The USDA announced the signup period for the Seed Cotton Program today. Signup will begin July 30th and end on Dec. 7, 2018.
In accordance with changes to ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage) 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.
Current farm owner(s) also have a one-time opportunity to update the farm’s payment yield for seed cotton with either retaining the Counter-Cyclical (CC) payment yield for upland cotton, as listed on the farm record as of Sept. 3, 2013, multiplied by 2.4, or update the upland cotton yield to 90 percent 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 the aforementioned steps, producers on farms must still enroll the farm for that farm to be eligible for ARC and PLC for 2018. Enrollment of ARC and PLC farms, consistent with the program election for the farm and covered commodities made in the election period, for the 2018 crop year, began Nov. 1, 2017 and will end on Dec. 7, 2018.
*Per FSA records, there are over 1.1 million generic base acres in Arkansas.