They may not be what you would consider “traditional” cotton-growing states, but the states of Kansas, Virginia and Florida have now officially arrived as far as eligibility for the Cotton Research and Promotion Act.

USDA has published the final rule designating the three as cotton-producing states for purposes of representation on the Cotton Board in the Federal Register. The action completes the implementation of section 14202 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which amended the Cotton Research and Promotion Act.

The provision included in the 2008 farm bill provided that Virginia, Florida and Kansas each of which now have a core group of cotton producers, be separate states in the definition of ‘‘cotton-producing state’’ so that they may have representatives on the Cotton Board.

The regulation was issued following a hearing in December 2008 and approval of the changes by a referendum conducted Oct. 13-Nov. 10, 2009. The USDA-AMS Cotton Division had reported that requests have been received from organizations in those states to become certified.

The evaluation of the requests will be completed, and the organizations will be notified of certification prior to the announcement of the 2010 caucus schedule.