Tuesday, Nov. 10 is the last day cotton producers can vote in the current Cotton Research and Promotion Act referendum.

The referendum is a vote on whether Kansas, Florida and Virginia can be designated as separate “cotton producing states” and become eligible for positions on the Cotton Board. Currently these states are combined with neighboring states.

The 2008 farm bill stated that Kansas, Virginia and Florida be separate states in the definition of “cotton-producing state” as defined in the Cotton Research and Promotion Act.

The Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to amend the Cotton Research and Promotion Order to implement that section of the 2008 farm bill.

According to the act, a referendum among cotton producers and importers is required to amend the order or any of its provisions. The AMS is providing an opportunity for all eligible persons to vote on the amendments to the order.

Producers will have an opportunity to vote by mail or through their respective Farm Service Agency County offices.

All known cotton importers will be mailed a ballot and referendum instructions.

Ballots will also be available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cotton.

The final referendum rules and the proposed rule and referendum order were published in the Oct. 5 Federal Register and can be found at http://www.regulations.gov.

The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton.