"We are announcing today a Cotton Ginning Cost Share program for the 2016 crop," said USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue on March 3, from the floor of the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis.
"Sign up will begin March 12 and our people tell us that they'll be ready for that," Perdue said to a room full of cotton farmers. "Obviously applications are pretty much pre-populated, based on your reported planted acres. So we should be able to do that pretty quickly, and hopefully get a little money in your pocket to buy those seeds and other inputs that you need for this crop coming up here."
It's rare that a sitting Agriculture Secretary understands the value and timely impact a piece of legislation can have, but Perdue hit the nail on the head here. The Cotton Gin Cost Share program is providing US cotton farmers with "a little money in their pockets" at a pivotal moment in the 2018 growing season. That extra income arrives as U.S. cotton producers are eyeing a stable cotton market, and comes of the heels of the news that cotton will once again be under Title I protection under the farm bill for the foreseeable future. Growers are feeling secure—and that will assuredly translate into their purchasing decisions this spring.