The Cotton Foundation continued its successful efforts in helping the National Cotton Council carry out its mission of providing U.S. cotton industry members an advantage in the world marketplace.
U.S. cotton’s agribusiness allies contributed $370,252 through Foundation membership dues. That support has helped facilitate 26 general research and education projects for 2006-07 – endeavors on which U.S. cotton is enjoying a healthy return. This includes ongoing work ranging from air quality and emissions studies to research aimed at improving cotton quality and cotton processing. New general projects cover efforts ranging from managing glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth to support of a U.S. cotton leadership orientation in China.
“NCC staff estimates 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.” ... Cotton Foundation Chairman Craig Shook
The Foundation’s special projects, funded by grants given in addition to member dues, are contributing to the industry’s health in such unique ways as developing future industry leaders to increasing awareness about nematode damage/control.
|Farmers from the Midwest and Far West got a firsthand look at Southern agriculture, including cotton production/processing, during the inaugural tour of the Multi-Commodity Education Program in North Carolina. |
That was evidenced by the multiple-sponsor support of the Internet-accessible weed resistance learning module created in 2006. The course’s overall aim is providing producers a resource on how to prevent the occurrence of herbicide-resistant weeds. Practical guidelines are offered such as preventing weeds from setting seed during harvest.
Another new special project launched was the Multi-Commodity Education Program. Far West and Midwest row crop producers visited cotton and other farming operations in North Carolina as part of the exchange program with Sunbelt producers. The objectives are to provide current and emerging producer leaders with: 1) a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region; and 2) first hand observation of the agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure in that region.
In addition, individual Foundation member firms continue to support key NCC communications vehicles, including the Cotton’s Week newsletter, AgDay Cotton’s Week and the Cotton eNews electronic newsletter.
|Under a new China Leadership Exchange Program, NCC Chairman Allen Helms led a 10-member U.S. cotton industry leadership delegation to China in October. This general project, established by the NCC along with the China Cotton Association (CCA), marked the first time the NCC had sent a high-level industry delegation for an exchange across China. |
The delegation also included NCC Vice Chairman John Pucheu, Tranquillity, CA, producer; American Cotton Producers Chairman Jay Hardwick, Newellton, LA, producer; Jimmy Dodson, Robstown, TX producer; Don Cameron, Helm, CA, producer; Mike Tate, Huntsville, AL, producer; Ron Craft, Plains, TX, producer and ginner; Shane Stephens, Greenwood, MS, warehouseman; Tom Stallings, Funston, GA, ginner and warehouseman; and John Mitchell, Cordova, TN, merchant. The delegation was accompanied by NCC Vice President Fred Johnson.
The program’s objective was to familiarize the delegation with the Chinese market demands and their views on pertinent issues affecting this relationship. The group learned about China’s policy on cotton production, standards and import policy, as well as factors affecting U.S. cotton’s competitiveness in the vast Chinese market. They also visited major ports, warehouse facilities and cotton growing regions in western China and toured several textile mills.
In addition, the NCC and CCA reached a joint agreement on the promotion of cooperation between the countries’ cotton industries. The delegation’s tour came just prior to the two organizations’ signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Memphis that further underscored a spirit of cooperation and good will. Both NCC and CCA hope to have further industry leadership exchanges and dialogue on issues that may arise in cotton and textile trade between the two countries.