USDA’s Farm Service Agency has issued guidance for the 2009 crop year apportionment of long- and medium-grain rice base acres for counter-cyclical payment purposes.

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (farm bill) includes the 2003 through 2006 crop years as the apportionment’s base period.

The farm bill specifies that a farm’s base rice acres shall be apportioned to long- and medium-grain rice, using either the four-year average of the acreage percentages planted in a state to long- and medium-grain rice or the four-year average of the acreage percentages planted or prevented planted on the tract to long- and medium-grain rice.

If rice was not planted on the tract during one of the four years, the acreage percentages planted in the state to long- and medium-grain rice will be substituted.

For Mississippi, Missouri and Texas, the state average percentages are all long-grain.

California’s are all medium-grain.

Arkansas and Louisiana have a long- and medium-grain percentage split: Arkansas, 91.32/8.68 and Louisiana, 97.5/2.5.

Direct and counter-cyclical payment contracts must be enrolled by June 1, even if the apportionment has not been completed by that date.