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By PEGGY McCRACKEN
PECOS, Jan. 28, 1997 - Kevin Bates entered four hogs in the
Reeves-Loving County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, and it paid off
with a reserve grand champion banner for his crossbred hog.
The Pecos High School freshman has been showing hogs for eight years -
"Ever since I became eligible."
While waiting in the pen for the light mediumweight Hampshire class to
be summoned to the show ring, Bates brushed straw from his entry and
sprayed it with water so it would look its best.
He's been pampering his charges since they were purchased as pigs last
At first, he puts the pigs on a self-feeder so they can eat as much as
they want until they reach a certain weight.
"I exercise them, walk them around the perimeter of the 4-H barn," he
said. "When they get to 190 pounds, I hold them back to make sure all
the fat goes away."
Judges like for the hogs to be long, lean and muscled, said Bates'
"We go to sales all over the state to buy them. You look for a long and
lean pig, showing a lot of muscling, smooth walk, really clean
underneath, wide in front and rear."
Bates said that his family is still trying to perfect the process after
working at it for nine years.
"We tried goats for two years, but decided we have to perfect the hog
show before we attempt anything else," he said. "When we get grand
champion, you might say we have figured it out."
Quality in the shows is "real deep," Bates said, and "it gets tougher
and tougher every year. There are lots of outstanding animals under this
The Hampshire placed second in the light mediumweight class, and Judge
Robbie Phillips said he liked its carcass potential, leanness,
"tremendous shape down the top, square hip."
"When you go to analyzing what she is, she's not as naturally big in
the kine; naturally long. I would change the hip structure - longer and
more level. She wants to set her legs down a little bit closer. I'd
really like to drop the rear flank. It is too tight; not enough
flexibility in the rib cage."
Jack Bradley's first-place Hamp was "a lot leveller through his hip. He
sets his legs down a bit squarer," Phillips said, but he praised its
size, length of body and production look.
"This hog doesn't have as much shape down the top and thickness through
the stifle, but from the side, it is long...long through the neck
region," he said.
Bates' crossbred gilt was second in the show only to Kelli Rankin's
"tremendous Yorkshire," which won the OPB class and was named grand
Phillips said the crossbred was expanded through the front end, with a
lot of shape and a lot of width.
"There is lots of good in both hogs," he said.
Phillips praised the show as "One of the better county shows I enjoy
judging. Everyone is very nice and works with you."
Hog show superintendent Harvey Moore of Balmorhea worked inside the
ring for a short while, then left the work to the younger men, including
his son, Charlie.
Moore has been superintendent of the show so long he doesn't even
remember when he started. "It was back when my kids were showing," he
said. "I do it for the kids."
Working the hog show ring is no easy task, as the hogs go where they
please when they please.
Bates had trouble keeping his crossbred moving for the judge, because
it wanted into the pen where a food pan was set out for the champion hog
and its owner to pose for pictures.
"I'm tired of her," he said. "My brother had the same pig last year,
and she did the same thing to him."
Despite his problems, Bates took home not only the reserve champion
banner, but first, second, fifth and 10th place ribbons and the rosette
for champion crossbred hog.
No doubt he will be back in the ring next year, trying once again for
the top prize.
The drop will come from a 30 percent loss of cotton production and this
translates into a decline of more than $190 million a year in gross farm
income and 9,000 fewer jobs in the region. This also suggests the loss
of up to a third of the cotton gins in the region.
"Evidence indicates that the boll weevil has firmly established on the
Texas High Plains and can survive harsh winters with existing habitat,"
said Dr. Ron Lacewell, agricultural economist and assistant vice
chancellor of agriculture at Texas A&M.
This comes from a study completed by the 18-member Texas A&M/Texas Tech
Boll Weevil Assessment Task Force.
Though the cotton boll weevil has plagued growers across the southern
U.S. growing region for more than 100 years, the Texas High Plains has
been relatively free of the pest due mainly to the dry climate, harsh
winters and an effective diapause progran since 1964 which kept the
insect from overwintering there.
