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Source: National Cotton Council (NCC) news release

The National Cotton Council expressed sincere gratitude to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for providing a one-time $300 million program that offsets a portion of a cotton producer's 2015 crop season ginning costs.

The Cotton Ginning Cost-Share (CGCS) program, announced today by USDA, resulted from the agency utilizing its administrative authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to help facilitate the marketing of commodities.

"The U.S. cotton industry commends Secretary Vilsack for his efforts on making possible a program that will provide much-needed marketing assistance for our nation's cotton producers," NCC Chairman Shane Stephens said.

The Mississippi cotton warehouseman said although this program will provide direct marketing assistance to producers, it also will help stabilize a seven sector industry that provides employment for some 125,000 Americans and generates more than $75 billion in annual economic activity.

American Cotton Producers Chairman Mike Tate of Alabama said, "Our producers appreciate Secretary's Vilsack's efforts in providing marketing assistance to a commodity that is suffering a serious decline in market revenue partly due to heavily-subsidized foreign competition, with no signs of the commodity prices reaching the level needed to offset their production costs. The industry will continue to work with Congress and USDA to seek long-term policy solutions that will provide stability for the cotton industry."

Payments will be calculated as following: Certified acres times regional payment rate times a producer's share of the crop. Regional payment rates (to reflect regional costs of ginning) are as follows:

*Southeast (AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA) - $47.44/acre;

*Mid-South (AR, LA, MO, MS, TN) - $56.26/acre;

*Southwest (KS, OK, TX) - $36.97/acre; and

*West (AZ, CA, NM) - $97.41/acre.

Cost share payments are capped at $40,000 per individual or entity. Cost share program payments do not count against the 2014 Farm Bill payment limitations.

To be eligible for a cost share program payment, each applicant is required to be a person or legal entity who was actively engaged in farming in 2015 and who complies with requirements including, but not limited to, those pertaining to highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation provisions, commonly referred to as the conservation compliance provisions. A producer's three-year average adjusted gross income may not exceed $900,000 in order to be eligible for the cost share payments.

Program sign-up period: June 20, 2016 to August 5, 2016. Payments should be available shortly following an individual completing the sign-up process.

More information about the CGCS program is at or by contacting the local FSA office. To find a local FSA office, visit Additional CGCS program information is available from USDA's news release on the program announcement at

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