To combat low 2015 cotton prices, the United States Department of Agriculture will provide a total of $300 million in one-time assistance. Starting this week, Arizona farmers can apply for the program.
Local farmers have a chance at the highest dollar per acre for their cotton grown last year.
Arizona, along with California and New Mexico, can get up to $97 an acre — that’s the highest regional payment allowed, almost double that of mid-south states. But payments are capped at $40,000 per applicant.
The higher amount in the West comes from regional costs of ginning cotton and how much more cotton per acre the area can produce.
“We believe that this is an appropriate opportunity to strengthen the cotton industry, in Arizona particularly,” said Rick Lavis, director of the Arizona Cotton Grower’s Association.
Cotton prices dropped sharply in the last few years because China controls the market, but the acres of cotton grown this year in Arizona have gone up.