But in recent years, researchers, county extension agents and crop
consultants have reported seeing boll weevils in alarming numbers.
"Compelling data and experiences have accumulated that indicate the
boll weevil has adapted to the High Plains," said Lacewell.
The analysis used inforination from agricultural economists,
entomologists and consultants to determine the potential weevil
infestations up to 10 years in the future. These projections were used
to estimate the most likely changes from and adjustments to boll weevil
Task force members didn't address the question of a region-wide control
program. Their results simply indicate that the boll weevil left
unchecked on the High Plains leaves the area at an increasingly
competitive disadvantage for cotton production, Lacewell said. The 30
High Plains counties annually produce about three million bales of
cotton, some 20 percent of the U.S. crop.
"Serious economic damages are expected as far north as Floyd, Hale,
Lamb, Briscoe and Bailey counties," Lacewell said.
Dr. James Leser, entomologist with the Texas Agricultural Extension
Service, said trap catchies by the end of 1996 had increased almost 40
percent over those captured in traps by the end of 1995.
John R. Hunter, Texas Tech professor, consultant and task force member,
noted that he began using boll weevil traps as part of his field
scouting technique about three years ago near Lubbock. Since then, he
has seen a steady increase in the weevil population.
"It is obvious that the boll weevil cost at least $100 per acre to some
of my clients in 1996," he said.
Though the project strongly suggests serious economic impacts in the
absence of a regional weevil control program, the task force
acknowledged thatbe study has some limitations.
"The movement and adaptation of the boll weevil is a biological
phenomenon and no one can accurately predict how quickly this insect
will move across the High Plains," Leser said.
Dr. Don Rummel, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station entomologist,
noted that the study also considered only current technology since it is
not known at this time what future developments might include, and the
analysis used weather patterns for the past 10 years as an indication of
what weather will be like in the future.
Due to uncertainty on the rate of future movement and levels of
infestation of the boll weevil, a worst case and best case situation
also was evaluated, according to Dr. Don Ethridge and Dr. Eduardo
Segarra, agricultural economists with Texas Tech University.
The best case situation showed a reduction in regional business
activity of $57 million compared to an $820 million loss for the worst
case. On a more optimistic note, the developments from biotechnology,
cotton genetics and integrated pest management practices can help reduce
the potential rcotton losses on the Texas High Plains by the boll
weevil, Lacewell noted.
Highlights of the report show
* Phosphate fertilizer sales volumes increased slightly from the prior
quarter, while diammonium phosphate price realizations remained firm.
Lower DAP price realizations and reduced sales volumes contributed to a
decline in operating income from the year-ago quarter. IMC-Agrico
continues to curtail production in response to market demands.
* Significant fertiiizer sales agreement reached with China for 1997
and 1998 sales.
* Outlook for the phosphate fertilizer industry remains bright.
Increasing world population and improving diets, combined with
historically low grain stocks, necessitate greater agricultural output,
which will require higher fertilizer use.
* Significantly higher prices benefit Main Pass oil operations.
* Moody's Investors Service raises rating on FRP debt to investment
* Bank credit agreement amended to increase the credit amounts
available, reduce the interest rate and extend the term.
* 770,200 FTX shares purchased for $24.6 million under share purchase
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE:FTX) reported fourth-quarter 1996 net
income to common stock of $5,578,000, $0.23 per share, compared with
$81,162,000, $2.86 per share, for fourth-quarter 1995. FTXPs net income
for fourth-quarter 1995 included a net gain of $61.8 million, $2.18 per
share, primarily from the reversal of tax accruals and recognition of
For the 12 months ended December 31, 1995, FTX reported net income to
common stock of $40,708,000, $1.55 per share, compared with
$390,541,000, $14.97 per share, a year ago.
FTX's net income for the 12 months ended December 31, 1995, includes
income of 5340,424,000, $13.05 per share, associated with discontinued
copper and gold mining operations. FTX's income from continuing
operations reflects its 51.6 percent ownership of Freeport-McMoRan
Resource Partners. Limited Partnership (NYSE:FRP).
