Following is a country bycountry description for each marker in the crop tables.  In most cases we also provide a briefoverview of the general policies each nation uses in supporting itsagricultural sector.  The primaryfocus of this report is on agricultural support mechanisms.  Generally these serve to boost farmincome through higher prices or reduced costs. 


All foreign currencies havebeen converted to U.S. dollars ($). We also convert support prices for sugar cane into their raw sugarequivalent using Commercial Cane Sugar content (CCS) of 13%.  


Careful consideration shouldbe given when comparing seed cotton support prices to cotton support expressedin pounds of cotton lint.  In caseswhere cotton price supports were reported in terms of domestic price per unitof seed cotton, we assumed a ginning ratio of 33% and converted the support todollars per pound of lint. However, when comparing lint equivalent support prices between countries,it is important to note differences in cotton production and marketingsystems.  In countries that offerprice support payments or a guaranteed price on a seed cotton basis (e.g. theWest African countries), producers do not incur ginning costs or receivecottonseed revenue.  In other caseswhere producers are guaranteed a minimum price on cotton lint (e.g. the UnitedStates by way of the loan rate), producers bear the cost of cotton ginning andsell their own seed.  Using U.S.average production costs and returns, ginning charges less cottonseed revenueadd about $0.05/lb of lint to the cost of producing cotton in the United Statesthat producers in other nations may not have to bear[1]. Therefore a simple comparison of lint equivalent prices may not revealthe actual level of net governmental support for cotton producers.  Accurate comparisons must account fordifferences in production costs producers must pay as well as the pricesreceived. 



[1] For 2005, ginning cost was$103.01/ac, cottonseed revenue was $64.53/ac, and the total gross value ofcotton production (excluding government payments) was $456.69/ac.  Calculations were made using thenational average cotton yield in 2005 of 817 pounds of lint/ac (NCC, 2007).