Cotton: USDA Announces 2018 Loan Rate Differentials

Texas cotton field ready for harvest. Photo: Justin Chopelas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the 2018-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton.

The differentials, also referred to as loan rate premiums and discounts, have been calculated based on market valuations of various cotton quality factors for the prior three years. This calculation procedure is identical to that used in past years, with the exception of a reduced discount applied to color white, leaf 8 upland cotton.

The Commodity Credit Corporation adjusts cotton loan rates by these differentials so that cotton loan values reflect the differences in market prices for color, staple length, leaf, extraneous matter, micronaire, length uniformity and strength.

The 2018-crop differential schedules are applied to 2018-crop loan rates of 52.00 cents per pound for the base grade of upland cotton and 79.77 cents per pound for extra-long staple cotton.

The 2014 Farm Bill stipulates that the upland cotton loan rate range between 45-52 cents per pound based on the simple average of the Adjusted World Price for the 2 marketing years preceding sowing of the ensuing year’s crop. The loan rate provided to an individual cotton bale is based on the quality of each individual bale as determined by Agricultural Marketing Service classing measurements.

The tables of these loan rate differentials are available on the FSA website. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Erik Dohlman at (202) 720-4284 or by email at

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