As I write this letter, most of us are wrapping up the Thanksgiving holiday. Personally, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection over the past year and all of the many blessings of life such as faith and family. For many, the next few months will be reminders of how economic conditions over the past few seasons have created a tremendous level of stress for our farmers and their families. Much of that stress is related to the financial condition of the farm economy. In addition, farm-related businesses are also feeling the pain.
To help anyone affected by these factors, PCCA has created a page at www.pcca.com that discusses this problem and provides practical tips for anyone dealing with stress and where to go for help. The page is titled Farm Stress: Help and Hope and can be found as the top link on our site. Related information can also be found on page 14 of this issue.
A significant level of pain has been inflicted by the trade war tariffs that have reduced access to the largest market in the world. As of today, it has been reported that trade negotiators are “millimeters apart” from reaching a phase one deal with China. Alternately, President Trump said he may wait until after the 2020 election.
If a deal is completed, it’s likely that it will take some time to restore normal trading patterns with China and win back market share lost during the trade war. It is our expectation that U.S. cotton will become competitive again with a trade deal.
As we look ahead to 2020, the world will still be a difficult place. However, we encourage you to stay positive and think about the many obstacles that have been overcome by those that came before us. Perhaps future generations will look at our actions in this moment and overcome their own circumstances.
Lately, I have been reminding our producers that the projections of cotton use 10 years from now are dramatically higher than today. I like the position of our farmers to supply that cotton in 2030.
We can take encouragement from PCCA grower-owners like the late Bill Thomas of Haskell, Texas. Bill was a long-time member of the West Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas Marketing Pool Committee. Bill’s positive outlook was ever-contagious as was his huge smile. I know Bill experienced hard times, but his faith and attitude encouraged everyone he encountered.