The enrollment period for  growers who had cotton base in 2013 to apply for the cotton transition payments began Aug. 11 and ends Oct. 7, according to Michele Mara, North Carolina Extension agricultural and resource economics specialist.

The payments will equal 60 percent  of 2013 base payments in 2014 and 30.6 percent in 2015 in those counties where the STAX program is not available, Mara notes in an emai to Extension colleagues.

“This is a no-brainer, gang,” Mara wrote. “It's free money to those who qualify, so everyone eligible should sign up.  Remind your cotton growers to make an appointment with the county FSA office sooner rather than later.  All applications for the cotton transition payments that are approved by Oct. 1 will get a slightly higher payment than those approved after Oct.1.”

Mara says farrmers who want to change/update their base acres for the commodity program should do so.  

“Cotton base will be changed to ‘generic’ base and can be planted to any crop,” she explains.  “If it is planted to a program crop, then it will be eligible for all payments to program crop acres.  Producers may want to consider updating their base if their crop mix has changed since the last base updating opportunity.  They must go to their county FSA office to update their base.”