Cotton cooperative progress payments have been few and far between of late, but as a sign of better times for Western cotton producers, Calcot's board of director have authorized progress payments for the 2002 cotton crop ranging as high as eight cents per pound for the cooperative's nearly 1,700 members in California and Arizona.

Two years ago the cooperative's board was asking for money back from season-opening advance payments.

Checks totaling $20.5 million should go into the mail the first week of February, according to executive vice president of finance and operations Robert W. Norris.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved a payment for most Seasonal Pool cottons, as well as California Upland and California/Arizona cottons in Calcot's Regular Call Pool.

“Based upon our excellent position in the marketplace to date,” Calcot President David Farley said, “we feel the time is right to recommend a substantial payment to many of our grower-owners.”

Seasonal Pool payment amounts vary, depending upon cotton varieties and qualities, but are based on eight cents per pound for San Joaquin Valley Acala cottons, and six cents for California Upland and California/Arizona varieties.

Average payments

Depending on qualities and varieties, average progress payments on a per pound basis are:

  • Acala cotton in Calcot's San Joaquin Valley Seasonal Pool will be paid 6.56 cents.

  • California Upland cotton in the same pool will be paid 4.64 cents.

  • California/Arizona cotton will receive 4.49 cents.

  • SJV Ultima roller-ginned cotton will be paid 7.98 cents.

  • California Upland and California/Arizona cottons in Calcot's Regular Call Pool will receive a two-cent payment.

The payments bring Calcot's Seasonal Pool prices to date for base grade SJV Acala cotton to 63.20 cents per pound; California Upland base grade to 60.90 cents; California/Arizona cotton to 59.30 cents; and roller-ginned Ultima to 68.20 cents.

The Upland varieties in the Regular Call Pool will be advanced at a level of 400 points off fixation, after the payment.

Payment amounts are quoted on “base” grade, which is color grade 31, staple length 1 1/8th inches for SJV Acala; color grade 31, staple length 1 3/32nd inches for C/A and California Upland; and color grade 31, staple length 1 5/32nd inches for Ultima.

No payment was recommended on other Call Pool plans, or on any Pima cotton in any pool at this time, Farley said, due to current market demand and sales positions. He added, however, that a payment for other varieties would be recommended “as soon as it is prudent and practical.”

e-mail: hcline@primediabusines.com