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March 2013 Cotton Leader

March 1st, 2013

In partnership with the Cooperative Extension Cotton Specialists, Cotton Incorporated and SeedMatrix™, a service offered by The Context Network, are announcing the launch of a new Web-based data communications tool that provides unparalleled opportunities for analyses of the yields and fiber quality of recently released cotton varieties. The Web site is housed at "The advent of transgenic varieties fundamentally changed the availability of information to growers about the field performance of varieties when they are first sold. In many instances, no public test data is available on privately released varieties in their first year of sales," says Dale Logan, General Manager, SeedMatrix. In 2012 Cotton Incorporated identified and addressed the need for information about new varieties with a pilot program. New cotton varieties were evaluated in replicated, large-plot trials on grower fields in the Southeast, Mid- South, and Southwest. "Our approach was to compare 10 to 12 new and standard commercial varieties at each location. We are making a best effort to provide the test data in a timely manner, using a standard format," explains Dr. Bob Nichols, Senior Director, Agricultural & Environmental Research for Cotton Incorporated. Responses from a recent Cotton Incorporated survey of U.S. cotton growers identified "objective evaluation of new varieties" as the second most important research issue, after information on management of resistant weeds. The new Web site went live on February 22nd.

Cotton Incorporated's Dr. Jeanne Reeves is set to host the last Cotton Price Risk Management Seminar of the year on April 3, at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas. The seminar will address basic and intermediate 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 seminar include: Why are options on cotton futures critical to your business? What can options do for you and how? 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. Mr. Joe O'Neill, former President of the New York Stock Exchange will be the discussion leader. The seminar will begin at 8:30 am and will end at 5:00 pm and is being co-sponsored by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. There is no fee to attend and lunch will be provided for all participants. To register, contact Kay Wriedt 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.

In the past, those who did not attend Cotton Incorporated's bi-annual Crop Management Seminar (CMS) had online access to static PowerPoint slides where they could glean information but not get a full impact of what was discussed. That static offering has now been upgraded to a multimedia experience. Growers, consultants, and other industry professionals who missed the CMS can now view and listen to the presentations from the comfort of their own homes any time they like. Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network teamed up to record and produce webcasted versions of the 2012 CMS presentations, which include all nonproprietary
talks from the seminar and all talks from the Precision Cotton Irrigation Workshop. "In a recent survey conducted by Cotton Incorporated, the vast majority of farmers across the Cotton Belt listed pest control, input costs, water, and variety selection as their top areas of concern," said Dr. Ryan Kurtz, Director of Agricultural and Environmental Research at Cotton Incorporated. The CMS addressed these key grower production- related concerns and shared information about new technologies on the horizon. To extend that knowledge to those who were unable to attend, Cotton Incorporated partnered with the Plant Management Network to create open access webcasts of each presentation. Collectively, 24 webcasts were produced, covering the latest developments and cutting edge management recommendations on variety selection, insect management, weed management and precision irrigation. These webcasts, all located at, are freely available and can be accessed through the Plant Management Network or Cotton Incorporated (cottoninc. com)websites.

Cotton Incorporated again made history with their 2nd execution of Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show in South Beach, Florida. This unique fashion event featured 1,440 cotton outfits, that is one outfit per minute, for 24 hours. The event was streamed live on media-partner, People Magazine, Web site Over 650,000 viewers logged on to watch the event live. Along with featuring fabulous cotton looks for 24 hours, there was also a shopping component to the event. Retailers participating in the show offered customers a 24% off discount when purchasing cotton apparel both in-store and online. This successful event is just another way Cotton Incorporated is dedicated to keeping cotton on the minds and in the shopping bags of consumers.

After drifting sideways throughout most of February, cotton prices surged higher late in the month and climbed to their highest levels in ten months in early March. Values for the May New York futures contract have been consistently above 86 cents/lb in recent trading. In the first half of February, May futures traded between 82 and 85 cents/lb. From October through January, May futures traded between 72 and 78 cents/lb. The A Index has followed a pattern similar to New York futures and recently climbed above 93 cents/lb. In February, the A Index held to values between 88 and 91 cents/lb. From October through January, the A Index was generally between 80 and 85 cents/lb. Mill-delivered prices in China (CC Index) have been stable near levels guaranteed by reserves. Spot prices for the popular Shankar-6 Indian variety have risen about 10% since early February (from 80 cents/ lb to 88 cents/lb). Pakistani prices also increased about 10% over the past month, with official spot rates rising from 75 cents/lb to just over 82 cents/lb. In the March report, the USDA made their first large upward revision to world consumption since the onset of the 2012/13 crop year (+875,000 bales, from 106.2 million to 107.1 million). Most of the global increase was a result of higher mill-use figures for China, India, and Bangladesh. With a slight decrease in the world beginning stocks estimate (-50,000) and a slight increase in the loss figure, 2012/13 ending stocks were revised to be slightly lower (-118,000 bales, from 81.9 million to 81.7 million). At the USDA Outlook Forum, a preliminary set of forecasts for 2013/14 were released. Despite a 3% decrease in global production and a 3% increase in global consumption, world cotton stocks are forecast to grow for the fourth consecutive crop year and rise 7.9% in 2013/14.

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