Cotton subsidies and total production per county

Cotton subsidies have been decreasing since 2005.  This may be associated with the Dispute Settlement Board of the World Trade Association’s recommendation the United States cease subsidizing upland cotton subsidies.

The subsidies in question were:

i) the export credit guarantees under the GSM 102, GSM 103 and SCGP export credit guarantee programmes in respect of exports of upland cotton and other unscheduled agricultural products supported under the programmes, and in respect of one scheduled product (rice);

(ii) Section 1207(a) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment (FSRI) Act of 2002 providing for user marketing (STEP2) payments to exporters of upland cotton; and

(iii) Section 1207(a) of the FSRI Act of 2002 providing for user marketing (STEP2) payments to domestic users of upland cotton. As for the actionable subsidies the recommendation is that the United States takes appropriate steps to remove the adverse effects of certain subsidies or withdraw these subsidies within six months from the date of adoption of the Panel and Appellate Body reports, i.e. the compliance period expired on 21 September 2005.


The aggregate amount of subsidies between 2000 and 2014 is depicted below:


The following county maps were produced by the United States Department of Agriculture.  We can see the decrease in both the total counties and the amount of cotton (pima and upland varieties) produced by each county between 2010 and 2015.  During these five years, the direct payments, production flexibility contracts, and counter-cyclical programs are completely phased out.  “Other cotton programs” emerge in 2013 and to a great extent in 2014 (EWG Farm Subsidy Database).


Pima cotton moves out of western Texas and emerges in Arizona.  Kern County in California almost completely stops producing pima cotton.





There are major decreases in the amount of upload cotton produced by counties between 2010 and 2015.  In particular, we should note the color shade changes in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina.



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