Roger Isom, president of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, is uncertain how the cotton provision will impact California growers.

“All we can say is we don’t know yet,” Isom said.

New conservation programs in the law, Isom says, could draw the interest of California growers, though the details of the program rules are not yet unavailable.

Looking at California cotton acreage this year, Isom predicts Pima and Upland acreage could drop dramatically this year to about 188,000 acres – about 90,000 acres less than last year’s 280,000 acreage. This year’s deflated total could be the least ground planted to cotton since the Great Depression.

The reasons for the decline are tied to the California drought and the lack of surface water, crop competition, price, and other factors.

Minnich says the new farm law will be phased in over the next two years. Growers must make some decisions this year with the Farm Service Agency, and other decisions next year with the Risk Management Agency.

Minnich encouraged growers to attend farm bill-related meetings conducted by other commodity organizations. He also suggested that growers seek reliable decision-making tools to be offered through universities and Cooperative Extension to help a grower plug in their own farm data to determine the best option for their individual operation.

Growers can select from several new crop insurance products and should visit with their insurance agent once the new products are available.

More news from Western Farm Press:

Permanent crop plantings delayed by wrath of drought

Could California drought be 'Katrina' moment?

Pistachio industry deals with drought and Delta smelt setback