Industry News: December 2023

Trust Protocol Reports Total Area Of Enrolled Cotton Acres

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol has announced an increase of 25% compared to 2022 in the total area of planted cotton acres enrolled in the program, reaching 1.6 million acres in 2023 — its greatest extent to date.

This represents not only impressive growth in enrolled cotton acreage in a single year but also the fourth successive year of continued expansion of enrolled cotton acres. The 1.6 million planted acres enrolled in the Trust Protocol represents 16% of all planted U.S. cotton acres in 2023.

“With the growing number of enrolled acres, we’re making even more environmentally responsible cotton accessible to our brand and retailer members for sourcing. The Trust Protocol team is excited to support our members in their more responsible sourcing practices,” said Daren Abney, executive director of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

Brand and retailer members can track both U.S. Cotton and Protocol Cotton through the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) and claim Protocol Consumption Units (PCCUs).  Protocol Cotton is grown and harvested on Protocol farms and 1 PCCU is minted for each kilogram of Protocol Cotton in the system.  To date, 970 million PCCUs are available to be consumed in the PCMS, which is equivalent to 4.45 million bales of cotton.

The Trust Protocol’s vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement is the central goal.

The program currently has more than 1,800 supplier members over 40 companies and brands including global brands and retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Gap, Levi Strauss & Co. and J.Crew.

Floodwaters On California Farms Help Boost Aquifers

According to the California Farm Bureau, the historically wet winter early this year motivated greater adoption of a water management strategy known as flood-managed aquifer recharge, or flood-MAR.

This is a strategy in which excess flood flows are diverted onto farmland to boost depleted groundwater aquifers.

“We knew from the previous year, even in intense drought years, we have opportunities with these big storm events and need to do everything we can,” said California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth.

She recently addressed water managers, farmers, government officials and others, as part of the Flood-MAR Forum held in Sacramento.

“Our ability to respond to those kinds of intense rain events is becoming increasingly important,” Nemeth said.

In other California water news, Gov. Gavin Newsom certified the Sites Reservoir project to be fast-tracked for construction, exercising for the first time his power under a new state law to streamline the process to break ground on infrastructure projects.

Exclusive Club Puts The ‘Ton’ In Cotton For 19 Years

Cotton farmers who yield a ton or more of FiberMax cotton could take home a truck equally worth its weight when they apply for BASF’s FiberMax One Ton Club, now in its 19th year. Club enrollment is open and could land growers impressive rewards, like a two-year lease on a Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat truck.

The application deadline is Feb. 29, 2024. Printed qualification forms were mailed to FiberMax growers in October, and applications can also be submitted online. Qualifying growers who attend the club members’ banquet in Lubbock, Texas, on April 4, 2024, can enter for a chance to win a two-year lease on a Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat truck. Ford is not a sponsor of the FiberMax One Ton Club. Terms and conditions apply.

To qualify for the FiberMax One Ton Club, growers must produce a minimum of 2,000 pounds of ginned cotton per acre on a minimum of 20 acres planted with 100% FiberMax cotton from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023. The club is open to growers in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Cotton acreage can be irrigated or dryland. Growers must provide an accurate and complete qualification form and gin recap sheets to verify 2,000 pound per-acre yields.

Head of Seeds & Traits — U.S. Agricultural Solutions, Bryan Perry, said, “The FiberMax One Ton Club is one our favorite long-standing traditions at BASF. For nearly two decades, we’ve been celebrating cotton growers and their high-yield achievements — a feat we know isn’t always easy. These individuals literally put the ‘ton’ in ‘cotton,’ and we can’t wait to celebrate their accomplishments this spring.”

Learn more about the FiberMax One Ton Club by visiting fibermax.com/otc or by contacting your BASF agronomic solutions advisor or agronomic services team member.

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