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Key dates include crop insurance closing dates.

Ron Smith, Editor

February 18, 2021

3 Min Read
Key deadline dates approaching for crop insurance. Shelley E. Huguley

Southwest cotton farmers have some important dates and significant decisions to make over the next few weeks as they finalize crop insurance plans.

Shawn Wade, director of policy analysis & research, Plains Cotton Growers, addressed numerous federal and private crop insurance issues in a Feb. 17 Zoom seminar from the PCG Lubbock headquarters.

pcg-shawn-wade.jpgShawn Wade, Plains Cotton Growers (Photo courtesy of PCG)

Wade said key dates include the crop insurance sales closing dates (SCD) of March 15 for the PCG territory as well as New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. Producers in much of Central Texas have a Feb. 28 SCD. The South Texas date was Jan. 31.

Crop insurance discovery periods for determining the projected price for cotton have ended for Texas counties with Jan. 31 SCD and Feb. 28 SCD. Counties with a March 15 SCD will see their cotton price discovery period end Feb. 28.

Harvest price discovery periods for cotton are as follows: Sept. 1 - Sept. 30 for Jan. 31 SCD counties and Oct. 1 - Oct. 31 for counties in the Feb. 28 and March 15 SCD regions.

Final Planting

Wade said final planting dates for crop insurance eligibility vary by zones and range from March 31 in South Texas to June 20 in the Texas Rolling Pains region. Final planting dates for most of the West Texas and Oklahoma acreage range from May 31 to June 10.

A late planting date, a period after the final planting date in which producers may plant and still receive a reduced level of coverage, is set at seven days after FPD for counties in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The late planting period length is 15 days in Kansas and other parts of the Belt, Wade says.

Acreage Reporting Dates are South Texas, May 15 (LRGV and parts of the Winter Garden and Coastal Bend) and July 15 for the rest of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

“The Acreage Reporting Date is important because this is the date that your insurance policy attaches and becomes effective,” Wade said. “Producers may report their acres prior to the established Acreage Reporting Date in instances where they experience a crop loss prior to the applicable acreage reporting date.”

Wade says producers also should consider the full range of available crop insurance coverage options based on risk vulnerability and projected yield potential, among other considerations.

He said the percentage of insurance costs that will be subsidized through the government programs vary, depending on products selected. “Coverage provided through private insurance policies are not subsidized,” he said.

During his presentation Wade explained insurance policy types, adjustment mechanisms, yield exclusions, quality loss options, and policy endorsements.

Those endorsements include: Cottonseed Endorsement, Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO) and the Stacked Income Protection (STAX).

He said the cottonseed endorsement option has been a valuable and popular program. “Each year since its inception the Cottonseed Endorsement is added to thousands of cotton insurance policies. Over the last ten years the Cottonseed Endorsement has paid over $1.1 billion in additional indemnities to producers that suffered yield losses in cotton on top of the indemnities paid on the cotton lint,” Wade said.

“SCO, ECO and STAX all provide coverage above the level of insurance provided by an underlying policy to cover some portion of the producer’s insurance deductible,” Wade said.  These options “must be added by Sales Closing Date and are continuous elections.”

Wade said cotton producers still within the sales closing date time frame should consult their approved insurance provider to determine the best coverage options.

For more details on crop insurance options and to access Wade’s entire presentation, visit




About the Author(s)

Ron Smith

Editor, Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

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