The following factors contributed to the difference in net income
between the quarterly periods:
* Lower Average Phosphate Fertilizer Prices and Reduced Sales Volumes.
FRP's DAP price realizations for the fourth quarter of 1996 averaged
approximately 5 percent less than year-ago levels along with a 7 percent
decrease in phosphate fertilizer sales volumes. Unit production costs
were slightly above year-ago amounts because of higher ammonia, rock and
natural gas costs, partially offset by lower sulphur costs. Reduced
sales voiumes in the fourth quarter of 1996 were the result of weak
domestic demand at the end of the 1986 harvest associated with cold, wet
conditions in the Midwest. Strong international shipments partially
offset the lower domestic sales.
* Significant China Sales Agreement. In December 1996, through the
Phosphate Chemical Export Association, IMC-Agrico reached a new
agreement for the sale of DAP to Sinochem, the fertilizer buying agency
for China. The new agreement spans two calendar years, 1997 and 1998,
and provides for substantial monthly shipments of DAP at market-related
prices at the time of shipment. Total shipments under the contract will
approximate 1996 levels in each of the next two years.
* Market Outlook. As evidenced by the long-term DAP supply agreement
with the Chinese, the outlook for the phosphate fertiiizer industry
remains bright. Increasing world population and improving diets,
combined with historically low grain stocks, necessitate greater
agricultural output which will require higher fertilizer use. Strong
demand growth projected in Asia and Latin America is expected to require
additional supplies beyond the global industry's current production
* Lower Rock Prices and Volumes. Phosphate rock price realizations of
$24.03 per ton for the fourth quarter of 1996 were slightly lower than
the 1995 period because of a change in product mix. Reduced sales
volumes and higher mining costs also contributed to lower operating
earnings. The reduction in sales volumes and the change in product sales
mix reflects IMC-Agrico's decision to iimit third party rock sales in
order to maximize the long-term value of its reserves through internal
use. Sales volumes for the near-term are expected to approximate the
current quarter's ievel.
* Sulphur Operations. During the fourth quarter of 1996, FRP's Main
Pass and Culberson sulphur mines continued to operate at reduced rates
in response to market conditions. Sulphur market prices in the quarter
showed a slight improvement from the third quarter of 1995, but were
approximately 20 percent lower than the year-ago period. Since FRP's
sulphur consumption approximates its production, a change in the market
price of sulphur does not have a significant effect on earnings.
* Higher Oil Price Realization, Production Lower. FRP realized $22.08
per barrel of oil sold, which was $6.40 higher than in the year-ago
period. These higher prices were partially offset by lower production
volumes caused by mechanical problems which have been repaired. Oil
production for 1997 is expected to approximate 1996 levels. ~
* Oil and Gas Exploration. FRP~s onshore oil and gas exploration
venture with McMoRan Oil & Gas Co. and Phillips Petroleum Company
continues to drill at the North Bay Junop prospect. Completion of
drilling of this weil is expected to occur during the first quarter of
1997. Interpretation of the 3-D seismic survey performed over the 35,000
acre project area in south Louisiana continues and additional leads have
been identified which may develop into prospects which may be drilled at
a later date. FRP has a 25 percent working interest in the joint venture.
The contest is open to high school students in grades 9-12 who are U.S.
citizens. The subject is "How the Endangered Species Act affects
agricultyure and private property rights."
Entries must be postmarked by March 28. Savings bonds will be awarded
as prizes to the top 10 letters, with the first being $1,000 and four
through 10 $100.
Letters must be typewritten and not over two pages in length, with the
name and complete address in the heading.
The first paragrpah must state the student's age, classification in
school and school attended.
Write to both of your state's U.S. senators, with a copy to ASI Letter
Writing Contest, c/o Mr. and Mrs. David Kincadi, Dunken Rt., Pinon NM
Use the same letter for your U.S. representative and send the copy to
Mrs. Doris Haby, PO Box 1496, Bracketville TX 78832.
Producer prices for milk have dropped nearly $4 per hundredweight over
the past four months.
