USDA Opens Election Period for Seed Cotton Program
Seed cotton producers who want to participate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2018 crop year, have until December 7 to submit applications.
Based on changes to ARC and PLC made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, farm owners with generic base acres and recent planting history of covered commodities have a one-time opportunity to allocate all of the generic base acres on their farm.
“ARC and PLC are a vital part of the safety net that ensures American agriculture remains competitive and producers are able to manage risk,” said USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce. “USDA encourages any cotton producer to look into these important safety net programs,”
Farms with generic base acres that were planted or approved as a prevented planted commodity during the 2009 through 2016 crop years, are eligible to allocate generic base acres. This includes upland cotton.
Producers have two options to allocate generic base:
Option 1: Allocate generic base acres on a farm to seed cotton base acres equal to the higher of the following:
- 80% of the generic base acres on the farm, with the remaining 20% going to unassigned base acres for which there will be no payments
- The average of planted and prevented-from-planted upland cotton acres on the farm in crop years 2009 through 2012, not to exceed the total generic base acres on the farm.
Option 2: Allocate generic base acres in proportion to the 4-year average acreage planted on the farm and prevented from being planted for each covered commodity – including upland cotton – in crop years 2009 through 2012, to the total acreage planted and considered planted for all covered commodities on the farm.
An increase in total base acres on the farm is not allowed. For farms without planted or considered planted history of covered commodities, including upland cotton, during the 2009 through 2016 crop years, all generic base acres shall be converted to unassigned generic base acres for which no benefits may be available.
If a farm owner is unable to allocate generic base acres during the allocation period, the generic base acres will be deemed to be allocated to seed cotton base under the provisions in Option 1.
FSA posted a notice on July 27.
Current farm owner(s) have a one-time opportunity to update the farm’s payment yield for seed cotton by either retaining the Counter-Cyclical (CC) payment yield for upland cotton, as listed on the farm record as of September 3, 2013, multiplied by 2.4, or by updating the upland cotton yield to 90% of a simple average of the upland cotton yield per planted acre on the farm for years 2008 through 2012. The retained or updated yield becomes the PLC yield for the farm, effective for the 2018 crop year, and will only be used in calculating payment rates for the PLC program.
If a request to update yields is not filed within the yield update period, the former CC yield on the farm, multiplied by 2.4, will be carried forward as the farm’s PLC yield for the 2018 crop year. If the generic base acre allocation results in crop base acres for a covered commodity base where a PLC yield does not exist on the farm, then an owner may update the yield(s) for the new crop(s).
Following the generic base acre allocation and yield update, the current producer(s) on the farm will have a one-time opportunity to unanimously elect either ARC or PLC for the seed cotton base acres resulting from the generic base acre allocation. Farms with an ARC-IC election will continue in ARC-IC, which would include any seed cotton base acres allocated to the farm. Any farm that fails to make a unanimous election will be deemed to have elected PLC for acres allocated on the farm to seed cotton.
The final step in the process is enrolling the farm in ARC/PLC for 2018. After completing all required steps, producers on farms must still enroll the farm for it to be eligible for ARC and PLC for 2018. Enrollment of ARC and PLC farms for the 2018 crop year, consistent with the program election for the farm and covered commodities made in the election period, began November 1, 2017 and will end on December 7, 2018.
More information is available online or from your local FSA office.
Information provided by USDA FSA