Tom Vilsack Confirmed For Second Stint as Secretary of Agriculture
By Whitney Curry
Former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack under the Obama Administration has been reconfirmed as the 32nd USDA Secretary of Agriculture under the Biden-Harris Administration. This comes after a 92-7 Senate vote of approval.
Prior to his first term as Secretary of Agriculture, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, served in the Iowa State Senate and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and a law degree from Albany Law School in New York.
Before returning to USDA, Vilsack served as president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) from 2017 until February 2021. In his role there, he provided leadership and oversight of USDEC’s global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. In addition to his position at USDEC, he served as a Strategic Advisor to Colorado State University’s food and water initiatives.
PLAINS COTTON GROWERS, INC.64th Annual Meeting
Friday, April 9, 2021
Overton Hotel & Conference Center
Bayer/Deltapine Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.
Registration – 8:30 a.m.
Program – 9:00 a.m.
BASF FiberMax Luncheon – Noon
Featured Speaker: Jim Wiesemeyer, ProFarmer Journalist & Analyst – Washington, D.C., Sponsored by Farmers Cooperative Compress
SB731/HB2089 Introduced in the Texas Legislature
FBy Kody Bessent
This week, Senator Charles Perry and Representative Dustin Burrows introduced SB731 and HB2089 respectively in the Texas Legislature relating to the detection and mitigation of plant pests and diseases.
The legislation if enacted would establish an early plant detection and mitigation system through cooperative agreements with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and institutions of higher education. This bill provides a full range of activities, including field inspection for early detection before the invasive species becomes established or becomes too large and costly to eradicate or control.
Early detection of plant pests and disease will allow for better containment or slowing the spread of the invasive organism or species, which will allow for timely biological application methods, research and development of resistant seed varieties, and the ability to identify better management practices in order to reduce the issue before it becomes more widespread in the state. One example this legislation would help with is combating fusarium wilt race 4 (FOV4) in cotton.
Plains Cotton Growers is very appreciative of Senator Perry and Representative Burrows for introducing and carrying out this important legislation during session and we look forward to continuing to work with them and others on this issue.
Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Calculator Available Online
By Whitney Curry
Cotton producers looking for help filling out an application for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program have a new educational tool to help them summarize data and gather the needed supporting materials for QLA in counties previously eligible for WHIP+. Developed by the Agriculture Food and Policy Center at Texas A&M University, the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Calculator for Cotton is now available for download from the AFPC website at https://afpc.tamu.edu.
A producer is eligible for a QLA payment if a crop suffered a quality loss due to a qualifying disaster event in either 2018 or 2019. To receive payment on the crop’s affected production the dollar amount of the quality loss from all eligible causes of loss combined must be at least 5 percent. Local FSA offices will use the information provided in the QLA application form (FSA-898 https://www.farmers.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FSA-898-01062021.pdf ) to determine if the 5 percent quality loss threshold has been met and to calculate any QLA payments.
A qualifying disaster event is a named hurricane, qualifying drought, excessive moisture, flooding, snowstorm, tornado, typhoon, volcanic activity, or wildfire that occurred in the 2018 or 2019 calendar year. The portion of the crop that suffered the quality loss is the affected production. There may be qualifying events in both 2018 and 2019.
The deadline to sign up for the QLA program is Friday, March 5, 2021. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.