"All of the actions announced by the secretary were presented to him by
Farmers Union leaders just prior to the holidays," said TFU President
Wes Sims. " Texas Farmers Union is very pleased with USDA's
responsiveness and recognition of the economic crisis facing independent
producers across the country."
TFU will continue to push for further administrative an legislative
measures to enhance and stabilize milk prices over the long term.
"Farmers Union will continue to push the Clinton administration to
issue an executive order establishing oversight of the National Cheese
Exchange by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Federal
Trade Commission and to include a federal rule prohibiting "trading
against interest" within NCE activities," said Sims.
TFU will continue to request that USDA eliminate or substantially
reduce the influence of the NCE in the establishment of the basic
Currently, the NCE trades less than 1 percent of the nation's cheese,
yet has a significant impact on the price paid on more than 90 percent
of the milk produced.
"In addition, it is important that Congress be requested to urge the
secretary to establish a minimum floor under the basic formula price,"
"Stabilization of milk prices is good for producers and consumers
alike. Although falling milk prices seem to indicate otherwise, we are
not in a surplus position of milk or dairy products. Government stocks
of butter or cheese are non-existent," said Sims.
Secretary Glickman pledged to: 1) purchase $5 million worth of cheese
for domestic feeding prograrns, along with accelerating school lunch
purchases already underway; 2) increase the level of dairy products in
international food assistance programs; 3) reactivate the Dairy Export
Incentive Program for butterfat and increase DEIP sales for non-fat dry
milk; and 4) begin collecting price data for cheddar cheese sales at
manufacturing plants as a way of addressing concerns about the accuracy
of reported prices.
Checkoff provides value to buyers, sellers
Investments by Texas beef producers in checkoff activities conducted
within the state, nation and world in fiscal year 1996 are highlighted
in the recently published Texas Beef Council annual report, says Chaunce
Thompson of Breckenridge, TBC chairman.
"TBC's board of directors mandates that all programs conducted by TBC's
staffwith checkoff dollars be highly measurable as to the intended
result," Thompson said. "Texas producers will see from this annual
report that TBC has conducted cost-effective programs with
accountability that have provided value to consumers and cattle
One side of this year's annual report lists highlights of projects
conducted by TBC in Texas to strengthen beef's position in the
marketplace. The report covers the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 1995, to
Sept. 30, 1996. The other side of the report lists national and
international activities also conducted with beef checkoff dollars over
the same period by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the
U.S. Meat Export Federation.
The annual report shows that Texas, the No. 1 cattle population state,
received $13,206,527 in checkoff dollars (96 percent of which came from
Texas producers) and $208,468 in interest and other income.
TBC sent $6,276,231 to the Beef Board as its 50 percent share of all
checkoff dollars collected. Of the remaining 50-cent share, Texas sent
$2.5 million to NCBA, all of which helped fund additional national beef
promotion, education and research programs.
TBC programs operated on approximately $2.8 million with the remaining
funds left in reserve at the direction of the TBC board.
Here are some highlights of what these checkoff dollars helped fund in
the last fiscal year:
* A close working relationship between TBC and the Texas affiliates of
the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, which
contributed to the 14 percent increase in physicians nationwide who
recommend beef two to three times per week.
* A partnership with HEB that helped move 1 million additionai pounds
of shoulder clods through a new cut called the Texas-Style Short Rib. A
partnership with Wendy's that increased ground beef summer sales by 5
percent in Houston and 4 percent in Dallas.
* Bringing the No. 1 cooking personality in Mexico on a tour of Texas
beef in cooperation with USMEF. The resulting Mexican media coverage
provided the industry an estimated publicity value of $500,000.
* An interactive satellite Town Hall meeting that provided producers
with valuable information on how their checkoff dollars are spent. A
totai of 98 percent of participants calied the program a useful source
* "All programs that we conduct in Texas are in accordance with the
national plan," Thompson said. "This year's annual report signifies how
this state-national relationship pays dividends to producers through the
beef checkoff program."
