April 2014 Cotton Leader
DR. NORMAN BORLAUG
“Plant breeding will continue to improve food and fiber production in the coming century, and much of the improvement will be based on the same scientific principals and work ethic practiced by Dr. Borlaug over his illustrious career. Dr. Borlaug knew firsthand the importance of bridging sound breeding practices with newly developing tools from biotechnology, and hundreds of millions of people around the world were fed as a result of his keen intellect and passion for plant breeding. Cotton Incorporated celebrates Dr. Borlaug’s 100th birthday, and in that spirit, we continue to invest in cotton breeding programs as we have for the past 40-plus years to improve the fiber and feed to an ever expanding world.” This quote by Cotton Incorporated’s Director of Agricultural and Environmental Research, Dr. Don Jones, encapsulates the many principles of Dr. Borlaug and the hundreds of plant breeders who came after him who continue his work to improve the effectiveness of today’s farmers. This year, Norman Borlaug would have been 100 years old.
FOCUS ON COTTON/PARASITIC NEMATODES
For producers and consultants in the Cotton Belt, nematode management can get complicated. Specific management options change for different nematode species and population densities, different yield goals, different cropping systems, and differing levels of soil variability. Cotton Incorporated and the Plant Management Network continue their “Focus on Cotton” series of free webcasts with “Management of Plant Parasitic Nematodes in Cotton”. Texas A&M Professor Terry Wheeler does an outstanding job pairing cotton growers’ situations and needs with the right nematode management practices. These webcasts were developed to help consultants, cotton producers, and other practitioners in the cotton growing regions of the U.S. where nematodes hamper cotton production. “After hearing this webcast, listeners should have a good understanding of what management options should be used for specific situations,” says Dr. Ryan Kurtz, Director of Agricultural & Environmental Research for Cotton Incorporated. This and all other talks in the ‘Focus on Cotton’ webcast resource can be viewed free, courtesy of Cotton Incorporated, at: http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/foco.
PARTNERING TO REDUCE FABRIC ODOR
Consumers often have complaints that active wear or athletic fabrics retain odor. In order to address this issue, Cotton Incorporated recently partnered with Polygiene®, world leaders in odor control and freshness technologies. Cotton Incorporated introduced their popular TransDRY® technology in 2008 to improve moisture management and accelerate the drying time of cotton athletic apparel. TransDRY will now be available with the enhanced capabilities of Polygiene technology to reduce the growth of odor causing bacteria. “Polygiene is a natural complement to our TransDRY moisture management technology for cotton fibers. Its performance in both field and lab tests is exceptional and only enhances the inherent benefits of cotton,” states David Earley, Senior Director, Supply Chain Marketing, of Cotton Incorporated. “We believe clothing designers and consumers alike will see the benefits for everything from sports apparel and travel wear to daily items like button down shirts or even denim.”
TRADE SHOW VISITORS DROP THEIR JEANS FOR THE CAUSE
Visitors to this year’s Mid-South Farm & Gin Show and Texas Cotton Ginners Association trade show were asked to drop off their used denim to show support for Cotton Incorporated’s “Blue Jeans Go Green” denim recycling effort, a consumer-directed recycling call-to-action initiative. The Cotton Board Regional Communication Managers staffed the trade show booths and shared Program information during each of the two-day trade shows. Consumers who brought in used denim were given a chance to win a $250 gift certificate from Cabela’s. “We’d like to thank all of the visitors who made the effort to bring their used denim to our booth,” says, Mid-South Regional Communication Manager, Bobby Skeen. The winner from the Memphis trade show is Future Farmers of America advisor and teacher Ellen Amos from New Madrid, Missouri and the winner from the Lubbock trade show from JK Crouch Farms in Levelland, Texas is Kristi Crouch. In total, The Cotton Board collected over 500 pairs of blue jeans between the Memphis Gin Show booth and the booth at the TCGA show in Lubbock. The donations collected could yield approximately 1,600 square feet of insulation - enough to insulate an entire house! All of the donated denim has been shipped to Bonded Logic where it will be processed into Ultra Touch Insulation. A portion of the insulation will be donated to programs such as Habitat For Humanity where it will be used to rebuild homes and other community-related buildings in areas damaged by natural disasters. For more information on the Blue Jeans Go Green program visit bluejeansgogreen.org.
AMERICAN COTTON VIDEOS
Cotton Incorporated recently collaborated with Maker’s Row, an online company highlighting products made in the USA, to further educate and connect textile brands with U.S. cotton suppliers and manufacturers. There is a strong resurgence in U.S. manufacturing and so Cotton Incorporated wanted to inform a larger, more diverse audience on American cotton production processes and associated benefits with domestic sourcing. To learn more about U.S. cotton production, The Maker’s Row team joined Cotton Incorporated on a tour of a cotton operation in Northeast Arkansas and subsequently produced two videos. In a blog post after their visit, the Maker’s Row team said, “While all American cotton harvesting and ginning is mechanized, there is still very much a labor of love involved with growing and caring for a crop.” To watch the “American Cotton” videos produced by Maker’s Row, please visit www.cottonboard.org and click on the video gallery under the “news” tab.
Prices outside China were flat to lower last month, while the CC Index decreased in early April. Despite some volatility in late March, prices for the May New York futures contract have been trading at levels around 90 cents/lb recently, nearly equal to values one month ago. December futures have held to values around 80 cents/lb over the past month. The A Index decreased slightly in early April, falling from the levels near 98 cents/lb experienced in most of March to below 95 cents/lb. The CC Index decreased the most since the onset of the 2012/13 crop year, dropping 3.8% (from 19,400 to 18,660 RMB/ton or from 142 to 137 cents/lb) with the reduction in the governmentmandated reserve auction price on April 1st. In the USDA’s latest monthly report, there were minor changes to global production and consumption figures. The world harvest estimate decreased only 60,000 bales, from 116.7 to 116.6 million. The world consumption figure increased 240,000 bales, from 109.2 million to 109.5 million. The 320,000 bale reduction to the U.S. harvest forecast led to an equal reduction in projected U.S. ending stocks. At 2.5 million bales, the U.S. carryout for 2013/14 is forecast at its lowest level since 1990/91.