As the cotton industry asks for a new Title I program in the next Farm Bill, the question of what becomes of generic base becomes a central issue. In this report, we summarize a USDA/FSA report summarizing the program crops to which generic base has been applied in 2015. Note that an acre of generic base applied to a program crop then receives the payments associated with that crop. Nationally 10.6 million acres of generic base were applied to program crops in 2015. Of that total 33% were applied to soybean acres. However, the Mid-south pulled up the national average where over 60% of generic acres were applied to soybean acres.
|2015 Crops Planted on Generic Acres||Percent of Planted Generic Acres|
|Total Acres||WHEAT||RICE-LONG GRAIN||CORN||GRAIN SORGHUM||PEANUTS||SOYBEANS|
In Texas, the state with the most generic acres, wheat and grain sorghum captured the highest percentage of generic acres. Nationally wheat was the second highest percentage of generic acres pulled up by states like Oklahoma and California where almost 90% and 52% of generic acres went to wheat, respectively.
Many have suggested generic base was moving to peanuts. Nationally, only 8.7% of generic base has moved to peanuts. However, that shift is more common in Southeastern states where peanuts are a larger player such as Alabama, South Carolina and especially Georgia where 59% on generic base went to cotton.
- With projected declines in soybean and corn ARC payments in the future, perhaps these crops will become less attractive for generic base planting.
- With the cotton industry push for a cottonseed program, what will become of the generic base is a key question for the farm bill.
- Generic base was born of the ‘planted acre versus base acre’ debate during the last farm bill and will be integral to that conversation again.
 Source: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/arc-plc/pdf/2015%20and%202014%20Crops%20Planted%20on%20Generic%20Base%20Acres%20%20Oct%2024%202016.pdf