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October 2016 Cotton Leader

October 28th, 2016

National Farmers Day Video

October 12th was National Farmers Day, and to celebrate we created a video to give a glimpse into the life of the wonderful men and women who grow cotton in the U.S. Listen to the amazing reasons why they love, grow and choose cotton.

USDA's Oversight of The Cotton Board

Have you ever wondered about USDA's oversight role of The Cotton Board? Lisa Droke, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of The Cotton Board, recently penned a blog post detailing the oversight The Cotton Board receives from the governmental agency. Read the blog post here.

2017 Cotton Board Calendar Image Contest Winner

Congratulations to Susan Sloan Johnson who won our 2017 Calendar Image Contest with this stunning picture. Thanks to all who entered. We have this contest each year, so hold on to your cotton pictures and stay tuned for details about next year's contest.

Mitigate Pest Management Effects on Pollinators

Managed honeybee hives are at times placed near cotton and other agricultural fields, which means that growers and beekeepers must work together to minimize any potential adverse conditions that might impact either group.A new Focus on Cotton webcast titled “Mitigating Insect Management Effects on Pollinators” discusses how cotton growers, consultants, and other industry experts cooperate with beekeepers to manage pollinators like honeybees by encouraging communication about hive locations, application schedules, and techniques for limiting exposure.This 10-minute talk by Scott D. Stewart, Professor and Row Crops IPM Specialist at the University of Tennessee, provides information that helps beekeepers and agricultural pest managers:

  • Improve communication and coordination
  • Select appropriate hive placement
  • Properly time pesticide applications to minimize potential pollinator exposure
  • Look for and follow pollinator protection statements and labeling

This presentation is available at no charge, courtesy of Cotton Incorporated, through the ‘Focus on Cotton’ webcast resource located at the Plant Management Network,  ‘Focus on Cotton’ contains over 35 webcasts on various aspects of cotton crop management. These talks--freely accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week--cover agronomic practices, crop protection, and ag engineering.  This resource also features a new and improved Cotton Extension Search tool, where users can conveniently search for extension resources across all U.S. land-grant universities serving cotton producers.  

Economic Update

Recent Price Movement

Cotton prices have been on the retreat since late last week. The decline appears to have been triggered by strengthening of the dollar, with the strong decline registered last Thursday coinciding with statements from the European Union indicating that they would continue to ease monetary conditions. There is no direct fundamental link between the euro and the dollar, but that exchange rate has had the best correlation with cotton prices. That relationship may be due to hedge funds' movement of money in and out of commodities with changes in the value of the euro versus the dollar. 

U.S. Progress and Conditions

Growing conditions were generally good over the past week. Even in North Carolina, where Hurricane Matthew hit the hardest, condition readings improved and more of the crop was rated in good or excellent shape than they were a week ago. Progress is steady, with nearly 95% of the crop setting bolls. Harvesting is well underway, with about 40% of the crop already pulled from stalks. Yields look to be pretty good across the Southwest and the upper Mid-South. In the Southeast, a major question mark is Georgia, where yields in certain areas look to be below average and yields in other areas look to be above average. 

Export Sales Strong

Export sales continue to be strong for this time of year. Last week’s numbers indicated that over 300,000 bales were sold. Some of the recent strength was due to buying by China. Chinese import quota is issued on a calendar year basis, and Chinese mills are moving to use their import licenses before they expire. Vietnam has also been a strong purchaser, due in large part to their strong growth in installed mill capacity in recent years.  Earlier in the crop year, India and Pakistan were strong buyers. This was due to the shortfall in the region that was related to the pest and disease issues suffered there last year. The production outlook in both Pakistan and India is good for the current harvest, and Indian cotton prices have moved steadily lower over the past couple months. The positive production outlook for India, as well as many other exporting competitors , may make our recent level of export sales difficult to maintain as we move deeper into the season. The pace of future export sales will be contributor to price direction. Even with the increase made to our export forecast a couple weeks ago, we are still expected to have a carryout half a million bales bigger than a year ago.  The less that we end up shipping will mean the more that we have in warehouses.

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