The Cotton Foundation continued its important role in industry members' quest for profitability by assisting in ongoing research and education efforts. The Foundation Board of Trustees approved funding for 24 general research projects totaling $388,725 for 2011-12. Approved projects include studies related to pest management, herbicide resistance, fiber quality, agronomic practices and education.
U.S. cotton is enjoying a healthy return on investment from these efforts. National Cotton Council staff calculates that taking into account cash and in-kind services, the Foundation's general projects enjoy a return of about $3 for every dollar devoted to these projects.
Some Foundation members continue to go above and beyond their dues support by channeling funds toward special projects – efforts that are helping the NCC address industry's needs.
Participating in a Multi-Commodity Education Program tour of Mid-South rice, soybean and cotton operations were from left: producers Grant Troop, Oxford, PA; Gordon Stoner, Outlook, MT; Garry Neimeyer, Auburn, IL; Greg Kessel, Belfield, ND; Doyle Lentz, Rolla, ND; Wendell Lutz, Dewey, IL; Bob Beakley, Ennis, TX; Chip Bowling, Newburg, MD; and Freddie Streit, Vernon, TX.
"The Vision of the U.S. Cotton Industry in the 21st Century" project, for example, that is jointly managed by the NCC, CCI and Cotton Incorporated, completed three study areas:1) logistical issues affecting U.S. raw cotton flow from the gin bale press through warehousing to the mill; 2) environmental aspects of U.S. cotton from field to fiber; and 3) an in-depth assessment of Asian consumer apparel and textile product markets. The studies' findings have been reported to and discussed among the stakeholders and input gathered for future work plans.
A learning module and educational video were completed for the Herbicide Resistant Weeds project. That included technical training material to aid in detection and management of resistant weeds and to assist in proactive training for locations with no known herbicide resistance problem to date. These tools are helping the NCC in its quest to provide producers with the latest information on managing for resistance and how to avoid its occurrence.
Stress Physiology In Cotton was added to the Foundation's Reference Book Series.
The Foundation continued to support vital NCC communications vehicles, including the Cotton's Week newsletter, AgDay Cotton's Week and the Cotton eNews electronic newsletter. Foundation underpinning of the NCC's web server made it possible for the NCC to post multiple cotton-related educational materials, including streaming video.