Plastics Contamination Webinar – May 5th
Plastic contamination is one of the greatest problems for cotton producers, affecting every segment of the cotton industry.
To help educate cotton producers, ginners and others involved in the cotton industry on this topic, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host the free follow-up Plastics in Cotton Seminar II webinar May 5.
The webinar, which will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Zoom platform, will include professional presentations as well as panel discussion.
Attendees may online register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eMMc3J0YRseQKr4HJWHb9Q. The registration deadline is May 4. After registration, those attending will receive a confirmation email the day before the webinar containing information about joining the webinar.
“Those who participated in our Plastics in Cotton webinar last spring are invited to participate in this follow-up program, but participation in last year’s webinar is not a requirement,” said Jason Ott, AgriLife Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Nueces County.
Ott said the online panel discussion will focus on best practices and resources for cotton producers and ginners, cost and long-tern marketing implications and more information regarding plastics in cotton.
After a welcome from Jeff Nunley, Executive Director of the South Texas Cotton and Grain Association, program presentations and presenters will be:
- National Overview of Plastic Contamination in 2021 – Lauren Krogman, Manager, Marketing and Processing Technology, National Cotton Council, Memphis
- Long Term Cost Implications of Plastic Contamination – John Robinson, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension Cotton Marketing Specialist, Bryan-College Station
- Comparison of 2020 and 2021 Cotton Classing Office Plastic Contamination – Ben Robles, Area Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture Classing Office, Corpus Christi
- Panel Discussion on Mechanization, Research and Best Practices – John Wanjura, Agricultural Engineer, USDA Agricultural Research Service Cotton Production and Processing Research Unit, Lubbock; Robert Hardin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Texas A&M Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Bryan-College Station; and Ross Rutherford, Vice President Product Management and Marketing, Lummus Corporation, Lubbock
- Ginners’ Perspective on Practices that Impacted the Ginning Process in 2021 – Tony Williams, Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, Round Rock
Presentations will be followed by closing remarks and a short survey.
“As with our webinar last spring, this program will also focus on practices both growers and ginners can implement to help the industry address plastic contamination in cotton,” Ott said.
For more information, email Bobby McCool, AgriLife Extension agent in San Patricio County, at email@example.com or Ott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Producers Discuss Key Issues During Virtual American Cotton Producers Meeting
The American Cotton Producers (ACP) Spring meeting was held virtually on Thursday, April 15 with 100 plus attendees and chaired by Mark McKean a Californian producer, who shared his optimism about the possibility of the group meeting in person for the summer ACP meeting.
The virtual meeting was spilt between a morning and afternoon session. The morning session included an economic outlook, a USDA update on ag and the climate, an update on a climate policy working group, and an update on the Cotton Trust Protocol.
During the economic outlook update, Jody Campiche, Vice President of Economics and Policy Analysis at the National Cotton Council, discussed a multitude of updates and how the industry is in recovery mode with trade and shipping since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic but are in the process of coming back. Robert Bonnie, Senior Advisor on Climate with the USDA gave an update on ag and the climate and where the new administration stands the issue.
Matt Coley, a Georgia producer, gave an update on the NCC climate policy working groups’ work to provide comments to the USDA on a set of questions the Agency recently published in the Federal Register that are due by the end of the month.
Gary Adams, National Cotton Council President and CEO, gave an update on the Cotton Trust Protocol saying there are now 28 cotton merchandisers who have joined, 48 gin members, approximately 220 mills/manufacturers from across the globe, as well as several brands and retailers in the process of joining.
The afternoon session of the meeting included an update on Washington, D.C., Crop Protection update, an update on the national buffer zone, an update from the cotton classing office, and an update on ELS pricing.
Reece Langley, Vice President of Washington Operations at the National Cotton Council, presented the update from Washington, D.C. He noted that the 2021 priorities for the United States Senate on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee are climate policy, nutrition programs, racial equity, and a review of the farm bill. The 2021 priorities of the House Agriculture Committee are similar with the only additional change being the development of an ag disaster aid fund. Lindy Patton, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation President and CEO, gave a detailed review of the national buffer zone and discussed the increase in boll weevils in the area since Hurricane Hanna.
Darryl Earnest, Deputy Administrator, USDA-AMS Cotton Program, updated the group on the status of the new cotton classing office in Lubbock with hopes of classing the 2021 crop in the new facility and gave a detailed report on classing operations. He reported no change in the cotton classing fees for 2021.
PCG members representing the American Cotton Producers include PCG President, Brent Nelson of Sudan; and PCG Immediate Past President, and Chairman of the Board, Stacy Smith of New Home.
CG Participates in “Cotton Day at the Capitol”
A group of 20 cotton producers and industry leaders from across the state joined at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Thursday, April 15 for “Cotton Day at the Capitol”, an event held each legislative session.
The goal of “Cotton Day at the Capitol” is to visit with both newly elected and veteran legislators, along with agency leaders, and extend the industry’s appreciation for their support of cotton which is the No. 1 cash commodity crop grown in Texas. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions still in place at the State Capitol, this years’ event looked a little different, whereas in the past as many as 50 or more attendees would converge on the Capitol, this years’ group was smaller and more strategic in their planning and delivered 100% cotton towel sets embroidered with the State Seal of Texas, as well as a flyer (click here) detailing the Texas cotton story and important facts about cotton.
Issues discussed while visiting with offices included water, research, boll weevil eradication funding, and other topics of importance to the Texas cotton industry that are handled by the Texas legislature or state agencies. One key policy priority that PCG is focused on this session is H.B. 2089, relating to the detection and mitigation of plant pests and diseases.
Other topics that PCG and the industry continue to monitor include the State budget and redistricting.
Those participating from PCG included President Brent Nelson of Sudan; Vice President Martin Stoerner of Lockney; and PCG staff member Kody Bessent.
The event was led this year by the Texas Cotton Ginner’s Association, but also included representation from Texas Independent Cotton Ginner’s Association, the Texas Cotton Association, Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council, Texas Cotton Producers, Inc., and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.