Why have over 100 U.S. textile mills shut down in the last 18 months? And what will happen to the market for U.S. cotton should domestic consumption drop to four to five million bales?

The answers to these questions could have serious implications for U.S. cotton growers, according to Jerry Rowland, president and CEO of National Textiles.

Rowland will address these issues and provide a cotton market outlook for 2001 to 2006 during a web presentation and teleconference which will be broadcast live on July 13, at 8:30 a.m., eastern, 7:30 a.m. central, from the New York Board of Trade in New York.

Other speakers will bring cotton producers up to date on AMTA payments, farm policy, cotton prices and market strategies. Growers can listen and/or participate via the Internet or at local county Extension offices.

O.A. Cleveland, Mississippi State University economist, Carl Anderson, Texas A&M Extension economist 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.

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.

This web event for cotton is one of several special events broadcast during the growing season by the Ag Market Network, which has listening sites in numerous locations from California to the Carolinas, and the second Web event focusing exclusively on cotton.

How valuable are the Web events and teleconferences? An average $12,500, according to a survey of West Tennessee farmers conducted by Chuck Danehower, an Extension farm management specialist with University of Tennessee Extension Service.

The survey said that 76 percent of the producers interviewed used the information they heard at the teleconferences. “They're a very useful tool because the markets change so rapidly these days,” Danehower said. “Getting this information on a once a month basis does help farmers keep up with what's going on in the markets and why it's changing and what to look for in the future.

“You can't pinpoint what the market's going to do, but you can find out what indicators you need to be watching, like acreage reports, weather, exports or domestic usage. It can help you make plans.”

More importantly, respondents said the information they gleaned from the teleconference and last year's cotton first-ever Internet event helped them add an average $12,500 to their bottom lines. “They either did some forward pricing or used futures or options to increase the value of the crop. One grower said information he put to use from the teleconference resulted in a $50,000 return.”

Growers had these comments about the teleconferences/Web events:

“If you gain insight and knowledge, it is worthwhile regardless of the change in profitability.”

“Interesting and helpful to me in planning crop selection and marketing strategies.”

“Very helpful in planning and working and thinking about the crop, especially in the winter.”

“This is an excellent program. Since ideas presented here are only a part of the overall marketing planning, it is impossible to put a dollar value on it. However, it is valuable.”

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

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 1-800-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.

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 event's conclusion.


e-mail: elton_robinson@intertec.com