Cotton industry representatives are lauding a national budget deal approved by Congress during the early-morning hours on Friday that restores long-sought financial protection for cotton farmers.
    “It is great for cotton,” said Shawn Holladay, a Dawson County farmer who has worked closely with various cotton organizations and Congressional leaders in seeking much-needed assistance for the cotton industry.
    “It doesn’t fix everything but it makes us competitive,” Holladay told the Press-Reporter by phone on Friday while attending the National Cotton Council Annual Meeting in Fort Worth.
    He noted that the passage of the bill brought smiles to many of those attending the meeting.
    Val Stephens of Lamesa, a state director with the Texas Farm Bureau, said that organization’s chief lobbyist in Washington was very excited about the deal.
    “It is a good day for cotton farmers on the South Plains,” Stephens said on Friday afternoon during a break from plowing one of his fields in the Patricia area.
    Reports indicate the legislation restores seed cotton – including both cotton seed and lint – as a covered commodity under the farm bill.
    Cotton had lost that safety net in the 2014 farm bill following action against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization as a result of complaints by Brazil over U.S. farm policy.


(See complete story in e-Edition online and in printed edition of Lamesa Press-Reporter on newsstands now.)