Generic Base/Seed Cotton Program Timeline

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 authorized Seed Cotton as a covered commodity under Title 1 of the 2014 farm bill and created eligibility for ARC/PLC effective with the 2018 crop year.  The legislation provides owners of a farm with generic base a one-time opportunity to convert the generic base to seed cotton base (option 1-A or 1-B) or base of seed cotton and other covered commodities (option 2) based on the 2009-2012 planting history[1].  Landowners also have a one-time opportunity to update the payment yield used for seed cotton PLC.  Producers on the farm must also select the ARC or PLC program for seed cotton.  A lack of action to select the conversion option for the generic base by the appropriate deadline will result in default selections of option 1-A or 1-B, depending on which one results in a higher seed cotton base. Additionally, PLC is the default selection if no decision is made to select ARC/PLC.

On April 18, USDA-FSA released Notice ARCPLC-50.  This Notice provided the approximate timeline for the generic base allocation (conversion), yield updates, and ARC or PLC program election and enrollment.  The table below summarizes the timeline.

May 2018

All owners and operators receive their Notification of Covered Commodity Acreage History letter that includes all farms in all counties. Owners and operators are provided an opportunity to correct acreage history for years 2008 through 2016.

Late Summer 2018

Owners make final base allocation and yield update decision for the farm.

Late Summer 2018

Official 2018 Notice of Base Acre, Yield, and Election report mailed to all owners and operators on the farm, with appeal rights.

Fall 2018

All owners and operators on the farm make

PLC, ARC-CO, or ARC-IC program election for the farm.

Ends September 2018

Annual enrollment into PLC, ARC-CO, or ARC-IC program for seed cotton base acre farms.

Factsheets (February 9, 2018; February 12, 2018; February 21, 2018; May 14, 2018), presentation, Seed Cotton Generic Base and Yield Update Decision Aid, and frequently asked questions related to the Seed Cotton program are available at the University of Georgia, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Georgia Agricultural Policy webpage.

The Seed Cotton Generic Base and Yield Update Decision Aid on the UGA Georgia Agricultural Policy webpage is available to help landowners and producers make decisions concerning the new seed cotton program generic base conversion.  UGA county ANR agents are a good resource regarding how to use the decision aid.

Good luck and let us know if we can help,


Yangxuan Liu1, Don Shurley1 and Adam N. Rabinowitz2

1UGA Cotton Economist; 2UGA Extension Economist






[1] For more information about the conversion options for generic base, please refer to Ag Policy Update within the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.




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