AGES No. (AGES-8942) 88 pp

September 1989

Cotton: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for cotton, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Government programs since the 1930s have supported prices and attempted to adjust cotton acreage and production to meet market needs, with varying degrees of success. The Food Security Act of 1985 is generally considered successful in dealing with the cotton sector despite several problems. The marketing loan provisions of the act helped make cotton competitive in 1987 and some world market share was won back by U.S. cotton. However, in 1988-89, problems with the adjusted world price formula and with the storage terms resulted in owners of cotton holding stocks rather than releasing them to the market even though U.S. stocks were high.

Keywords: costs and returns, exports, cotton, cotton production, farm programs, policies, program benefits

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