1427.5 General eligibility requirements.§ 1427.5 General eligibility requirements.
(a) To receive loans or LDPs for a crop of cotton, a producer must execute a note and security agreement or LDP application on or before May 31 of the year following the year in which such crop is normally harvested.
(1) Form A loan documents or LDP applications must be signed by the applicant and submitted to CCC or a loan servicing agent. Submissions by cotton clerks must occur within 15 calendar days after the producer signs the forms and within the period of loan availability. A producer, except for a CMA, must request loans and LDPs:
(i) At the FSA county office that is responsible under part 718 of this title for administering programs for the farm on which the cotton was produced; or
(ii) From a loan servicing agent.
(2) Form G loan documents and requests for LDPs by a CMA must be signed by the CMA and delivered to CCC or the cotton commercial bank within the period of loan availability.
(b) For a bale of cotton to be eligible to be pledged as collateral for a MAL or a subject of an LDP application, the bale must:
(1) Be tendered to CCC by an eligible producer;
(2) Be in existence and good condition and be covered by fire insurance. Bales pledged as collateral for a CCC loan, must be stored inside an approved storage warehouse unless, as determined under § 1427.10, CCC has approved the warehouse to use outside storage for cotton loan collateral for the period of the loan. Bales submitted to CCC for an LDP are not subject to the approved storage requirements contained in § 1423.10.
(3) Be represented by a warehouse receipt meeting the requirements of § 1427.11, except as provided in §§ 1427.10(e) and 1427.23(a)(4);
(4) Not be false-packed, wet cotton, water-packed, mixed-packed, re-ginned, or repacked;
(5) Not be compressed to universal density at a warehouse where side pressure has been applied and not be a flat or modified flat bale;
(6) Not have been sold, nor any sales option on such cotton granted, to a buyer under a contract which provides that the buyer may direct the producer to pledge the cotton to CCC as collateral for a loan or to obtain an LDP ;
(7) Not have been previously sold and repurchased or pledged as collateral for a CCC loan and redeemed except as provided in § 1427.172(b)(4);
(8) Not be cotton for which an LDP has been previously made;
(9) Weigh at least 325 pounds net weight; bales of more than 600 pounds net weight may be pledged for loan at 600 pounds net weight.
(10) Be packaged in materials that meet the specifications adopted by the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee sponsored by the National Cotton Council of America for the applicable year or that are identified and approved by the Joint Industry Bale Packaging Committee as experimental packaging materials for the applicable crop year, except that producers approved for the outside storage of ELS cotton as provided for in § 1427.10(e) must assure that the packaging materials used for bales stored outside must meet the materials, sealing, and humidity specifications contained in the outside-storage addendum to their ELS cotton MAL agreement.
(11) Be ginned by a ginner that:
(i) Has entered the tare weight of the bale (bagging and ties used to wrap the bale) on the gin bale tag or otherwise furnish warehouse operator the tare weight; and
(ii) Has entered into a Cooperating Ginners' Bagging and Bale Ties Certification and Agreement on a form prescribed by CCC, or certified that the bale is wrapped with bagging and bale ties meeting the requirements of paragraph (b)(10) of this section and;
(12) Be production from acreage that has been reported timely under part 718 of this title.
(c) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, for ELS cotton the bale must:
(1) Be of a grade, strength, staple length, and other factors specified in the schedule of loan rates for ELS cotton;
(2) Have a micronaire specified in the schedule of micronaire premiums and discounts for ELS cotton; and
(3) Have an extraneous matter specified in the schedules of premiums and discounts for extraneous matter for ELS cotton.
(d) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, for upland cotton the bale must:
(1) Have been graded by using a High Volume Instrument;
(2) Be a grade, staple length, and leaf specified in the schedule of premiums and discounts for grade, staple, and leaf for upland cotton;
(3) Have a strength reading specified in the schedule of strength premiums and discounts for upland cotton;
(4) Have a micronaire specified in the schedule of micronaire premiums and discounts for upland cotton;
(5) Have an extraneous matter within the limits specified in the schedule of discounts for extraneous matter for upland cotton; and
(6) Have a uniformity specified in the schedule of uniformity premiums and discounts for upland cotton.
(e) To be eligible to receive MALs and LDPs, a producer must have beneficial interest in the cotton that is tendered to CCC for a MAL or LDP. For the purposes of this part, the term “beneficial interest” refers to a determination by CCC that a person has the requisite title to and control of cotton that is tendered to CCC as collateral for a MAL or is the cotton that will be used to determine an LDP. A determination of whether a person has beneficial interest in cotton is made by CCC in accordance with this part and is not based upon a determination under any State law or any other regulation of a Federal agency.
