Texas cotton farmers should make an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible to sign up for the Cotton Assistance Transition Program. CTAP is an interim payment option provided through the Agriculture Act of 2014 to assist cotton farmers until they are eligible for the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) available in 2015.

“We urge cotton farmers to make an appointment and come in before Oct. 1,” says Judith Canales, Executive Director of the Texas Farm Service Agency in College Station.

Payments for 2014 will be based on 2013 cotton base acres for producers who apply and meet eligibility standards. Farmers must apply to receive CTAP payments.

Texas AgriLife Extension economists estimate that payments for the 2014 crop will be slightly more than 5 cents per pound.

Payments for the 2014 crop year will be made on or after Oct.1, 2014. Payments for 2015 will be issued on or after Oct. 1, 2015.

“Under CTAP, there is no requirement that farmers plant cotton in order to be eligible for payment,” Canales said. “However, eligible producers must have adequate share in enough cropland acres to cover their claimed interest in cotton base acres on form CCC-957.”

CTAP payments will be available to some farmers in 2015 if they grow cotton in counties not included in STAX but who meet eligibility requirements.

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Signup for the 2014 CTAP program began Aug. 11, 2014, and will continue through Oct. 7, 2014. For the 2015 crop year, application period will begin after Oct. 1, 2014, and will end July 31, 2015.

Canales expects heavy participation from Texas cotton farmers and urges producers to make appointments as soon as possible and to gather information necessary to show eligibility. “We want to make sure we have the best representation possible for Texas farmers,” she added.

Payment limitations do apply to CTAP. Payments for 2014 and 2015 will be limited to $40,000 per person or entity. Also, persons or legal entities with an average adjusted gross income exceeding $900,000 will not be eligible for CTAP. Tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012 will be used to calculate AGI. For 2015 AGI limits, tax years begin with 2012 and run through 2013.