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What growers should expect as seed cotton signup begins

This summer, cotton producers will have an opportunity to allocate their generic base acres and update their seed cotton yield.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is sending acreage history and yield reports to agricultural producers with generic base acres covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. This information will help producers decide the best options for how to allocate generic base acres, given the addition of seed cotton as a covered commodity in the programs.

“We’re sending this information to make sure farmers and ranchers have the data they need to make critical decisions about these USDA programs,” said Richard Fordyce, administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “It’s important that producers take a few minutes to compare the information they receive with their farm records. If something is incorrect, we encourage them to contact their local USDA office.”

This summer, producers will have an opportunity to allocate their generic base acres and update their seed cotton yield.

All producers electing to participate in either the ARC or PLC program will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election, choosing between ARC and PLC for the 2018 crop year for seed cotton only. Producers who elected ARC with the individual farm option will continue with that option since that election is applicable to all base acres on the farm. The final step to participate requires producers with farms with seed cotton base acres to sign contracts for ARC or PLC for 2018 this summer.

The anticipated timeline is:

  • June 29: Producers are mailed letters notifying them of current generic base acres and yields and 2008 to 2012 planting history.
  • July: An online decision tool for ARC and PLC becomes available. Producers have opportunity to update yields and allocate generic base acres for ARC and PLC.
  • Late July: ARC and PLC one-time elections occur for seed cotton.
  • Late July: ARC and PLC sign-up for 2018 starts for farms with seed cotton base acres.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 amended the 2014 Farm Bill, adding seed cotton as a covered commodity under the ARC and PLC programs. FSA will start sending producers information on current generic base acres, yields and 2008-2012 planting history.

Per the Act, FSA is using the period 2009 through 2012 to compute the conversion of generic base acres to seed cotton base acres.  In contrast, the 2008 through 2012 period is used to calculate yield updates to seed cotton. The updates are an important part of preparing agricultural producers to make decisions on allocating generic basic acres and updating yields for seed cotton.

Information courtesy of USDA.

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