Farmers should not expect any quick fix to the low prices that are creating a crisis in the cotton industry.
    That was part of the message shared by Congressman Mike Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, during a meeting here on Tuesday morning with Lamesa Cotton Growers officials and several guests.
    “None of these are short-term fixes,” the Republican from Midland said after discussing various efforts to improve the situation facing cotton farmers here and across the U.S.
    One of the best hopes for some immediate assistance, he agreed, would be for the Secretary of Agriculture to designate cottonseed oil as eligible for the same federal price supports that many other oilseed crops now receive.
    Such action should benefit growers by improving the price received for the raw seed that is separated from the cotton fiber during the ginning process.
    Shawn Holladay, a local farmer who currently serves as president of Plains Cotton Growers, said the oilseed designation for cotton definitely would help.
    “The oilseed deal is huge to the guys in this room,” he said, referring to the Lamesa Cotton Growers leadership.
    Such a designation can be made immediately by the Secretary of Agriculture but some of the other long-term issues with government cotton policy likely will have to wait until a new farm bill is developed in 2018, Conaway said.

 

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