High Hopes For TCGA: Cotton Acreage Should Remain Stable For Texas

By Tommy Horton

Even as record heat and drought continue in parts of Texas, the attitude of Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association (TCGA) members remains hopeful as the crop season moves into August.

That was the major sentiment expressed by attendees at the organization’s summer meeting in June at the Omni La Mansion Del Rio Hotel in San Antonio.

Tony Williams, TCGA Executive Vice President, says the meeting attracted about 225 persons with 50 member gins represented at the three-day event.

“The mood of everyone at the meeting was very good,” he says. “It doesn’t look like we’ll have a huge crop this year, but the situation is certainly better than what we dealt with in 2011.”

In addition to hearing a report reviewing TCGA activities, members heard several industry updates.

No Price Increases

Several presentations were particularly significant for TCGA members. Chuck Hilboldt, market analyst with Allenberg Cotton Company, gave an economic report and speculated that cotton prices could remain somewhat stagnant for the next two years.

He suggested that the surplus of cotton in the world and decreased demand have combined to bring prices down to the current level between 70 and 80 cents.

“Based on Chuck’s analysis, the picture doesn’t necessarily look pretty for the next two years,” says Williams. “It’s what a lot of people had feared. We simply have too much cotton in the world, and the global economy has affected demand and consumption.”

Another report came from John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas climatologist. After last year’s recordbreaking drought and this year’s unpredictable weather patterns, the presentation was timely for producers and ginners.

Williams says Gammon shared information that probably wasn’t too much of a surprise to the attendees.

“Overall, it seems almost impossible to predict these trends,” says Williams. “There is no way to anticipate what happened across the state in 2011. It was definitely a weather anomaly.”

Farm Bill Impact

A highlight of the meeting was Darren Hudson’s update on the Farm Bill and potential impact on Texas. The Texas Tech economist says the debate in Washington continues to be influenced by falling commodity prices and election year politics.

Hudson says the House version of the Farm Bill is likely to be more attractive to the cotton industry because of additional crop insurance options. He also doesn’t foresee any major acreage shifts in Texas when the final bill is signed into law.

In other TCGA updates, gin safety seminars will continue to be conducted across the state with events scheduled in Lubbock, Tulia and Childress during August and September.

The TCGA internship program has now finished its fifth year, and interviews for 2012 were completed in April. The two new interns are: Daniel French of Monahans, Texas, and Jake Schwartz of Garden City, Texas. Both are students at Texas A&M and will graduate in December of 2013.

Contact Tommy Horton at (901) 767-4020 or thorton@onegrower.com.

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