Last year was a tough on Cotton Producers in the South Plains. 2012 year is off to a better start, but Lubbock County is still in a drought.
This time last year, the South Plains did not see any rain. Since January, we have received 3.4 inches. Last year's total rain amounted to 5.9 inches, far less compared to the usual average of 30 inches of annual rainfall.
This is the very reason why producers have waited as long as they possibly could to plant; they're holding out for rain. But now with the June 5 deadline to plant fast approaching, producers can no longer delay their field work.
Scott Harmon is just one of many producers who have waited as close to the deadline as possible.
"We're relatively better than we were last year, maybe," said Harmon.
While some are working hard in the fields, other producers are actually slaving away in the office.
June 1 is the final day for producers to submit their paper work for federal programs like SURE and ACRE. ACRE is the Average Crop Revenue Election program. It is the annual program that was established with the 2008 Farm Bill. More than 1,900 Lubbock County farms participate in the program.
SURE is the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment program which compensates producers for what they lost during natural disasters in 2010.
"It's losses that insurance was not able to pick up due to the price the election of coverage," said Cary Hanlin, Executive Director of Lubbock County Farmer's Agency. "It's just an additional help to those crop losses."
For more information about last minute filing, you can log on to www.fsa.usda.gov.
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