The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has announced revised loan rate ranges and base-quality ranges for upland cotton strength and length uniformity, and changes to the staple lengths for which distinct color and leaf loan rate differentials are provided.

CCC uses measures of strength and length uniformity in determining the price support value of a bale of upland cotton. The base-quality ranges for these factors are those for which loan rate premiums and discounts do not apply.

Effective with the loan schedule for 2012 crop upland cotton, the value ranges for strength and length uniformity loan rate adjustments will be denoted in whole units, consistent with the price reporting of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

For example, the 2011-crop loan adjustments were provided for ranges such as 25.5 - 26.4 grams per tex for strength and 79.5 - 82.4 percent for length uniformity.

Effective for the 2012 crop, whole-unit ranges are established such as 25.0 - 25.9 grams per tex for strength and 80.0 - 80.9 percent for length uniformity.

Effective with the 2012 crop loan schedule, the base quality range for strength is established at 26.0 - 28.9 grams per tex and for length uniformity at 80.0 - 81.9 percent. These new ranges are consistent with AMS price reporting and the objectives of the marketing assistance loan program.

CCC is also revising the upland cotton staple lengths for which distinct differentials are provided.

All upland cotton having staple lengths of 31/32-inch and shorter will be subject to one distinct schedule of color grade and leaf differentials.

Additionally, upland cotton of staple length 37/32-inch will be subject to color grade and leaf differentials separate from those applicable to all upland cotton of staple lengths of 38/32-inch and longer.

To inquire about these revisions to loan rate base-quality ranges, please contact Gene Rosera, Economic and Policy Analysis Staff at (202) 720-8837 or by e-mail at