for margin calls in the futures market.

He also said the futures market must not allow a large trader to control it and turn it into a cash market for any participant to dump cotton.

Taylor said the current cotton futures market has enough delivery capacity and participation from all sectors to function effectively.


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