September 2013 Cotton Leader
WEBINARS PREPARE GROWERS FOR HARVEST
Because consultants, growers and researchers have busy schedules and don't always have time to attend meetings to hear about the latest advances in cotton research, Cotton Incorporated, in partnership with the Plant Management Network (PMN), have created "Focus on Cotton" 24/7 On-Demand Webinars. "Throughout 2013, these audiovisual presentations will offer practical information and guidance in various areas of crop management from weeds and nutrients, to irrigation, diseases and insects," explains Dr. Ryan Kurtz, staff entomologist and Director, Agricultural & Environmental Research for Cotton Incorporated. The four latest Webinar links: Basics of Cotton Defoliation; Why Yield Mapping is Important and How To Handle Round Modules in the Field and Gin, are posted on the Cotton Board's Web site www.cottonboard.org (under the News & Media tab) or at www.plantmangementnetwork.org/foco. A fourth webinar, Preparing Pickers/Strippers for Harvest, plus, Best Practices for Storing Seed Cotton may be found www. cottoninc.com - search for Cotton Harvest Systems.
BLUE JEANS GO GREEN™
The Cotton From Blue to Green™ (CFBTG) denim recycling program may be one of Cotton Incorporated's most successful and high-profile consumer call to action promotions. What started in 2006 as part of their groundbreaking collegiate mobile marketing initiative Cotton's Dirty Laundry Tour, CFBTG has been embraced by not only the college students toward whom the program was initially directed, but by thousands of consumers across the United States. "The first year of CFBTG brought in over 14,000 pieces of used denim – almost doubling our initial collection estimates," says Andrea Samber, Co-Director of Strategic Alliances for Cotton Incorporated. Since the start of the promotion, Cotton Incorporated has been partnering with Bonded Logic Inc, manufacturer of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation. Once manufactured, the insulation is often provided to areas of the country rebuilding after being affected by natural disasters. "As a result of this effort, hundreds of thousands of pounds of denim textiles have been diverted from landfills across the country," adds Samber. As CFTBG nears it millionth piece of recycled denim, the Program is undergoing a rebranding – now to be called Blue Jeans Go Green™. As part of the rebranding celebration and until the 25th of this month, Cotton Incorporated is partnering with apparel retailer BCBGeneration to encourage consumers to bring in and recycle their old denim and receive a 20 percent discount off BCBGeneration denim jeans purchases between $68 and $108 that day. "Not only does this partnership allow people the chance to give back but it also gives people a chance to fall in love with our Fall Denim Collection. Fashion and philanthropy all rolled into one stylish package," exclaims Joyce Azria, Creative Director of BCBGeneration stores. "The collection of the millionth pair of denim will be a true milestone for this program, making this the ideal time to rebrand the program to communicate that our jeans can make a difference," concludes Samber.
CELEBRITIES CLEAN CLOSETS FOR A CAUSE
The aforementioned Blue Jeans Go Green™ program has launched a unique celebrity denim auction designed to raise awareness about textile recycling and to help the program collect its one-millionth piece of denim. Fourteen celebrities, including Hayden Panettiere, Heidi Klum, Britney Spears and more, have each signed and contributed a pair of jeans for "The Great Denim Challenge," an online auction in which denim is the currency. The bidding began in mid-September at www.BlueJeansGoGreen.org and concludes on November 3rd. The auction puts up for bid 14 pairs of denim jeans, each autographed by its celebrity owner and paired with a note of thanks from the celebrity. Like traditional auctions, the highest bidder will win the item, but the bids are denim --- not dollars. The bidder committing to recycle the highest number of denim apparel items for a particular celebrity's jeans will be the recipient of that item. All the denim collected will be converted into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation, a portion of which will be distributed to communities in need. Cotton Incorporated will host a media event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, to celebrate the millionth pair milestone. For more information, visit www.BlueJeansGoGreen.org.
There was volatility in certain cotton prices over the past month. While movement New York futures and the A Index resulted in current prices that are lower than one month ago, Indian prices increased. The New York December futures contract climbed sharply in mid-August, increasing from levels near 85 cents/lb to over 93 cents/lb. Gains were short-lived, and values quickly collapsed below 85 cents/lb, where they have remained through the most recent trading. Over the same time period, the A Index ranged between 90 and 97 cents/lb. In mid-August, the A Index rose with New York futures, climbing as high as 97 cents/lb before retreating to values near 89 cents/lb. Even though world ending stocks are 50% higher than they were in the mid-2000s, prices are also about 50% higher. The primary reason this is possible is Chinese cotton policy. At the heart of current Chinese cotton policy is the reserve system, which has enforced guaranteed prices in China by accumulating cotton over the past several crop years. At the end of the 2013/14 crop year, is expected to result in China holding more than 60% of global stocks. Since only limited amounts (and qualities) have been available in sales from reserves, Chinese imports have met a large proportion of Chinese mill demand in each of the last two crop years. In turn, Chinese import demand has supported world prices by preventing the accumulation of stocks in the rest of the world. Reforms to Chinese policy are promised for the upcoming 2014/15 crop year. Since Chinese officials have indicated that continued accumulation of stocks is unsustainable, it could be expected that eventual reforms may include more aggressive releases from reserves and corresponding decline in Chinese import demand. Both of these actions could potentially cause cotton prices around the world to decline. However, policies for 2013/14 are generally unchanged relative to last crop year and the current policies could continue to support world prices until reforms are announced.