Texas Cotton Producers representatives came together in Austin, April 20, to discuss cotton issues and elect a new slate of officers to guide the organization through the 2004-05 growing season.

TCP is composed of the nine regional cotton producer organizations in Texas and represents cotton growers statewide.

Elected TCP president for the 2004-05 was Sam Simmons of Harlingen, Texas. Simmons serves on the TCP board on behalf of the producer membership of the Cotton and Grain Producers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley association.

Joining Simmons as TCP vice president 2004-05 is Ronnie Gerik of Aquilla, Texas. Gerik serves on the TCP Board on behalf of the membership of the Blacklands Cotton and Grain Producers Association.

During the meeting the TCP Board received an update on legislative and trade issues impacting cotton from Craig Brown, vice president - producer affairs for the National Cotton Council.

During the meeting the TCP board also discussed the recently called special session of the Texas Legislature that began April 20.

The primary issue discussed by the TCP board was school finance reform and the possible effects that issue could have on agriculture.

Research requests

Following the TCP meeting members of the Cotton Incorporated Texas State Support Committee met on April 21 to consider research requests for funding in 2005 and to elect 2004-2005 officers.

Members of the Texas State Support Committee elected to serve in 2004-05 were: Chairman Jay Jaecks Jr. of Taylor, Texas; Vice Chairman Robert Englert of Norton, Texas; and Secretary James L. Brown of Muleshoe, Texas.

The CI State Support program provides an opportunity for cotton producers to direct an extensive array of research activities within the framework provided by Cotton Incorporated.

Returned to states

Through the program 5 percent of the CI operating budget is returned to cotton producing states to be used for research and promotion activities. It is estimated that Texas will receive some $750,000 through the State Support program in 2005. Together, committee members approved a preliminary project list and allocated funds to carry out the research.

The Texas State Support Committee allocates research funds by a formula that allocates one-half of total State Support dollars to support research relevant to the entire state. The remaining money is then divided among the nine growing regions based on each region's percentage of statewide production averaged over the last three growing seasons.

Based on this formula, High Plains cotton producer leaders were able to select 14 projects for 2005 funding totaling approximately $246,000.

Research issues addressed by the State Support Program include genetic improvement; irrigation and fertilization management; harvesting, ginning, and processing; and marketing and economics.