(f) Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, when requesting a MAL, in order to have beneficial interest in the cotton tendered as collateral for the loan, a person must:
(1) Be the producer of the cotton as determined in accordance with § 1427.4;
(2) Have had ownership of the cotton from the time it was planted through the earlier the date the loan was repaid or the maturity date of the loan;
(3) Have control of the cotton from the time of planting through the maturity date of the loan. To have control of the cotton, such person must have complete decision making authority regarding whether the cotton will be tendered as collateral for a loan, when the loan will be repaid or if the collateral will be forfeited to CCC in satisfaction of the loan obligations of such person, and where the cotton will be maintained during the term of the loan; and
(g) Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, when requesting an LDP, in order to have beneficial interest in the cotton a person must:
(1) Be the producer of the cotton as determined in accordance with § 1427.4;
(2) Have had ownership of the cotton from the time it was planted through the date the producer has elected to determine the LDP rate; and
(3) Have control of the cotton from the time of planting through the date the producer has elected to determine the LDP rate. To have control of the cotton, such person must have complete decision making authority regarding whether an LDP will be requested with respect to the cotton; when the loan deficiency rate will be selected; and where the cotton will be maintained prior to the date on which the LDP rate will be determined;
(4) If the cotton has been physically delivered to a location other than a location owned or under the total control of the producer, have delivered the cotton to a warehouse approved in accordance with § 1427.10. Delivery of the cotton to a location other than to such an approved warehouse will result in the loss of beneficial interest in the cotton on the date of physical delivery and the producer will be considered to have lost beneficial interest as of 11:59 p.m. of such day regardless of any other action or agreement between the entity where the cotton was delivered and the producer, unless such an entity has been approved by CCC under § 1427.10.
(h) Notwithstanding paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section, in order to facilitate the handling of situations involving the death of a producer, CCC will consider an estate and a person to whom title to cotton has passed by virtue of State law upon the death of the producer to have beneficial interest in the cotton produced by the producer under the same terms and conditions that would otherwise be applicable to such producer;
(i) Notwithstanding paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section, a person who purchases or otherwise acquires cotton from a producer under any circumstances does not obtain beneficial interest to the cotton whether such purchase or acquisition is made prior to the harvest of the crop or after harvest except in one instance. CCC will consider a person to have beneficial interest in cotton if, prior to harvest, such person has obtained title to the growing cotton at the same time that such person obtained full title to the land on which such crop was growing;
(j) A producer will lose beneficial interest in cotton if the producer receives any payment from any person under any contractual arrangement with respect to cotton if the person who is making the payment, or any person otherwise associated with the person making the payment, will at any time have title to the cotton or control of the cotton prior to or after harvest unless:
(1) Such payment is authorized in accordance with part 1425 of this chapter; or
(2) The payment is made as consideration for an option to purchase the cotton and such option contains the following provision:
Notwithstanding any other provision of this option to purchase or any other contract, title and control of the cotton and beneficial interest in the cotton as specified in 7 CFR 1427.5 will remain with the producer until the buyer exercises this option to purchase the cotton. This option to purchase will expire, notwithstanding any action or inaction by either the producer or the buyer, at the earlier of:
(1) The maturity of any Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) loan that is secured by such cotton;
(2) The date CCC claims title to such cotton; or
(3) Such other date as provided in this option.
(k) Absent other provisions causing the producer to lose beneficial interest in the cotton, inclusion in a contract of a provision that allows the producer to select the sales price of the cotton at the time the contract is entered into or at a later date, a contract normally referred to as a deferred price contract or a price later contract, will not result in the loss of beneficial interest in the cotton.
(l) Commodities produced under a contract in which the title to the seed remains with the entity providing the seed to the producer, including contracts for the production of hybrid seed, genetically modified commodities, and other specialty seeds as approved in writing by CCC, are eligible to be pledged as collateral for a MAL and an LDP may be made with respect to such production if at the time of the request for such a loan or payment the producer has not:
(1) Received a payment under the contract; or
(2) Delivered the commodity to another person.
(m) Each bale of upland cotton sampled by the warehouse operator upon initial receipt which has not been sampled by the ginner must not show more than one sample hole on each side of the bale. If more than one sample is desired when the bale is received by the warehouse operator, the sample will be cut across the width of the bale, broken in half or split lengthwise, and otherwise drawn under Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) dimension and weight requirements. This requirement will not prohibit sampling of the cotton at a later date if authorized by the producer.
(n) If MALs or LDPs are made available to producers through a CMA under part 1425 of this chapter, the beneficial interest in the cotton must always have been held by the producer-member who delivered the cotton to the CMA or its member, except as otherwise provided in this section. Cotton delivered to such a CMA will not be eligible to receive a MAL or an LDP if the producer-member who delivered the cotton does not retain the right to share in the proceeds from the marketing of the cotton as provided in part 1425 of this chapter.[67 FR 64459, Oct. 18, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 49328, Aug. 18, 2003; 69 FR 12056, Mar. 15, 2004; 71 FR 32426, June 6, 2006; 71 FR 51427, Aug. 30, 2006; 71 FR 60413, Oct. 13, 2006; 73 FR 65719, Nov. 5, 2008; 80 FR 133, 139, Jan. 2, 2015]