The United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has released the 2013-crop Upland Cotton Loan Premium and Discount tables and it appears that there have been some positive changes from the 2012 tables.

The 2013 table can be found at

Most of the adjustments to the 2013 table of premiums and discounts were confined to the upper right quadrant of the loan chart and continues the trend of recent years of higher quality cotton gaining value compared to cotton of lower quality that is discounted more each year.

Most of the positive changes for 2013 occurred in cotton Staple length 34 or greater in the White and Light Spotted Color grades (Color grades 11-71 and 12-62, respectively) with Leaf grade 5 or better. Cotton within this range generally will see higher loan values with premiums increasing 0-25 points.

Almost all of the changes for cotton Staple length 34 and shorter resulted in larger discounts that ranged from 20 to 40 points. It bears noting that cotton with staples lengths below an inch were hit hardest with additional discounts ranging from 80 to 115 compared to the previous year.

Changes in the 2013 premiums and discounts for Bark and Extraneous matter, Micronaire, Strength, and Length Uniformity were somewhat mixed.

The most noticeable change in this section of the loan table is slightly lower discounts for Micronaire readings below 3.5.

The only discounts that increased in the Micronaire table were for Micronaire range 5.0 to 5.2, which increased by 40 points to -270 points, and the highest Micronaire group (5.3 and above), which increased 45 points to -385 points per pound.

Lower discounts for low Micronaire cotton ranged from 5 to 40 points.

Strength discounts were lowered 15 to 70 points for values below 25 grams per tex (g/tex), but that change was largely offset by smaller premiums for strength measurements above 30 g/tex.

The table at provides comparisons between 2012 and 2013 loan values for White Grades 11-41 and Light Spot grades 12-42, Staple 34 through 38 and higher.

Complete 2013 Loan Premium and Discount tables and loan charts with calculated values based on the 2013 schedule of premiums and discounts is posted on the Plains Cotton Growers website at