NEWS & ISSUES

Be on the Lookout: New Form Required for Some NRCS Customers

If you are a producer or landowner who participates in USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) may be reaching out by mail with information about a form you’ll need to fill out.  Starting this year, all producers and landowners participating or applying to participate in certain NRCS conservation programs must complete form CCC-902, Farm Operating Plan. “In California, this new form will be needed for customers who are selected for funding in both EQIP batch periods ending March 3 and June 9,” stated Carlos Suarez, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Historically, to participate in these programs, legal entities could file either the CCC-901, Member Information or the CCC-902, while individuals were not specifically required to file the CCC-902 with FSA. Now, to ensure FSA and NRCS are properly determining payment eligibility and maximum payment limitations, all customers must have a CCC-902 on file to establish eligibility.  These changes will not affect participants who already have a Form CCC-902 with a “determined” status recorded with FSA.   Customers who do not have a CCC-902 on file with FSA will be sent a letter in the mail in the coming weeks with detailed information on what is needed and how to file the form. The letter requests that the form be completed within 30 days of receipt of the letter.  For added convenience, USDA is offering options for remote or in-person submission of the CCC-902.   Fiscal year 2021 is considered a transition year to ensure all NRCS program participants can meet this updated filing requirement. Beginning in FY 2022, if form CCC-902 is not on file your payments may be impacted.

NCC Predicts 25% drop in CA Cotton Acreage for 2021

At this week’s Annual Meeting of the National Cotton Council (NCC), preliminary forecast for cotton acreage in California reflected an unexpected overall 25% drop in acreage.  Pima acreage was forecast at 108,000 acres, down from 147,000 acres in 2020 reflecting about a 26.5% drop in acres.  Upland was expected to be at 28,000 acres, down from 34,000 acres in 2020 representing approximately a 17.7% drop in acreage.  Total acreage is predicted to be 136,000 acres, down from 181,000 acres in 2020 meaning an overall predicted reduction in acreage of approximately 25%.  If this plays out, the overall cotton acreage would be the lowest planted cotton acreage in California since before 1920.  The biggest factors for the decline include water availability and pricing.  However, prices and demand for cotton are on the increase, and with more storms on the way these numbers could change.  The Association has just sent their Annual Predicted cotton acreage survey to all gins and hope to have expected numbers by mid-March.

March 15 Deadline for 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

The deadline for the 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs is March 21, 2021. Meeting this deadline is critical. If producers fail to complete enrollment by the deadline, they will be ineligible to receive payment for the 2021 crop year should a covered commodity payment trigger for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs. For more information, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc.

New Data on 2020 Variety Trails & FOV4 Screening

The University of California released new research data on the 2020 Pima and Upland /Acala cotton variety trails through research funding provided by California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association. The research was led by UC CE Specialist / AES and Center Director Bob Hutmacher in cooperation with the University of CA staff headed by Mark Keeley, TarileeFrigulti-Schramm and Jorge Angeles, and UCCE Farm AdvisorsDan Munk, Brian Marsh, Jose Dias, Nicholas Clark and staff. Data on the 2020 FOV race 4 Commercial Entry Screening Summary was also released.   The summary with Fusarium race 4 screening summary results is from field trials in Tulare County and Merced County in 2020.  This research was funded through Ca Cotton Alliance, Cotton Incorporated State Support and Cotton Incorporated Core. You can find direct links to the yield data below, and hvi fiber quality summaries from the same trials will be posted at the same site.

• 2020 University Of California Pima Cotton Variety Trials- Yields
• 2020 University Of California Upland/Acala Cotton Variety Trials- Yields
• 2020 University Of California Fusarium Race 4 Field Screening Summaries

You can always find research data on our website here.

Mark McKean reelected American Cotton Producers chair

Mark McKean of Riverdale, California, was reelected as chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) of the National Cotton Council (NCC) for 2021 during the NCC’s virtual 2021 annual meeting. He was formerly an ACP vice chairman and currently serves as a NCC director. He has served on and continues to serve on various ACP and NCC committees and task forces. Mark is also an advisor and former Chairman of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association. Congratulations, Mark.

Save the Date: 2021 Sticky Cotton & Insect Review Summit

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association continues efforts to prevent sticky cotton and puts emphasis on the importance of the quality of California cotton. The cotton industry in California can’tafford to be labeled with sticky cotton.  Therefore, this year we will be hosting the “2021 Sticky Cotton & Insect Review Summit” where we will bring together UC specialists, growers, PCA’s and others for a virtual meeting. The virtual meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 3rd at 9:00 am. The agenda and more information on how to register will be forthcoming.

