Cotton: What Farmers, Landowners Need To Know About Latest Fed Budget Bill

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On February 9, 2018, Congress passed budget legislation that included the designation of seed cotton as a covered commodity under the 2014 farm bill. The President has signed this legislation and it has become law. This document highlights the critical components about the new cotton program and treatment of Generic Base.

  • “Seed cotton” will be eligible for PLC beginning with the 2018 crop. “Seed cotton” is unginned upland cotton that includes both lint and seed.
  • Effective with the 2018 crop, there will no longer be generic base on a farm. Generic base is former cotton base on a farm under the 2008 farm bill.
  • There will no longer be temporary base earned and eligible for ARC/PLC for acres planted to covered commodities (peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat, etc).
  • Landowners will have options on how to convert generic base to seed cotton base or to base of seed cotton and other covered commodities (peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat, etc) based on planting history of 2009-2012.
  • Generic base on a farm may be converted to option (a) or (b) listed below:

(a) a seed cotton base equal to the greater of (i) 80% of the generic base with the remaining 20% unassigned base that is not eligible for ARC/PLC or (ii) the average number of cotton acres planted during 2009-2012, not to exceed the amount of generic base; or

(b) 100% of the generic base converted proportionately to seed cotton base and bases of other covered commodities based on 2009-2012 planting history.

More information, including a decision aid, will be available at


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