The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that fees charged to cotton producers for classification services will not be changed from the level established for the 2006 crop.

The fee paid by growers for the new crop classing services will continue at $1.85 per bale and will be applicable for the entire 2007 U.S. cotton crop. This fee is sufficient to recover the estimated costs of providing the services as required by the Uniform Cotton Classing Fees Act of 1987.

The cotton classing fees are set by a formula stipulated in the Uniform Cotton Classing Fees Act of 1987, which also requires annual adjustments of the fee.

Elements of the formula are: Estimated volume of 2007 crop classing by USDA, the rate of inflation, and the level for the operating reserve fund of the AMS cotton classing program.

Details of the fees were to be published in the April 19 Federal Register. Comments must be received on or before May 4.

Copies are available from Darryl Earnest, Cotton Program, AMS, USDA, Stop 0224, Room 2639-S, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0224, Tel (202) 720-2145, and can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/cotton/rulemaking.htm.