An upcoming Friday morning could be the most important hour and a half of the season, according to Carl Anderson, a Texas A&M Extension economist.

A Web presentation on the latest developments in the cotton industry will take place Friday, July 13, at 7:30 a.m. Central, at the New York Board of Trade in New York. O.A. Cleveland, Mississippi State University economist, Anderson, and Jarral Neeper, Calcot, Bakersfield, Calif., will provide snapshots of what is happening in the cotton markets and an update on crop conditions from USDA's July 11 Crop Production Report.

Growers can listen and/or participate via the Internet or at local county Extension offices.

The event will also feature special guest speakers who will provide broader cotton industry updates. John Maguire, vice president of Washington operations, National Cotton Council, will give a Washington outlook. Joe Nicosia, CEO, Allenberg Cotton, Co., will talk about world demand and his market outlook, and Jerry Rowland, president and CEO, National Textiles, will discuss domestic demand and the state of the U.S. textile industry and what it means to the cotton industry.

Hosts of the Web presentation are the New York Board of Trade, the Ag Market Network and Farm Press Publications.

Why is the event so important to cotton producers? “This is one of the few places where the entire industry can get a broad perspective on whatí's happening in cotton,” Anderson said.” Right now, we have high demand for extremely low quality cotton and high demand for extremely good quality cotton, and the middle quality cotton is just sitting there.

“Merchants can't move it. That ties into the problems that the American textile industry is having.”

Anderson says by mid-July, information on production and yield potential for the new crop should be falling into place. Analysts will likely provide some early guesses on where prices are headed and what pricing strategies might be employed by producers. Anderson says ag lenders could also benefit from the information.

When the speakers are finished, there will be a period of open discussion, followed by questions from the chat room, which is accessible by all those listening on the Internet. These questions will be projected onto the wall at the New York Board of Trade.

Anderson says it's essential for cotton producers to develop an understanding of the cotton industry beyond the farm. These days, such knowledge can be as meaningful to a grower's bottom line as a long, steady rain.

“The farmers who are not interested in expanding their understanding are the ones I'm seeing get a step or two behind,” he said.

Anderson noted that cotton's latest boom period, from 1985 to 1995, saw domestic cotton use climb from 5.5 million bales to over 11 million bales and total market offtake shoot from 11 million bales to 18 million bales.”That was really a big boost to our growers and our infrastructure,” Anderson said.”It gave them a lot more volume.”

But demand has leveled off recently and it's time to rethink approaches to cotton production and marketing, according to Anderson.

“To start, our producers need exposure to what's happening with the big merchants in the international markets,” he said. “They need to know what's happening to the American textile manufacturers. The producer is not going to sell cotton unless there is some user in America or elsewhere who is going to buy that cotton.

“There are lot of things changing, and producers and others who can anticipate and make necessary changes will be OK. They'll be the survivors.”

You can join the discussion via the Internet from your own computer, or at one of numerous county Extension sites listening in by teleconference. The teleconference sites may also be linked to the site via computers and the Internet.

You can call your local Extension agent or the Ag Market Network to find the nearest location for a teleconference broadcast, but the sponsors of the event encourage you to participate through your own computer terminal.

To register, contact the New York Board of Trade at Four World Trade Center, New York, NY, 10048 or 800-HEDGE IT (800-433-4348) or e-mail twalker@nybot.com.

You must also register as a user on the NYBOT site (www.nybot.com), which you should do early. You can also download Real Player, a software program you will need to participate in the event, at this time. Click on the “NYBOT/Live on the Web” icon after you've registered and then the RealPlayer link.


e-mail: elton_robinson@intertec.com

Here's how.…

On the morning of July 13, you may “get your seat” 30 minutes prior to the event by going to www.nybot.com and clicking on the Cotton Roundtable banner.

During the conference, you can listen to the speakers and pull up charts they are referring to. You can also enter a chat room to view questions or comments that other participants are asking the speakers and ask your own questions.

If you do happen to miss the program, an audio recording of the event and the charts will be available at www.nybot.com shortly after the eventís conclusion.

“Thereís no other place short of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences where you can get this type of information so quickly” Anderson said