Disaster Sign-up Officially Begins; Texas FSA Announces UnharvestedFactors

Friday,June 6, 2003                       By Shawn Wade

      Officialsfrom the Texas Farm Service Agency have announced another piece of the DisasterProgram puzzle with the release of 2001-2002 Disaster Assistance Programunharvested factors.

      Theannouncement of a 12 percent unharvested factor for Upland cotton is good newsfor Texas producers who lost crops in either 2001 or 2002.

      “Ourprimary focus at Plains Cotton Growers in regard to the Disaster program’sunharvested factors was to fight for the lowest factor possible in order tokeep producers from taking additional, unwarranted reductions on disasterpayments,” explains PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett.

      Verettadded that, “Since early May we have worked closely with the State FSACommittee in examining the requirements of the disaster program in regard tosetting unharvested factors. PCG encouraged the State Committee to use the fulldiscretion allowed by the Disaster Bill to set an unharvested factor for cottonthat most accurately reflects the true harvest cost of the crop.”

      Verettpoints out that further justification for the single factor, as opposed to themulti-tiered unharvested factors used in 2000, is the new benefit capprovisions that will prevent any program participant from receiving morethrough insurance and disaster payments than they would have received without acrop loss.

      Workingclosely with Texas FSA personnel, Texas Cooperative Extension and growers, PCG helpeddevelop realistic production budgets and provided that information to the TexasState FSA Committee for their use in developing the unharvested factors forUpland cotton.

      Additionalunharvested payment factors of interest to High Plains producers include: Corn,14%; Grain Sorghum, 14%; Peanuts, 25%; and, Wheat, 14%.

      Eventhough the official start date for the 2001-2002 Disaster Assistance Programhas finally arrived, producers probably shouldn’t worry about getting to theFSA office in any big hurry.

      Thereare a number of reasons why the Disaster sign-up process will probably not getto full speed until later this month.

      Thefirst is that recent rains will undoubtedly spur an increased need for cropcertifications so that farms destroyed by recent hail storms can be released toinsurance. Also, FSA staff are still working through the ongoing CRP sign-upand receiving training on the in’s and out’s of the completely new CropDisaster Program for 2001-2002.

      Forproducers the best advice is probably to hold of a little while before tryingto set up a Disaster Program sign-up appointment. The extra time will provideboth producers and FSA the breathing room they need to take care of the other’spriority needs first and make sure the Disaster sign-up process proceeds at thesmoothest possible pace.


Cottonseed Assistance Update

Friday,June 6, 2003                       By Shawn Wade

      UDSAofficials have reported that 2002-crop Cottonseed Assistance payments have beenprocessed and that recipients of the payments should have begun seeing evidenceof the transfer as early as Thursday, June 5.

      GeneRosera, FSA Price Support Division, reported to PCG on June 5 that the paymentshave already been processed and depending on how individual banks receiveelectronic disbursements, should be at their final destinations by June 6.

      Thefinal payment rate for the 2002 Cottonseed Assistance program was $7.75 per tonor roughly $2.99 per bale of cotton ginned in 2002.

      Thefull $50 million, less a reserve amount of $50,000 to handle appeals andcorrections, was distributed.

         Anygin that has problems in verifying the electronic deposit of the Cottonseedassistance payment should contact first contact the bank to determine if thepayment has been received and properly credited or of necessary call USDA’sGene Rosera, at (202) 720-8481, for assistancein tracking the payment and correcting the situation.