More than 50 cotton producers and industry leaders from across the state converged on the Texas State Capitol in Austin on April 16 for “Cotton Day at the Capitol,” an event held each legislative session.
The goal of “Cotton Day at the Capitol” is to visit with both newly elected and veteran legislators, along with agency leaders, and extend the industry’s appreciation for their support of cotton, which is the No. 1 cash commodity crop grown in Texas.
Issues discussed included water, boll weevil eradication, research and other topics of importance to the Texas cotton industry and handled by the Texas Legislature or state agencies. One key policy priority is to obtain research funding for the development of an early detection and mitigation program to combat Fusarium Wilt Race 4 (FOV4) in cotton, which is a concern because of its expansion into upland cotton varieties and its appearance in the El Paso area down toward the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Other topics PCG and the industry continue to monitor include the protection of property rights, eminent domain reform, and property tax reform. PCG also has been active in combating bills that could place additional state restrictions on herbicide and insecticide technologies beyond federal labeling, which PCG believes is sufficient.
Participants included representatives from across multiple segments of the cotton industry. Those participating from PCG included Vice President Brent Nelson of Sudan; Secretary-Treasurer Martin Stoerner of Lockney; Chairman Johnie Reed and his wife Lori of Kress; and PCG staff members Shawn Wade, Kody Bessent, Mark Brown and Mary Jane Buerkle.
The event was led by Texas Cotton Producers, which is comprised of nine regional certified cotton grower organizations including PCG; El Paso Valley Cotton Growers Association; Trans Pecos Cotton Growers Association; St. Lawrence Cotton Growers Association; Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association; Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association; Blackland Cotton and Grain Producers Association; South Texas Cotton and Grain Association; and Cotton and Grain Producers of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
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