Deadline Approaching to Update Information

with FSA for Covered Commodities in 2014 Farm Bill;

Cotton No Longer Covered

Friday, September 12, 2014                      By Shawn Wade

      Around the first of August, landowners were sent letters from the USDA Farm Service Agency explaining options for updating and reallocating base acres and counter-cyclical yields for covered commodities (not including cotton) as allowed by the 2014 Farm Bill. In the letter, which included a Summary Acreage History Report, FSA noted that producers are allowed 60 days from the date of the letter to correct or augment their planted acreage history.

      The deadline to submit corrections or missing data to FSA is rapidly approaching. Landowners who received the letter are encouraged to carefully review the Summary Acreage History Report and the 2008-2012 acreage and yield information provided and contact the county FSA office where their farms are administratively located as soon as possible to correct any errors.

      Verifiable documentation for previously unreported and/or prevented planted acreage may include crop insurance records, although all verifiable documentation is subject to FSA County Committee review.

      At a later date FSA will provide additional information to landowners about the process they will need to complete in order to reallocate base acres, update their counter-cyclical yields for covered commodities and eventually electing which program (PLC or ARC) they will participate in for each covered commodity on their farm.

      According to FSA, determining the accuracy of each farm's acreage history is the first step required to ensure 2014 base acres are accurate for participation in the PLC (Price Loss Coverage) or ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) programs.

      Due to the fact that cotton is no longer a covered commodity under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, current cotton base acres are designated as "Generic Base Acres" and are not eligible for reallocation under the process outlined above.

      For additional information about this process, landowners are encouraged to contact their county FSA office as soon as possible to ask questions and avoid missing their opportunity to update the information provided in the Summary Acreage History Report.


Southwest Council of Agribusiness Hosts

Annual Meeting on September 15

      The Southwest Council of Agribusiness will host their annual meeting on Monday, September 15, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock.

      The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome by former Congressman Larry Combest, followed by a "Unifying Message" promoting agricultural research by Dr. Michael Galyean, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.

      The focus of the morning program will be the policy choices contained in the 2014 Farm Bill, with Dr. Joe Outlaw of the Ag and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University leading a panel discussion with Bart Fischer and Matt Schertz, senior professional staff with the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.

      Another panel will follow at 10:30 a.m., with Tiffany Dowell, Agriculture Law Specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and Jeff Harrison with Combest, Sell & Associates in Washington, DC, discussing Federal Environmental Regulation and Land Use Policy and their Implications for the southwest region.

      Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president for policy and trade issues at Informa Economics in Washington, DC, will be the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Wiesemeyer will highlight markets, economics and politics around agriculture in his presentation.

      Finally, the USDA's Farm Service Agency Administrator, Juan Garcia, will be honored at the event for his outstanding career.  Mr. Garcia, who recently announced his plans to step down as administrator, has served with distinction and has done countless good for agriculture.  

      For more information on the meeting, please visit


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Cotton Transition Assistance Program

Enrollment Under Way

      Farmers can enroll in the Cotton Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) from now through Oct. 7, 2014.

      The program, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides interim payments to cotton producers during the 2014 crop year until the Stacked Income Protection Plan, a new insurance product also created by the legislation, is available. Details on the plan will be released by mid-August.

      CTAP applications approved before Oct. 1, are subject to congressionally mandated automatic reductions of 7.2 percent for the 2014 crop year. Applications approved after Oct. 1 will be reduced by the required 7.3 percent for the 2015 crop year. The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires USDA to implement these reductions to program payments.  

      For more information about CTAP, visit a local FSA office or go online to



Area Field Days Scheduled

      Mark your calendars for the following area field days:

      Sept. 16 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Mark and Blaine Nichols Farm, Seminole      (lunch served)

      Sept. 16 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Maple Field Day, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Chris Kindle Farm (lunch served)

      Sept. 17 – All-Tex/Dyna-Gro Field Day, 9 a.m.-noon, 2200 West Avenue, Levelland (lunch served at noon)

      Sept. 17 – Deltapine Consultants Field Day, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Chapman Farm, Lorenzo (lunch served)

      Sept. 17 – PhytoGen Grower Day/Enlist Technology Center Tour, 1:30 p.m.-5 p.m., Texas Tech New Deal Farm – Northeast Lubbock County Field Lab (dinner served at conclusion; 4 CEUs)

      Sept. 18 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Chapman Farm, Lorenzo (lunch served)

      Sept. 18 – PhytoGen Grower Day/Enlist Technology Center Tour, 1:30 p.m.-5 p.m., Texas Tech New Deal Farm – Northeast Lubbock County Field Lab (dinner served at conclusion; 4 CEUs)

      Sept. 23 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Crosby County Field Day, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Billy Tidwell Farm (lunch served)

      Sept. 23 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 4 p.m., Doug Jost Barn, St. Lawrence

      Sept. 24 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Oklahoma Flat Field Tour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m, Albus Farm (coffee and donuts served)

      Sept. 25 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Cochran County Field Tour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m, Patterson Farm (coffee and donuts served)

      Sept. 30 – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station, Halfway (Hwy 70, 14 miles west of Plainview)

      Oct. 10 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Idalou Field Day, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m, Evitt Farm (lunch served)

      For more information on the All-Tex Field Day, call Cody Poage at (806) 894-4901.

      For more information on the Americot/NexGen Field Day, call Jerry Montgomery at (806) 577-8011 or Gary Sanders at (806) 777-4535.

      For more information on the Deltapine field days, call Eric Best at (806) 790-4646.

      For more information on the FiberMax/Stoneville field days, call Tim Culpepper at (806) 789-6593 for north of Lubbock or Kenny Melton at (806) 786-5088 for south of Lubbock. 

      For more information on the Phytogen Grower Days, call Kassadi Click at (806) 680-4158.

      If you have a field day you would like to add to this schedule, please call Mary Jane Buerkle at (806) 792-4904 or email