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February 2013 Cotton Leader

February 1st, 2013

Don't forget the Cotton Board's Communications team will be hosting a booth at this year's Mid-South Farm & Gin Show. The show will be held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee, March 1st & 2nd. This year's booth will showcase Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show, which will be taking place in South Beach, Florida. The 24 hour fashion show will feature one cotton outfit per minute starting at 7pm CST on March 1st and ending at 7pm CST on March 2nd. "We plan on having the event streamed live on a TV monitor during the show on Saturday," says Bobby Skeen, Cotton Board Mid-South Regional Communication Manager. Visitors who stop by the booth will also be able to see the new STORM COTTON™ product by Cabelas and taste samples of the new flavored-infused cottonseed oils which are offered in several flavors including hot habanero and smoky chipotle. "Our booth will be located at numbers 1024 and 1025," adds Skeen. And, as always, The Cotton Board booth will be stocked with our always-popular lip-balm, so make sure you stop by.

USCrop ™ WEB GOES LIVE

Cotton Incorporated's Fiber Competition Division announces the launch of USCrop™ Web, to be housed at cottonquality.net. Advancing a computer software program released in 2000, USCrop™ Web allows users to see the most up-to-date bale information from the classing offices across the United States directly from the Internet. Users can view all High Volume Instrument (HVI) data for U.S. cotton updated on a weekly basis. They can also do queries for bale ranges that may fit their specific end-use needs, whether that query is by state or by any one of the ten specific regional classing offices. "USCrop™Web, while similar to the USDA Weekly Crop Summary Report, also provides access to related graphs and reports anywhere you have access to the Internet and is a product of Cotton Incorporated's Cotton Management System™," explains Susan Foote, Cotton Incorporated's Associate Director, Fiber Competition Marketing & Communications.


COTTON PRICE RISK MANAGEMENT SEMINARS
Having just completed their first Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar of the year, this one held in Memphis, Tennessee, Cotton Incorporated's Dr. Jeanne Reeves and her support staff are preparing for the other two seminars. The next one is scheduled for February 26th, at the Harris Ranch in Coalinga, California and the last one on February 28th, at the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Maricopa, Arizona. Both seminars will begin at 8:30a.m. and conclude at 5:00p.m. Each seminar will include a series of basic and intermediate workshops addressing topics such as market-based strategies for how to manage price risk for the 2013 crop season and tactics for integrating crop and revenue insurance. Other topics of discussion for the seminars include: Why are options on cotton futures critical to your business?; What can options do for you and how?; and Actionable hedging strategies based on various price scenarios. Dr. Carl Anderson and Dr. John Robinson will discuss when and how to use a variety of option strategies involving puts, calls and spreads. There is no fee to attend and lunch will be provided for all participants. To register, contact Kay Wreidt at Cotton Incorporated by phone 919-678-2271 or email kwriedt [at] cottoninc [dot] com. Space is limited so please register as soon as possible.


'FOCUS ON COTTON' WEBCAST RESOURCE
Growers and crop consultants across the Cotton Belt now have a new and freely accessible resource to "focus on" this year. Focus on Cotton, a crop management resource that features monthly webcasts from noted experts in the cotton industry, is now online and available for viewing at www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/foco. The central feature of Focus on Cotton is its 24/7 on-demand webcasts. This new resource is a joint effort of Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network (PMN), a nonprofit publisher of science-based crop management information for growers, consultants, and other applied audiences.


DR. ED BARNES AWARDED FOR RESEARCH EFFORTS
Dr. Ed Barnes, Senior Director, of Agricultural and Environmental Research for Cotton Incorporated, was named 2013 Precision Ag Researcher of the Year at the 16th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference, Southern Corn & Soybean Conference and the Southern Precision Ag Conference held recently in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Barnes has been at Cotton Incorporated since 2002 and was recently promoted to Senior Director. "I was very surprised when I received the news," stated Barnes. "There are so many talented and innovative researchers across the Cotton Belt who work to create and advance precision farming technologies and it is an honor to work with them all." Barnes manages 37 Core research projects across the Cotton Belt and 35 State Support Research projects across Virginia, North & South Carolina for Cotton Incorporated's Agricultural and Environmental Research division.


ECONOMIC UPDATE
Cotton prices climbed higher throughout the second half of January and have been able to maintain their higher values into early February. The March New York Futures contract rose from 75 cents/lb to as high as 84 cents/lb. In recent trading, futures prices have flattened out and have ranged between 81 and 84 cents/lb. A Index prices, which have not consistently reacted to fluctuations in futures prices the past several months, were responsive to January's increases. From values near 83 cents/lb in early January, the A Index increased to levels between 88 cents/lb and 91 cents/lb. Other prices from around the world have also moved higher. The most important factor for future price direction remains Chinese government policy. At the time of publication, Chinese reserves have purchased 6.2 million tons (28.3 million bales) of Chinese cotton during the 2012/13 crop year. This represents nearly 85% of the current forecast for the Chinese harvest (34.0 million bales). With so much of the crop being withheld from the market, the question of whether the 35.5 million bales of Chinese mill demand will be met through releases from reserves or through imports is a major source of uncertainty. A reason why Chinese policy is so important for world cotton prices is that China is the largest source of import demand. Since global cotton prices have not been able to match the strength in corn and soybean prices, it is expected that planted cotton acreage will decline this spring. Among the countries expected to see the largest declines in acreage are major exporters. According to the National Cotton Council's planting intentions survey, U.S. growers are expected to plant 26.8% fewer acres for the 2013/14 harvest (-3.2 million acres, from 12.2 to 9.0 million). With less cotton available for export, questions surrounding Chinese import demand can be expected to continue to heavily influence prices around the world.

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