The annual report will be available to producers through their county
extension agents and auction markets. Annual reports also can be
requested by writing or calling TBC at 8708 Ranch Road 620 N., Austin,
TX 78726; (512) 335-2333. The financial information in this report is
summarized. For complete information, please request an audited
financial statement from TBC.
However, farm-stocks at 10 million bushels were down more than half of
the 23 million bushels on farms a year earlier. The second-quarter wheat
stocks are near a record low. Stocks in all positions on December 1
totaled 38.1 million bushels, down 42 percent from the 65.5 million on
hand a year ago.
The shortage is in commercial storage, as the on-farm total of 2
million bushels is the same as last year and two years ago. Total
sorghum stocks were 40.1 million cwt on December 1, up 28 percent from
the previous year.
Farm-stocks were recorded at 4.5 milliom cwt compared with 2.1 million
cwt last year, and 3.9 million cwt in 1994. The off-farm storage at 35.6
million cwt on December 1, 1996 compares with 29.3 million cwt in 1995
and 38.4 million cwt in 1994. U.S. corn stocks in all positions on
December 1, 1996 totaled 6~9 billion bushels, up 13 percent from
December 1, 1995.
All wheat stocks in all positions on December 1 totaled 1.2 billion
bushels, down 9 percent from a year ago, to the lowest December 1 total
since the reference date was changed in the 1986-87 marketing year.
Grain sorghum in all positions totaled 258 million cwt, up 53 percent
from December 1, 1995. Soybeans stored in all positions on December 1,
1996, totaled 1.8 billion bushels, down 1 percent from December 1, 1995.
Oats in all positions is estimated at 129 million bushels, down 16
percent from December 1 a year ago.
The 1996 Texas Upland cotton crop is expected to total 4.35 million
bales, 2 percent below 1995. Harvested acreage is estimated at 4.0
million acres, 30 percent less than last year as the earlier drought
caused poor stands and resulted in greater than normal abandonment. The
surviving acreage produced a record yield of 522 pounds per acre,
compared with 372 pounds last year.
Corn production is estimated at 201.6 million bushels, down 7 percent
from last year and 16 percent below the record set in 1994. Statewide
yield is estimated st 112 bushels per acre, 2 bushels less than in 1995.
Harvested acreage is estimated at 1.8 million compared with 1.9 million
Texas peanut production is estimated at 679.2 million pounds, up 26
percent from last year. Statewide yield, at 2,400 pounds per acre, is up
400 pounds from last year and is a record yield.
Sorghum production is estimated at 102.1 million hundredweight (cwt),
41 percent above last year. Harvested acreage is estimated at 3.8
million acres, up 58 percent from 1995, as sorghum replaced some lost
cotton acreage. Yield, at 2,688 pounds per acre, is 336 pounds below
Rice producers harvested 18.5 million cwt, 4 percent more than the
previous year. Yield is estimated at 6,200 pounds per acre, 600 pounds
more than a year ago.
The 1996 Texas soybean crop is estimated at 7.0 million bushels, up 17
percent from last year's production. Harvested acreage is estimated at
270,000, up 13 percent, and yield is estimated at 26 bushels per acre,
compared with 25 bushels last year.
Production of all hay is estimated at 7.8 million tons, 4 percent less
than in 1995. Acreage is up 16 percent, but yield is estimated at 1.8
tons, down .36 tons from last year.
United States corn production, at 9.29 billion bushels, is up 26
percent from last year's crop. A yield of 127.1 bushels per acre is
forecast, up 13.6 bushels from last year. The sorghum crop is expected
to increase 74 percent, to 449.7 million cwt. The U.S. Upland cotton
crop is expected to total 18.4 million bales, up 5 percent from last
year. Soybean production is forecast at 2.38 billion bushels, 9 percent
above last year. The U.S. peanut crop is estimated at 3.64 billion
pounds, 5 percent more than a year ago. U.S. rice production is forecast
at 171 million cwt, 1 percent below 1995.
Putnam was elected by voters in LAA-5, located in Loving County.
Alternates are Allen Sparks and Edna Dewees.
