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Industry News for July 2016

Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program Approved

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency will provide an estimated $300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers through the new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program to expand and maintain domestic cotton marketing.

“This announcement shows USDA continues to stand with America’s cotton producers and our rural communities,” Vilsack says. “The Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program will offer meaningful, timely and targeted assistance to cotton growers to help with their anticipated ginning costs and to facilitate marketing. The program will provide, on average, approximately 60 percent more assistance per farm and per producer than the 2014 program that provided cotton transition assistance.”
Through the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program, eligible producers can receive a one-time cost share payment, which is based on a producer’s 2015 cotton acres reported to FSA, multiplied by 40 percent of the average ginning cost for each production region. With the pressing need to provide assistance ahead of the 2016 ginning season this fall, USDA will ensure the application process is straight-forward and efficient.

The program estimates the costs based on 2015 cotton planting; therefore, the local FSA offices already have this information for the vast majority of eligible producers and the applications will be pre-populated with existing data. Sign-up for the program began June 20 and will run through Aug. 5 at the producer’s local FSA office. Payments will be processed as applications are received, and are expected to begin in July.

While the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program makes payments to farmers for cotton ginning costs, the program benefits will be felt by the broader marketing chain associated with cotton and cottonseed, including cotton gins, cooperatives, marketers and cottonseed crushers and the rural communities that depend on them.
The program has the same eligibility requirements as were used for the 2014 Cotton Transition Assistance Program, including a $40,000 per producer payment limit, requirement to be actively engaged in farming, meet conservation compliance and a $900,000 adjusted gross income limit.

To learn more, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/cgcs or contact a local FSA county office.

Transform WG Insecticide Use Approved In Six States

Transform WG insecticide is back in the arsenal in six states. Dow AgroSciences announced that, in response to requests from multiple states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted Section 18 emergency use exemptions in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee for the application of Transform for control of plant bugs in cotton.

Transform provides effective control of tarnished plant bugs and cotton aphids, and doesn’t flare spider mite populations.
“Tarnished plant bug represents a real threat to cotton producers in the Mid-South,” says Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension entomologist. “Since its introduction, Transform has reduced overall tarnished plant bug applications and provided significant yield increases and return in gross revenues. Transform has been used on more than 3 million acres across the Mid-South with zero reported incidents of adverse effects on bees or other pollinators.”

Transform WG insecticide was federally registered in 2013 for use in cotton, but that registration was vacated as a result of an order by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court, in response to activist litigation. Now, with the recently approved Section 18s, producers in the listed states can use Transform to control tarnished plant bug populations in the 2016 season.

“Documentation of plant bugs resistant to multiple insecticides created extreme concern that without Transform, farmers would not have sufficient modes of action to manage damaging plant bug populations,” says Jeff Gore, Mississippi Research and Extension entomologist. “We are grateful that growers in Mississippi have this tool back in their arsenal this season.”
To hear from cotton farmers and consultants about their experience battling tarnished plant bug with Transform, go to www.TransformMyCotton.com. Visit with your local Dow AgroSciences representative to learn more about application recommendations in your area.

In Memory Of Distinguished Texan Don Erwin Ethridge
Don Erwin Ethridge, age 73 of Lubbock, Texas, passed from this life on June 13, 2016. Don was born July 23, 1942 in Spur, Texas, to Sidney Melvin “Bo” Ethridge and Sammie Jo Houston. The family moved to Bailey County in 1948, where he grew up and graduated from the Muleshoe School System in 1960. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. degree in Economics from North Carolina State University.

Don will be remembered as a passionate and caring husband, father and grandfather who dedicated his life to teaching as well as learning from others. His professional work included tenures with the University of Missouri-Rolla, Economic Research for the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
In 1985, he began his tenure with the Agricultural Economics Department of Texas Tech University, where he developed a prolific research program, became an award-winning teacher and student mentor, and engaged in outstanding service to agricultural entities throughout Texas. He served as Chairman of the Department during 1997-2005 and brought it to historically high levels of high-impact research and development.

Awards included President’s Academic Achievement Award (for distinguished teaching, research and service); Outstanding Service to the U.S. Cotton Industry; College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Outstanding Researcher; Lifetime Achievement Award for Significant and Enduring Contributions to the Agricultural Economics Profession; and Disting-uished Alumnus Award by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He retired with Professor Emeritus status in April 2009.

Don had a life-long love of automobiles, which he passed on to his daughter, Heather. On a sunny day, he could be found showing off one of his classic beauties at an area car show, swap meet or parade. He leaves behind a close-knit group of friends who share his passion and will miss him at Saturday morning breakfast.

Jack C. McCarty Receives Prestigious ICAC Award
The International Cotton Advisory Committee recently announced that Jack C. McCarty was selected as the ICAC Researcher of the Year. This competition was open to all disciplines involved in cotton research worldwide.
McCarty is a dedicated public servant of Agricultural Research Service who has quietly gone about solving problems in cotton through good research for many years. He has been invited to make a keynote presentation of his research at the 2016 ICAC International meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan, in October.

McCarty received an engraved glass award trophy with the globe in the center during the opening ceremonies of the WCRS 6 in Brazil before 350 of his fellow researchers.

Years ago, Jack discovered and published on several wild cotton accessions that were resistant to boll weevil oviposition under no choice conditions. He discovered that these accessions were also resistant to boll weevil in Brazil. This research along with his other contributions are being used around the world in cotton breeding.
McCarty began his career with ARS in 1976. Prior to his work with ARS, he served for two years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Congratulations to a world class scientist who is a gentleman and a dedicated public servant.

Monsanto Donates Mississippi Research Farm And Facilities
Monsanto Company recently announced the donation of its Leland Agronomy Center to The B.F. Smith Foundation, a nonprofit organization in the Mississippi Delta. The 150-acre site consists of cropland and supporting infrastructure that includes offices, labs, greenhouses and shops.

Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, based in Stoneville, will use the greenhouse and lab space for plant breeding and other agronomic research. The site also will support a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education project, which will be coordinated with a local school district.

“The STEM Project is a collaborative effort that will focus on promoting careers in science, engineering and math, particularly among elementary and middle school students in the local area,” says Dr. Leeson Taylor, Superintendent, Greenville Public School District. “Field trips and classroom lectures by public and private-sector researchers will be enhanced as a result of Monsanto’s gift to The B. F. Smith Foundation.”

Stoneville researchers said they are looking forward to supporting the STEM project’s curriculum through teaching and lectures on exciting new breakthroughs, as well as discussing the challenges ahead for plant science and its role in global food production.

“We are grateful to The B. F. Smith Foundation for its longstanding history of supporting agricultural research and education programs located at our Stoneville campus. Our expansion into these neighboring facilities will help us tremendously in meeting the challenges in agriculture, which can only be addressed through new innovations and technologies, and by engaging the next wave of talent that will address tomorrow’s challenges,” says Jeff Johnson, Head of the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center.

“The B. F. Smith Foundation is ecstatic about the new opportunity to advance one of the foundation’s primary missions. It was due to the generosity, strong corporate citizenship and Monsanto’s commitment to this region that the foundation is able to further develop the purposes for which it was founded,” says Travis Satterfield, Chairman of the B.F. Smith Foundation.

Doug Rushing, Director of Industry Affairs for Monsanto, said the gift demonstrates both the company’s commitment to “support the communities where our customers and employees live and work,” as well as Monsanto’s efforts to engage young people in STEM subjects and introduce them to science and math-related careers in agriculture.