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Surviving Farm Bill Changes Part II

By now, most cotton farmers have heard the term STAX. But what is STAX and what will it mean to cotton farmers when it takes effect in 2015?

As with most commodities covered in the new farm bill or the Agricultural Act of 2014, cotton program benefits will now be delivered through crop-insurance-based delivery systems. (Cotton's program will not take effect until next year to give USDA more time to develop and implement its regulations.)

The Stacked Income Protection Program or Stax is designed to provide farmers a layer of coverage between where traditional crop insurance programs stop and 100 percent of risk. Thus, it could be said to be layered or "stacked" on top of traditional crop insurance programs.

The National Cotton Council's Craig Brown talked to farmers in Robstown, Texas, in the first meeting of a series of educational sessions the NCC is conducting on the new legislation. This is the second of a series of video reports prepared from the Robstown meeting by Farm Press contributor Logan Hawkes.

To see more about the meeting in Robstown, click on

"This will be a new revenue product, available for purchase on all acres planted to upland cotton," said Brown, vice president for producer affairs for the NCC. "STAX will be administered by USDA's RMA (Risk Management Agency). You will have to purchase it from your crop insurance agent. You cannot get this through your county FSA office."

STAX indemnities are triggered at the county level, according to Brown. "STAX indemnities are not based on individual experience. It's a county or area-wide-based experience program."

The new program is set up so that it is stacked on top of a producer's other crop insurance coverage. It provides protection against losses between the 90 percent and 70 percent levels of total risk. As such, it has a 10 percent deductible.

"This area of coverage is really coverage that now is not obtainable and it's certainly not affordable. So thjat's the purpose of adding this insurance program to your mix in 2015."

For more information, click on


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