The United States cotton producers are focusing their efforts to deliver quality cotton this year. A group of cotton producers, researchers, extension specialists, policy staff, industry personnel and bankers gathered in the Lubbock office of Plains Cotton Growers (PCG) to discuss the state of the cotton industry.
Discussions centered around planting intentions, weather, cost of production and market situation. As cotton is now trading in the 60-cent range, there is going to be a shrinkage in cotton acreage. However, the magnitude of reduction in acreage will not be clear for sometime now. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release the prospective plantings report at the end of this month. But, the actual scenario of cotton acres on the Texas High Plains will not be clear until May. Countries in the southern hemisphere such as Brazil and Australia are also seeing their cotton acres reduced. This situation could help to offset the existing surplus stock situation.
The group at the PCG meeting felt strongly about delivering good quality cotton. Quality cotton is key for securing good price and market. “Pounds pay the bills, but quality makes the money,” stated one merchant in today’s meeting.
The U.S. cotton industry over the years has invested in research and education programmes to deliver quality cotton with increased length and strength and less contamination. Producers emphasized the need to produce quality cotton, which was well supported by the merchants who participated in today’s meeting. From value point of view, longer cotton can provide a price differential of 10-12 cents per pound.
This year, with existing surplus stocks, lower demand for textiles and competition from synthetic fiber, the U.S. cotton producers are focusing their efforts on delivering quality cotton.
Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA
Professor, Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
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