The world has changed so much since this time in 2001. Last year, many U.S. cotton producers had doubts about how long they could stay in business. This year, they have a new farm bill that will keep them going for a few more years. They also have a fixed payment that is de-coupled from production and new counter-cyclical payments that will disappear as prices go up.

The road to profitability for cotton producers includes lots of re-thinking and re-learning. For example, under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, producers will have to think in terms of the marketing year instead of the calendar year.

Under the act, they receive 35 percent of their projected counter-cyclical payment for 2002 in October, another 35 percent in February, 2003 and the balance in September, 2003, about the time they're getting ready to harvest next year's crop.

Unfortunately, the world is not nearly as safe and secure as it was a year ago. The United States is fighting an unconventional war on terrorism against a relatively unseen enemy. And a major cotton-producing country, India, seems at times on the brink of nuclear war with Pakistan.

World events, although troublesome, can have a significant impact on producer profitability making it imperative that they have access to both information and analysis.

Fortunately, getting up to speed about new marketing strategies under the new farm bill and getting the latest short-term and long-term price outlooks domestically and worldwide is no further away than your computer and Internet access.

On Friday, July 19, 2002, a distinguished panel of cotton experts will discuss today's cotton market including: crop conditions, domestic demand, exports and farm policy. This cotton roundtable will take place on the Web at 8 a.m. Central time.

Panelists include Carl Anderson, Extension economist, Texas A&M University, Patrick McClatchy, executive director, Ag Market Network, Jarral Neeper, assistant vice president, callpool operations and economics, Calcot, and Joe T. Nicosia, CEO, Allenberg Cotton Co.

The Roundtable will be broadcast from the New York Board of Trade's new facility on Hudson St. in New York City. The old location at the World Trade Center was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

You can log onto this live Web presentation at the NYBOT Website at www.nybot.com. The event is brought to you by the Ag Market Network, The New York Board of Trade and Farm Press Publications. On the site, you can listen to an audio of the event and ask questions via a chat room.

For more information including your special pass code and user name, please contact NYBOT by mail at The New York Board of Trade, 174 Hudson St, 6th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10013, telephone, 800-HEDGE IT (800-433-4348) or e-mail twalker@nybot.com.