Soybean association expresses support for USDA cottonseed proposal

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently received a letter from the American Soybean Association (ASA) in support of a request from the National Cotton Council for the USDA to use discretionary authority to establish a cottonseed program under Title I of the Agricultural Act of 2014.

“ASA is aware of and concerned about the difficult economic conditions currently facing U.S. cotton growers and the cotton industry,” ASA President Richard Wilkins said in the letter. “Participation in the [Stacked Income Protection Plan] program in 2014, at only 24 percent of producers, leaves a large majority of cotton farmers with no protection against low prices other than crop insurance and the marketing loan program. Allowing farmers with generic acres the option to sign up for a cottonseed PLC [Price Loss Coverage] or County-ARC [Agriculture Risk Coverage] program would offer producers an improved safety net.”

ASA support is conditional on determination that the estimated cost of the program can be offset without negative impact to funding.

“We do not believe a cottonseed program would have a negative impact on the production of soybeans or other oilseeds, or on vegetable oil prices,” Wilkins said. “The PLC and County-ARC programs are decoupled, so payments are not tied to current-year planting of any crop and producers can respond to market signals. This market-oriented approach is similar to programs in effect under the 2008 Farm Bill, when production of cotton and cottonseed was much higher, but did not negatively affect production or prices of soybeans or other oilseeds.”

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American Soybean Association 600 Pennsylvania Ave., SE Washington, DC - 20003

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