Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Stabenow

Visits Lubbock, Talks Cotton

Friday, October 7, 2011                by Mary Jane Buerkle

      Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, paid a visit to Lubbock last week and had the opportunity to learn more about West Texas and the cotton industry.

      "In Michigan, we grow everything but cotton, rice and peanuts. That's why I'm in Lubbock today," Sen. Stabenow said.

      While in Lubbock, Sen. Stabenow visited with many in the agribusiness sector and toured a Lubbock County cotton farm. She also saw the ginning process at Lubbock Cotton Growers gin and saw how denim is made at the American Cotton Growers denim mill in Littlefield.

      Sen. Stabenow, who is from Michigan, also is a member of the Senate Energy, Finance and Budget committees.

      "Agriculture has taken more than its fair share of budget cuts already," Sen. Stabenow said, noting that the committee appreciates proposals from the National Cotton Council and other agricultural groups regarding farm programs.

      Cotton industry leaders say that Sen. Stabenow's visit is pivotal and extremely important as a "super committee" in Congress works to trim programs and stabilize federal debt.

      "We know that farm programs are going to be targeted for cuts, and we appreciate Sen. Stabenow's willingness to learn more about what those programs mean to the cotton industry as she and the Senate Ag Committee work to ensure that agriculture is treated fairly," Plains Cotton Growers' Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "She is a tremendous partner in this process and we enjoyed introducing her to the High Plains."



Cotton Quality Comparisons to 2010

Show Good Color, Shorter Staple

Friday, October 7, 2011                by Mary Jane Buerkle

      With harvest beginning to get into full swing, the USDA AMS Cotton Program-Lubbock reports that as of Thursday, October 6, 28,437 bales have been classed this season.

      Although this harvest was expected to be earlier than average, a review of 2010 records reveals that at this reporting time last year, 35,436 bales had been classed for the season.

      Color grades from 2010 to 2011 thus far are about the same, with more than 80 percent of samples grading at 11 or 21 both years. Strength and uniformity also are comparable, with 2011 season average grades at 28.42 g/tex and 79.73 percent, respectively.

      The differences noted thus far are a decrease in staple length and an increase in micronaire. At this time in 2010, season average staple length was 35.19, and Thursday's report states that the season average staple length currently stands at 33.57. Season average micronaire was 4.00 this time last year, compared to the most current report of 4.14 for the 2011 crop.

      Leaf grades are better in 2011 so far, with the season average at 1.83 compared to 2.5 at this time in 2010. Extraneous matter so far is about the same.


Cotton Industry Urges Prompt Approval of

U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

      MEMPHIS Š The National Cotton Council welcomes the news that the enabling legislation necessary for Congress to approve the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been formally transmitted to Congress. The U.S. cotton industry urges immediate approval of the legislation by the House and Senate.

      National Cotton Council members consistently have expressed support for Congressional approval of the Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of Colombia, which was signed in November 2006. The U.S. cotton industry has increased exports of cotton and cotton products under the provisions of the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). However, approval of the FTA will enhance U.S. competitiveness and benefit farmers and manufacturers by removing the tariffs that currently are applied to U.S. products entering Colombia.

      Colombia is an important export market for U.S. raw cotton. In 2010, the United States exported more than 230,000 bales of raw cotton to Colombia with an estimated value of $100 million. With an 80 percent market share, the United States is the primary supplier of imported cotton to the Colombian market. With the FTA in place, the United States is well positioned to capture a significant portion of growth in Colombia's demand for cotton fiber.

      In addition, both Colombia and the United States benefit from significant two-way trade in cotton textile products. In 2010, textile exports in predominantly-cotton products from the United States to Colombia totaled $56 million. During that same year, the United States imported $165 million in predominantly-cotton textile products from Colombia. Under the provisions of the ATPDEA, Colombian apparel products, containing U.S. components, enter the United States duty-free. However, the failure to approve the FTA in a timely manner and the uncertainty associated with the need to extend the ATPDEA while the Administration and Congress consider the FTA, has disrupted trade and caused U.S. exporters of cotton yarn and fabric to lose business to Asian sources.

      The National Cotton Council is the central organization of the U.S. cotton industry representing growers, ginners, warehousemen, cottonseed merchandisers and processors, merchants, cooperatives and textile manufacturers whose primary business operations are located in 17 cotton producing states.  U.S. cotton growers produce a crop with an annual farm-gate value in excess of $5 billion.  The industry and its suppliers, together with the cotton product/manufacturers, account for approximately 200,000 jobs and generate total annual economic activity in access of $100 billion.


U.S. Cotton Promoted at Trade Shows in Paris

      CCI and Cotton Incorporated jointly exhibited at Texworld and Premi¸re Vision trade shows in Paris. Additionally, Supima joined the booth at Texworld. Approximately 62,000 visitors from more than 100 countries attended the two shows, a 10 percent increase compared to last year. Texworld and Premiere Vision represent the largest combined exhibition of the world's apparel manufacturers with 826 exhibitors from 27 countries for Texworld and 757 exhibitors for Premiere Vision.
      CCI, Cotton Incorporated and Supima conducted meetings with new business contacts representing mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers. A key discussion topic at the "Promoting U.S. Cotton" booths was the evolving changes in the cotton supply chain.

      The booths were designed as a meeting point for all segments of the cotton industry. Producers, buyers, retailers and representatives of the press found a comprehensive range of information on U.S. cotton there. The stands focused on sourcing support, the COTTON USA marketing and licensing program, and related developments in the field of consumer behavior, as well as the latest fashion trends and technical innovations. COTTON USA staff helped buyers and manufacturers looking for cotton garments and cotton yarn suppliers identify new business contacts.

      CCI, Cotton Incorporated and Supima also supplied information on sustainable cotton cultivation in the United States, global developments in the cotton and procurement sectors, and other relevant topics. A "Colors and Surface Forecast" presentation by Cotton Incorporated gave visitors the opportunity to learn more about fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2013.

      Many COTTON USA licensee mills exhibited at both shows and their presence was promoted at the CCI and Cotton Incorporated booths. Eight new companies approached CCI to inquire about becoming COTTON USA licensees.


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