The Trump administration was urged today (July 18, 2017) to continue the Obama administration’s Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) Program by a large, bipartisan block of 135 U.S. Senators and Representatives.
The program, established by former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in June, 2016, provided an estimated $300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers. The Obama administration’s goal, according to USDA, was to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton.
In the current effort, letters of support for the program came from 26 senators and 109 house members emphasizing a list of challenges faced by cotton growers in recent years, including foreign subsidies, trade tariffs and a drop in cotton prices among other factors. The National Cotton Council and 82 other cotton interest organizations sent a similar letter to President Trump that requests economic relief to U.S. cotton farming families. Also taking part in the letter writing effort were 1,605 agricultural lenders, agribusinesses, and other rural businesses.
Details of 2016 Cotton Ginning Cost Share Program
When the CGCS launched in 2016, the purpose was to provide a 1-time cost share assistance payment based on a farmer’s 2015 cotton acres. The individual’s cotton acreage was multiplied by 40% of the average ginning costs for each of the 4 production regions.
The regional payment rates were:
- Southeast: $47.44
- Midsouth: $56.26
- Southwest: $36.97
- West: $97.41
On average, the 2016 CGCS payments were estimated to be in the range of $4,200 per farm or $8,100 per producer.