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Cotton Days in Asia – A True COTTON USA Celebration

By Dahlen Hancock: I recently had the good fortune to travel to Asia to celebrate “Cotton Day” events in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand as president of Cotton Council International (CCI). Consumers clearly love their cotton. We celebrate Cotton Days in May because this is the time of the year in the United States when we go back to the fields and plant the seeds that give us cotton, the world’s favorite fiber. It’s a wonderful fiber – a true gift from the earth. This year, Cotton Days publicized the COTTON USA “I Love My Cotton” campaign, which encourages consumers and brands alike to share their own reasons for loving cotton. Cotton Days also celebrated the 26th anniversary of COTTON USA, while illustrating the brand’s genuine, passionate and visionary attributes. One of the aspects I remember most about Cotton Days is the consumers’ irresistible energy and enthusiasm for COTTON USA in the Asian markets I visited. I recall telling CCI staff how I wished I could bottle the energy at each event, and take it back with me to Texas, to share it with my fellow U.S. cotton producers, showing them what we do is highly appreciated. The creativity and excitement generated around U.S. cotton is truly wonderful and a big vote of confidence for our industry. Read More »

Developing Nematode-Resistant Cotton Varieties

Featured New Product Evaluator: Chad Brown, from Lubbock, Texas Nematode pressure can cripple a cotton field. Deltapine® NPE Chad Brown of Lubbock, Texas, says that Deltapine® develops a number of nematode-resistant varieties without sacrificing quality. Deltapine determines nematode pressure through soil samples. NPE farmers test and evaluate many varieties before they go to market Yield and grade remain at high ... Read More »

TCGA Concludes Another Successful Meeting

I have attended the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show since 2004, and I always enjoy spending time with this group each spring. You’ll recall in last month’s Editor’s Blog that I alluded to how special it is to visit Texas for this meeting – mainly because of the warm hospitality of farmers and ginners there. And this year’s event certainly lived up to expectations. Even with low cotton prices, heavy rains in South Texas and the challenge of the new Farm Bill on everyone’s mind, a lot of optimism was on display at the Lubbock Civic Center and Overton Hotel. You might call it cautious optimism, for lack of a better term. Texas producers and ginners are fully aware that many factors must fall together perfectly to deliver a good cotton crop in the fall. Every financial expenditure must be scrutinized at the farm level, and ginners will be even more diligent to achieve efficiency. Maybe it was the beneficial winter rains and additional precipitation in recent weeks... Read More »

Featured New Product Evaluator: Kevin Gardner, from Macclesfield, North Carolina

As weeds and pests evolve, good cotton breeding is more important than ever. Deltapine NPE Kevin Gardner, of Macclesfield, North Carolina, says the Deltapine breeding program is leading the nation in its research and development of high-performance varieties, helping farms like his ward off root knot nematode and palmer amaranth. Through the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program, noted cotton ... Read More »

The Global Cotton Industry: A Look At Its Past With Insight Into Its Future

For many people, the term “globalization” only has significance as a label for business development over the past 25 years or so. In fact, globalization is nothing new and is typified by the cotton business. The rise of textiles, as the first rung of industrialization, the rise of textiles, particularly in 19th century Europe, would not have been possible without the globalized production of cotton in Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere. Cotton, so it seems, was an essential, if unassuming, raw material of not only textiles but world development as well. “Today, cotton is so ubiquitous that it is hard to see it for what it is: one of mankind’s great achievements,” so declares Sven Beckert, a historian at Harvard University and winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize, in his newly published Empire of Cotton: A Global History. Even so, as Beckert elaborates, “cotton is as familiar as it is unknown," a prescient observation when we consider the current state of the cotton industry.If you’ve ever wondered why the cotton business behaves as it does, I recommend reading this insightful history. Deeply researched, highly analytical and well written, Beckert successfully relates the importance of cotton to the evolution of global capitalism. Read More »

Renewing Old Friendships At NCC Annual Meeting

As I have mentioned in this space before, the U.S. cotton industry has a rich history that is always on full display at the National Cotton Council Annual Meeting each year. That was the case again at the meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis just a few weeks ago. Call me sentimental or nostalgic, but it’s hard to put into words how special it is to meet cotton friends that I haven’t seen in many years. Maybe it was because of the retirements of long-time staffers John Maguire and Mark Lange, but a large number of cotton industry persons showed up at this meeting. It was a particular pleasure to spend time with two persons – Mississippi producer Bruce Brumfield and former NCC executive vice president Earl Sears. When I think about people who have always been willing to share their time, these two are at the top of the list. Brumfield was president of the NCC in 1994, and when I think about how he juggled farm and business responsibilities in Inverness, Miss., it’s hard to believe he could manage his time so well that year.But, like every NCC industry leader... Read More »

Rich History In CCOY Program

It suddenly dawned on me recently that there is a lot of history in the Cotton Consultant of the Year (CCOY) program. That is a natural conclusion to reach when you consider that this program – co-sponsored by Cotton Farming and Sygnenta – has been around since 1981. That means 34 different industry leaders have been honored during this period of time. As I was walking around a crowded room at the CCOY reception at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio, that thought was reinforced everywhere I turned. It’s a good thing everybody was wearing a name tag. Otherwise, it would have been difficult identifying so many friends. I recognized the faces, but the name tags made it much easier to connect with each person. Then I realized that I had interviewed and photographed 14 of the winners, and that covers a lot of time. The years fly by way too fast in this business, but no amount of time will make me forget about how each consultant in our industry fulfills an important mission. This is a fraternity that is as strong... Read More »