Crop Insurance Options for Cotton Following
Winter Wheat on the Texas High Plains

Lubbock, April 15, 2011                            By Shawn Wade

      With dry conditions continuing to persist throughout the High Plains production area, many of the region's Winter Wheat acres have either been lost or are doing poorly enough that growers are considering switching to an alternative spring-seeded second crop, either cotton or grain sorghum, for harvest in 2011.

      Dryland producers wanting to plant and insure cotton or another spring-seeded crop this year need to contact their insurance provider immediately to begin the process of getting that acreage appraised and released prior to the wheat reaching the headed stage of development. Failure to have non-irrigated wheat acres released before heading occurs could prevent a non-irrigated second crop from being insurable in 2011.

      The zero-percent heading requirement on dryland acres has been inexistence for quite some time. Since at least 2002 the USDA Risk Management Agency has enforced a zero tolerance policy in regard to the insurability of non-irrigated cotton or other crops behind non-irrigated wheat that has reached the headed stage of development, regardless of the number of heads that are present.

      Despite that caveat, a review of the rules for both cotton and grain sorghum shows that growers do have a couple of options available to them that can allow planting and insuring these crops on both irrigated and non-irrigated acreage following winter wheat.

      Today, growers who want to plant cotton on winter wheat acreage will be bound by the terms of the policy they have in place. To initiate a crop change in irrigated or non-irrigated wheat acres now, growers need to contact their insurance provider and request an APH appraisal of the wheat acreage.

      Once the appraisal is completed the grower has two options.

      First, they can file a claim for a loss based on the appraised production amount if it is less than the growers minimum coverage yield guarantee.

      Second, if the appraised production level is equal to or above the minimum coverage yield guarantee, the grower can accept the appraisal and have that amount of production entered into their Actual Production History database.

      Once again, timing is critical for producers interested in planting cotton on non-irrigated wheat acreage in 2011. The only option for growers to plant an insured, non-irrigated second crop behind non-irrigated wheat in the same insurance year is for the initial crop of wheat to be appraised, released and destroyed before it reaches the headed stage.

      Irrigated wheat acreage does not have to meet the percent headed requirement and can therefore be appraised and released at any point prior to the end of the planting period for whichever second crop the grower wants to plant. Destruction of irrigated wheat acreage can also be accomplished by haying the wheat in advance of planting the second crop if the wheat crop is certified for grain, without impacting their insurance appraisal or harming their eligibility for other USDA disaster assistance programs such as the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).

      Regardless of which route a grower takes, the acreage would then be released for another use, allowing the growers to destroy the wheat crop in preparation for the planting of a second insured crop on the acreage.

      Once the wheat acreage is appraised and dealt with the USDA Risk Management Agency's "First crop/Second crop" rules will apply to that acreage.

      In the event of a loss, a grower has the option to plant a second insured crop on the acreage, but only if they elect to receive only 35 percent of the First crop (wheat) indemnity amount. For growers exercising this option the Second crop would be 100 percent insurable.

      Under the "First crop/Second crop" provisions, an insurable loss on the second crop would be paid at 100 percent. The grower would then, subsequently, owe just 35 percent of the insurance premium due on the initial wheat crop for which they received the reduced indemnity payment. If there were no loss on the second crop the grower would receive the unpaid portion (65%) of their initial loss on the first crop and pay the full insurance premium on both insured crops.

      For future reference, it should be noted that the easiest way to switch out of winter wheat and into a spring-seeded crop is prior to March 15, when the wheat acreage can be "short-rated." By short-rating wheat acreage, the grower cancels the insurance policy in exchange for payment of only 40 percent of the wheat insurance premium owed.

      At that time irrigated wheat acreage would be free to be planted to a second crop without limitations on its ability to be insured. Non-irrigated wheat acreage that is "short-rated" must still have any grazing activity halted before March 15 and growers would have to ensure that none of the wheat that was previously planted reached the headed stage of development.

      A spring crop planted on wheat acreage that is short-rated is considered the second crop planted on the acreage for insurance purposes and application of the "First crop/Second crop" coverage rule.


REMINDER: EPA To Accept Comment on
Aldicarb Registration Request Through April 29

Lubbock, April 15, 2011                            By Shawn Wade

      Last week it was reported that a company named "Ag Logic LLC" has requested a new permanent registration of the active ingredient aldicarb as a 15% pesticide in cotton, dry beans, peanuts, soybeans, and sugar beets.

      As a result of Ag Logic LLC's action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on the request through April 29, 2011.

      The attempt to register a new aldicarb product is good news for Texas cotton growers who have relied heavily on aldicarb for control of nematodes and thrips.

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. has already submitted its comment on the request and encourages growers and other interested parties to add their supportive comments on the new registration.

      A link to the Federal Register's comment submission page can be found on the Plains Cotton Growers website at: , or you can go straight to the EPA announcement online at:

      Submitting comments online is an easy process. You start by clicking the "Submit A Formal Comment" button on the Federal Register web page.

      In addition to the online process, there are alternative methods for submitting comments described on the web page. Remember to include "Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1021" on any comment you submit.


The COTTON USA Advantage

CCI FAX April 12, 2011


COTTON USA Sourcing Program Holds
Western Hemisphere Sourcing Fair

      To strengthen sales of U.S. cotton yarns and fabrics to the region, the COTTON USA Sourcing Program brought together seven U.S. mills, 15 Latin American and European retailers, and 47 Andean, Central American and Mexican apparel manufacturers for a two-day Sourcing Fair in Lima, Peru.

Attendees held private meetings to discuss business opportunities that would move U.S. cotton yarns and fabrics through the regional supply chain. Close to 700 individual meetings took place.

      The event included a conference session with a panel of experts who addressed textile and apparel trade issues such as an overview of textile and apparel agreements between Latin America and Europe; a review of the current cotton price situation; a discussion of Western Hemisphere textile and garment industry capabilities; and sourcing requirements for European brands & retailers.

      The event enabled overseas buyers to meet all segments of the Western Hemisphere supply chain in one location. This streamlined approach to sourcing reinforced existing business relationships and fostered new relationships between U.S. mills, their Latin American customers, and downstream buyers from their region and from Europe.

      The timing of the Sourcing Fair was excellent since European brands and retailers have recently gained interest in sourcing opportunities from Latin America as increased costs in Asia and political uncertainties in North Africa have strained usual supply channels. European and Latin American regional sourcing is positive for U.S. cotton and cotton yarn and fabric since goods sourced in the Western Hemisphere are a high percentage U.S. fiber.


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