Pink Bollworm Rule Change

Cotton producers in California's San Joaquin Valley will be allowed to forego burial of shredded, uprooted cotton stalks. That's in response to growers who want to lower costs through reduced or minimum tillage because of a change in the pink bollworm program announced by the California Pest Control Board.

Growers must still shred and uproot cotton stalks after harvest, but with a permit from their local county commissioner, they can bypass burying shredded residue. Relaxing crop burial rules could save up to three passes across a field.

The rules will be relaxed on a yearly, permitted basis and any native pink bollworm finds in the reduced-tillage area will result in revocation of the permit for not only that field and section but adjoining sections as well.

Glufosinate Comments Submitted

Cotton interest organizations submitted comments for the registration of Glufosinate herbicide on cotton. Glufosinate, more commonly known as Liberty, is manufactured by Bayer CropScience and is used on other crops such as corn.

Assuming tolerances are granted, growers can soon expect the use of Glufosinate in a new line of herbicide-tolerant crops meant to metabolize the compound. Glufosinate has shown good efficacy against pigweed, morningglory and other weeds.

Cotton Comments At Crop Insurance Hearing

The House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management heard comments from Woody Anderson, The National Cotton Council's (NCC) vice chairman.

Anderson, a Colorado City, TX, cotton producer, commented on the need to base premium rates on individual experience. Among other things, he also recommended developing a pilot program for cost of production insurance, improving group risk products and implementing cotton quality loss standards on a bale-by-bale basis.

“Crop insurance must be developed, delivered and administered as an effective risk management tool. Innovative policies must be developed to make crop insurance more useful in changing production conditions,” he says.

Currency Manipulation Resolution Against China Introduced

Rep. Stenholm (D-TX) introduced H. Con. Res. 285, a resolution urging the U.S. government to use all available means to force Asian countries to cease manipulation of their currencies in order to gain a competitive advantage over U.S. manufacturers and farmers.

Stenholm and his bill co-sponsors estimate Asian products gain a 25-40% advantage over U.S. manufactured and agricultural products by manipulating their currency values.

They say the practice costs U.S. manufacturers and farmers billions in exports and is causing significant job losses in the manufacturing sector.

The resolution says manufacturing is critical to the U.S. economy and that foreign currency manipulations are clear violations of international trade laws actionable under Section 301 of the Trade Act of '74.

The resolution calls for the President to continue negotiations with Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea while pursuing other actions, including enforcement of U.S. laws that provide remedies to counteract currency manipulation.

Biosafety Protocol In Effect

The Biosafety Protocol (BSP) ratified by 54 nations around the world went into effect September 11 as one of the first implemented treaties designed to regulate and monitor the flow of living modified organisms (LMOs) in global trade.

While most cotton products will not be affected, the trade of cottonseed for planting will be monitored when shipped to a country that signed the treaty.

Raw cotton lint and trash do not contain LMOs and are not governed by the treaty at this time. The National Cotton Council is working with a coalition, including the corn and soybean industries, to ensure that the treaty is based upon firm science, is workable and places as small a burden as possible upon members.

New Trade Coalition Formed

The National Cotton Council (NCC) is among 42 charter members of a new broad-based coalition: The Free Trade for America Coalition (FREETAC). It's focus will be communication with the American people and their elected representatives on the consequences of an expanding U.S. trade deficit and to campaign against unfair trade practices.