Calcot growers have more money in the bank, and the cotton marketing cooperative has a new logo.

Calcot’s board approved the fourth progress payment for 2003-04 crop Upland cottons, and the fifth for Pima. It amounted to a three-cent payment across the board for seasonal pool upland styles and a five-cent payment for Pima cottons.

The latest payment brings base grade San Joaquin Valley Acala to 73 cents per pound for the 2003 crop, and pushes both desert California/Arizona (C/A) and California Upland styles to over 66 cents.

California Upland will now be advanced 67.65 on gin UD free terms, following the three-cent payment. C/A cottons will be advanced at 66.05 cents. Roller-ginned Ultima will reach 80.85 cents.

SJV Pima is now at $1.1940 on gin UD free terms for Grade 2. C/A Pima, same grade, on a net basis will be priced at $1.1780 after the payment.

Total payments across the membership will be $11.4 million. Payments were to be mailed before the Memorial Day weekend.

"With two months remaining in the 2003-04 marketing year, I am pleased to report that sales and shipments have been good and timely," said Calcot president Robert W. Norris. "While demand from China has slowed somewhat, other markets have been active and we are on our way to a very good final result for the season."

Norris noted an additional factor coming into play in the weeks remaining in the 2003-04 marketing season is the return of the Step 2 marketing certificates. Though available for much of the season, their value has been relatively low and the certificates disappeared for a time. However, Step 2 made a strong return on May 14, with current values nearing seven cents per pound for Upland styles.

Norris also shared favorable news on the new crop.

"By almost all reports, the 2004-05 crop is developing to be a good one and is mostly ahead of schedule," he said. "But higher cotton prices have encouraged greater plantings around the world, and this has pressured new crop prices."

Calcot’s board also approved a new logo and identity for the 77-year-old cooperative.

Created by Calcot’s communications staff, the new logo displays the name of the cooperative prominently atop a stylized letter "C," which symbolizes Calcot’s global reach and dynamic business plan to deliver Far Western cottons all over the world.

The old logo has been used for more than 30 years and featured the name in a rounded rectangle with a cotton boll overlaid on top of the box.

"It’s time for a change," Calcot communications director Mark Bagby said. "Calcot is a dynamic, active company, offering the ultimate in cotton marketing services. Our old logo, while it has served us well, was a bit tired-looking and didn’t convey our strengths or give any indication of the breadth of the company’s goals or plans."