California Farmers to Share Lessons Learned in Improving Soil Health During Virtual Cotton Farmer Showcase

DavisFebruary 2 , 2021 – UC’s Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center in conjunction with The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the non-profit charged with safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils, invite you to join  San Joaquin Valley cotton farmers, John Teixeira, Cannon Michael, and Gary Martin, regenerative agriculture consultant, Cary Crum, Sustainable Cotton’s Marcia Gibbs, and Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed, at the virtually held Healthy Soils for Sustainable CA Cotton Farmers Showcase,  at 11 a.m. (PST), February 23, 2021. In this Showcase, panelists will discuss the unique financial, regulatory, and agronomic challenges of implementing soil health systems for cotton in the SJV, what specific practices local farmers have been implementing and with what outcomes, and progress being made on more attractive pricing scenario negotiations that are under way with buyers to reward American cotton farmers for their good production practices.

The CA episode on February 23rd of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase is a series of eight online discussions with U.S. cotton farmers and soil health experts that will be livestreamed beginning 11 a.m. (PST), Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and run every Tuesday through March 23, 2021. Cotton producers, consultants and other interested parties may register one time to attend all eight episodes. Registration is free but required to participate.

To register for the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton Farmer Showcase and learn more about other episodes in the event, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/farmer-showcase/.

This event is part of the Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton project, which provides farmer-focused education and training events delivered by Soil Health Institute scientists, partnering with local soil health technical specialists and farmer mentors who have implemented successful soil health management systems. The project aims to increase the adoption of soil health management systems among cotton producers while documenting environmental and economic benefits.

Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton is supported through the generosity of the Wrangler® brand, the VF Corporation Foundation and the Walmart Foundation. For more information about the project, visit https://soilhealthinstitute.org/soil-health-training/.

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About the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center
CASI is a diverse assemblage of California farmers, private sector, university, governmental agency and other group members who work together to develop and implement conservation agriculture systems in California.  http://casi.ucanr.edu/

About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.

About Delta F.A.R.M
Farmers Advocating Resource Management is an association of growers and landowners that strive to implement recognized agricultural practices which will conserve, restore, and enhance the environment of the Northwest Mississippi. For more information, visit https://deltafarm.org/.

About Wrangler®
Wrangler® apparel is available nationwide in mass market retailers, specialty stores, including work apparel chains, farm & fleet, and western stores, as well as through online and catalog retailers. To find a retailer or for more information on the Wrangler family of products, visit Wrangler.com or call 888.784.8571.

About VF Corporation
VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.

Bi-Weekly Bull Sessions

California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, Western Agricultural Processors Association and the Ag Labor Team are scheduling “Bi-Weekly Bull Sessions” for our members that will take place on the first and third Wednesdays of every month beginning February 3, 2021.

Sessions will take place via Zoom and will be approximately one hour each, and members can join one of three (1 of 3) offerings at their leisure at the following times: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

Zoom logistics are as follows:
Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84109772049?pwd=OEhCakNQckwxek0rdzVhM2luT2hIdz09
Meeting ID: 841 0977 2049
Passcode: 185144
Zoom invitations will be sent out one (1) week prior to each session, with a one (1) day reminder.

We will start out with Bi-Weekly Bull Sessions and once we get deeper into the season (July), sessions will be throttled back to monthly management briefings to stay informed, and those sessions will take place on the first Wednesday of every month.

Bi-Weekly Bull Session Flyer

 

Construction Underway on Fresno State Tree Nut Processing Course Lab

After a year and a half of methodical planning, construction is finally underway at CSU Fresno for the Tree Nut Processing Course.  This lab & lecture structured course will provide students with an in-depth look at various equipment, technologies and programs that assist tree nut hulling, shelling and processing operations throughout the season.  Mirroring a similar class offered at Fresno State focusing on citrus packing, the Tree Nut Processing Course will provide students with hands on experience with industry equipment operation and maintenance.

WAPA Board Member Dan Pronsolino (Dunnigan Hills Hulling & Shelling) was instrumental in developing the overall scope of the course, while also contacting manufacturers on potential equipment donations for the lab.  WAPA would also like to recognize Gary Dunn with Wonderful Pistachios for his tireless work on developing the layout of the lab space, and for assisting in the installation of equipment.  This class would not have been possible without the partnership of CSU Fresno’s Department of Industrial Technology Department Chair, Dr. Athenasios Alexandrou as well as CSU Fresno’s AgOne Foundation Director Alcidia Freitas Gomes.  We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Tomra, Nolin, Forsberg, Wonderful, Cortina Hulling and Shelling, and Capay Canyon Ranch for their equipment donations; and a big thank you to Excelsior Construction and JTI for their installation expertise.  The course will undergo a semester to fine tune the curriculum this Spring, and will be opened for further student registration come Fall of 2021.

State Support Overview Meeting for California, Arizona & New Mexico

The Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated will be hosting a virtual Zoom meeting next week to help educate and inform growers and ginners of the many research projects that are supported through grower check-off dollars in our states in the West. It will be a brief 45-minute zoom call, with Cotton Incorporated staff providing an overview of the research projects that will be conducted throughout 2021. The zoom meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 27th, at 8:00 a.m. PST .

If you would like to register for the zoom meeting please email Christi Chadwell Short at cshort@cottonboard.org or giver her a call at (469) 951-6161and a zoom invite link will be sent to you. For more information see the attached invite.