Promoting Whole Cottonseed As Cattle Feed

stacey gorman

Cotton growers and dairy farmers alike know the value of cotton lies not only in its textile uses but also in its byproduct, whole cottonseed. Cotton Incorporated’s Cottonseed Research and Marketing program works to maximize cotton-grower profit from whole cottonseed through education and marketing to dairy and beef cattle farmers.

The organization’s efforts into promoting whole cottonseed in the cattle-feed market began in the 1990s but continue to grow and evolve. Today, Cotton Incorporated uses its website and year-long advertising and marketing initiatives to keep whole cottonseed top of mind in the market.

Why Feed Whole Cottonseed?

Whole cottonseed is an excellent feed ingredient for all cattle, especially lactating cows. The high level of energy, protein and effective fiber in cottonseed has the potential to increase milk production and butterfat when added to the ration.

According to Cotton Incorporated’s website, whole cottonseed is a triple-nutrient feed ingredient, containing protein, available fat and effective fiber. This unique composition is especially valuable in cattle diets, making it a sought-after feedstuff for dairies, ranches and feedlots across the United States.

The fat in the seed helps improve body condition, which is vital for successful breeding. The protein supports muscle growth, animal development and lactation. The seed’s kernel is the source of its energy and protein.

The fiber supports rumen function and digestive health. Its fiber is found in the short, white, hair-like strands, called linters, that remain on each seed following ginning. These tiny linters are the reason whole cottonseed is often referred to as “fuzzy.” This fuzz is not residual cotton lint, but rather cellulose, a highly effective source of fiber.

One very important logistical advantage in using whole cottonseed is a reduced number of feed ingredients. The high nutritional quality of whole cottonseed often reduces the total number of other feedstuffs needed in the ration. Thus, less ingredient storage and less management time is required for purchasing and inventory control.

Beef Cattle Marketing Campaign

We’ve all heard the saying “all hat, no cattle” for those people who are all talk and no action. Well, Cotton Incorporated is putting a spin on that colloquialism with its “All Hat. All Cattle” advertising campaign. Launched in early 2024, the campaign urges beef cattle producers and nutritionists not to settle for ingredients that are all talk, and to instead add whole cottonseed to their cattle’s diet.

“The new creative campaign resonates and reaffirms the benefits of feeding whole cottonseed,” notes Lynn Kilroy, director of corporate communications with Cotton Incorporated. “It reinforces our message in a clever way that speaks to our key audiences.”

Information & Marketplace is an information-rich hub full of articles, resources and educational content explaining the benefits of whole cottonseed as a cattle feed ration. The website moves beyond awareness and education about whole cottonseed into action through its Cottonseed Marketplace sourcing portal, an easy-to-use connection point for buyers and sellers of whole cottonseed.

Users can request a cottonseed quote directly from qualified sellers based on their own unique specifications. Additionally, Cotton Incorporated and have compiled a state-by-state map of potential suppliers of cottonseed allowing users to reach out directly to sellers.

The effort around promoting whole cottonseed is a great example of how Cotton Incorporated is dedicated to creating markets and value opportunities for cotton. For more information, and to sign up to receive updates, newsletters and stories related to whole cottonseed, visit today. 

Stacey Gorman is The Cotton Board’s director of communications. Contact her at

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