One-time Payments to Begin in July to Assist with 2016 Ginning Season
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide an estimated US$ 300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers through the new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share programme, in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton. "The Cotton Ginning Cost Share programme will offer meaningful, timely and targeted assistance to cotton growers to help with their anticipated ginning costs and to facilitate marketing. The programme will provide, on average, approximately 60% more assistance per farm and per producer than the 2014 programme that provided cotton transition assistance."
Through the Cotton Ginning Cost-Share programme, eligible producers can receive a one-time cost share payment, which is based on a producer's 2015 cotton acres reported to FSA, multiplied by 40% of the average ginning cost for each production region. With the pressing need to provide assistance ahead of the 2016 ginning season this fall, USDA will ensure the application process is straight-forward and efficient. The programme estimates the costs based on planting of cotton in 2015, and therefore the local FSA offices already have this information for the vast majority of eligible producers and the applications will be pre-populated with existing data. Sign-up for the program will begin June 20 and run through August 5, 2016 at the producer's local FSA office. Payments will be processed as applications are received, and are expected to begin in July.