Dr. Don Shurley of UGA wrote an interesting article this week explaining the recently released USDA-RMA data regarding enrollment in the STAX program for 2015. The article can be viewed by clicking here.
It is very interesting to look at the different enrollment percentages by state. 40% of GA cotton acres enrolled in STAX, 53% in AL, and 57% in FL. Our friends in TX enrolled only 19% in STAX but cotton growers in AZ enrolled 66%. The national average for STAX enrollment was 28% of planted acres for 2015. STAX indemnity payments have not been made yet so it will be hard to tell what the enrollment level will be for 2016.
Also, for 2016 USDA has made some changes to STAX. Below is an excerpt from a Cotton Grower Magazine article explaining the changes.
“For the 2015 crop year, growers didn’t have the flexibility to decide if they wanted STAX on irrigated acres versus non-irrigated acres,” explained Campiche (NCC). “They could make different choices on coverage levels for each, but they still had to have at least a minimum level for one or the other. This change means that growers can now get STAX at the coverage level they want for either irrigated or non-irrigated fields.
“We had growers who were interested in that, because they didn’t want STAX for both or because the STAX expected yield for their area was not attractive. This gives them the flexibility to choose. They won’t owe premiums for the acres with zero percent coverage.”
The second change allows STAX coverage for growers in areas who can only secure cotton crop insurance through a written agreement.
“If growers are in a county where they need a written agreement policy in order to get an underlying insurance policy, they didn’t have the flexibility in 2015 to purchase a STAX policy,” said Campiche. “Now, they can.”
The final change adds STAX coverage for cottonseed in 2016 through an optional endorsement. For 2015, that endorsement could only be added to an underlying insurance policy.