Other committee members are Jerry Moore, Bill Ramsey, Sam Miller and Roy
The FSA office is updating data for farms in Reeves County, with the
help of producers who brought in their leases and deeds to allow the
staff to correct the records.
The Secretary of agriculture selects nationwide appointees from cattle
raisers and importers nominated by organizations representing beef,
dairy, veal and importer interests. Texas and Southwestern Cattle
Raisers Association submitted McLauglin and Helm as nominees. The
newly-appointed producers will serve three-year terms beginning Feb. 1,
TSCRA Director Jim Peters of Laredo was reappointed for a one-year term
to represent importers. Texans Paul Engler of Amarillo and Robert B. Hay
of Trinity were also newly appointed to the Board. Neil A. Hoff of
Windthorst and Tommy Guerra of Roma were reappointed.
A breeder of registered and commercial Angus cattle, McLaughlin
operates the Double M Ranch near Maryneal in Nolan County and the
Berrendo Ranch southeast of Christoval in Tom Green and Schleicher
He was elected a TSCRA vice president in 1995. He was president of the
Mohair Council of America from 1990 to 1993 and has served as vice
president of the State Bar of Texas and as president of the University
of Texas Law School Foundation.
Helm and her husband, Ron, raise commercial Angus cross cattle in Jeff
Davis County. The Helms also run cattle on leased ranches in Culberson
County, Texas, and Pushmataha County, Okla. In 1995 Helm became a Myth
Stopper, an official spokesperson of the National Cattlemen's Beef
She is a member of TSCRA, the National CattleWomens' Association, Trans
Texas Heritage Association and Davis Mountains Trans Pecos Heritage
The Cattlemen's Beef Board, established under the Beef Promotion and
Research Act of 1985, conducts a national program designed to improve
the beef industry's position in the marketplace. The program is funded
by a mandatory $1-per-head assessment on all cattle marketed in the
United States and an equivalent assessment on imported cattle and beef.
After compiling nine-month apprel and home fabrics figures, cotton's
market share gained one more rung up the ladder toward Cotton
Incorporated's stted goal of 62 percent market share by the year 2001.
"Jumping from 58 percent to 59 percent, cotton's momentum continues,
said J. Nicholas Hahn, president and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.
"These figures reflect results obtained from the implementation of years
of research and promotion programs, executed by Cotton Incorporated
staff and cooperators," Hahn said.
With cotton maintaining a leading position in many traditional
cotton=leading categories like denim jeans, towels and T-shirts, Hahn
realizes that gaining further ground in those areas will be challenging.
"In the years ahead, we will redirect some of our programs to
concentrate on increasing cotton's share in non-traditional categories
such as nonwoves, floor coverings and women's wear," says Hahn.
If future programs yield similar results as garnered by current
strategies, Cotton Incorporated may need to establish a higher market
share goal for beyond 2001.
Landowners can benefit from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service's
estate and women landowners planning seminars in February.
The two days are designed to give a thorough analysis of relevant income
and estate tax rules as they affect families and their businesses. It is
designed for each of a married couple in that it discusses estate
administration and tax reporting requirements for the surviving spouse.
This same information is useful for potential executors and trustees of
estates and to all who want to make their estate settlement less of a
burden to their loved ones.
The goal is to give the participants knowledge sufficient to make an
informed choice as to the best alternative for their family and
"A properly drawn estate plan may save many farm and ranch families up
to $200,000 in estate taxes," said Wayne A. Hayaenga, Texas Extension
Economist and Attorney.
"For many families, estate tax savings of a properly prepared estate
plan can be greater than the estate tax savings," Hayenga said.
Seminars are to be Feb. 4-5 at the Joe C. Thompson Conference Center,
University of Texas, Austin; Feb. 12-13, Alamo Towers W., Ste. 420, 901
NE Loop 410, San Antonio; Feb. 20-21, Holiday Inn Civic Center, 801 Ave.
Q, Lubbock; and Feb. 25-26, Harris County Extension Office, #2
Abercrombie Drive, Houston.
For more information, contact John Rosenow, President or Mary Yager, Program Director Z (402) 471 5655 .
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