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In Cotton Country,


At a time in which cotton farmers have become more familiar with the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment (DCP) Program, the 2008 Farm Bill has authorized the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Pro-gram – to be administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) – as an alternative to the DCP.

Decisions, decisions.

According to FSA, “The ACRE alternative provides eligible producers a state-level revenue guarantee, based on the five-year state Olympic average yield and the two-year national average price. ACRE payments are made when both state- and farm-level triggers are met.

“By participating in ACRE, producers elect to forgo counter-cyclical payments, receive a 20-percent reduction in direct payments and a 30-percent reduction in loan rates. A decision to elect ACRE binds the producer to the program through the 2012 crop year, the last crop year covered by the 2008 Farm Bill.”

The deadline for choosing between DCP and ACRE is Aug. 14, 2009. In June, we asked our readers in which direction they were leaning – staying with DCP or signing up for ACRE. Based on their responses, ACRE does not appear to be very popular with the cotton crowd.

After the votes were tallied, 97 percent of the Web Poll respondents say they will stick with the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program compared to a meager three percent who intend to sign up for ACRE.

No matter how you vote, we appreciate everyone’s participation in Cotton Farming’s monthly Web Poll. Following is a sampling of the comments we received from people who voted in the June Web Poll.

• “When you do a comparison of the two, Southern cotton farmers would make a big mistake by choosing the ACRE program. As bad as DCP and CCP are, I think at this stage they are a little more reliable than ACRE. If Congress were to implement the Farm Bill as written instead of letting WTO rewrite it at will, the American farm-er would be in much better shape!”

• “I never really understood the ACRE Program. I depended on my local Cotton Incorporated board member representative for information on both programs and went with his suggestion. I can study complicated government programs or make a crop, but not both in the same year.”

• “ACRE certainly does not work on farms with a large cotton base.”

• “The framers of the ACRE Program obviously didn’t consider cotton.”

• “Obama promised more money with either one.”

• “ACRE was done for Northern producers. The math just doesn’t work for Southern crops.”

• “ACRE is not for the Southeast.”

In our August Web Poll, we are moving from thoughts on government program decisions back to a production-oriented issue.

In many parts of the Cotton Belt, weather has been erratic over the past two years, which obviously is an understatement. It seems that Mother Nature has bounced between two scenarios – either overly wet or too dry with not much middle ground for farmers to work with.

With this situation in mind, our question is, “Based on weather conditions for the past two years, would you opt to improve drainage on your farm or try to increase irrigated acres?”

Cast your vote, then explain your choice in the “Comments” section. Please identify the area of the Cotton Belt in which you farm. To participate, go to www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the August poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming October issue.

Web Poll Results

In June, we asked: Do you plan to stay with the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program or sign up for the new ACRE Program? Please explain in the Web Poll “Comments” section.

• Stay with DCP – 97 %

• Sign up for ACRE – 3 %

August Web Poll Question

Based on weather conditions for the past two years, would you opt to improve drainage on your farm or try to increase irrigated acres? Please identify your area and explain your reasoning in the Web Poll “Comments” section.

(1) Improve drainage

(2) Increase irrigated acres

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com


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