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March 2014 Cotton Leader

March 21st, 2014

THE COTTON BOARD MEETS TO DEVELOP STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS

The Cotton Board recently held its March Board Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico where board members, in their respective committees, reviewed Cotton Incorporated’s proposed plans for 2015 and developed strategic recommendations. The meeting was well attended by both producer and importer board members who serve the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Cotton Board Chairman and Importer member Gary Ross said this of the meeting, "One of the biggest responsibilities of The Cotton Board is to guide the direction of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program by providing strategic recommendations to Cotton Incorporated and setting their budget for the coming year. I look forward to the high-level of strategic recommendations coming out of the committee sessions and to the work this Board will do to ensure good stewardship of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program." The recommendations drafted by The Cotton Board will soon be forwarded to Cotton Incorporated.  During the meeting’s General Session, The Cotton Board heard presentations from key note speakers who could provide the Board with industry insight pertinent to developing strategic recommendations for the Program. The first speaker was Cotton Incorporated’s President and CEO, J. Berrye Worsham, who gave an overview of Cotton Incorporated’s outlook for 2015. Next, Staplcotn President & CEO Meredith Allen spoke about the current cotton market, offered insight into how the market would potentially react to ending stocks of 96 million bales and what it would take for cotton to recapture spindle positions lost to that $2 cotton run up in 2011. The final speaker, Robin Lewis, host of the award-winning show "The Lewis Report," presented his view on the effect of the ever-evolving technologies being used by consumers. He said, "The numbers of cell phones and electronic tablet devices are escalating world-wide at a rapid pace and retailers are going to have to meet those consumers with product marketing that delivers to those devices. Knowing where and how to reach today’s consumer presents a tremendous opportunity for retailers." The next full Board meeting forThe Cotton Board will take place in August 2014. During that meeting The Cotton Board will review and decide whether or not to recommend approval of Cotton Incorporated’s proposed 2015 plan and budget to Secretary of Agriculture.

DROP YOUR JEANS FOR A GOOD CAUSE AT THE LUBBOCK GIN SHOW

The Cotton Board will be holding a denim drive at the 2014 Texas Cotton Ginners Association Trade Show in Lubbock, Texas. Visit The Cotton Board’s booth (39 & 40) on April 3rd and 4th to donate your old denim to the Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program and help insulate communities in need across the United States. All denim collected through the program is recycled into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation, and a portion of it is donated to help rebuild homes in disaster stricken areas. For every piece of denim you donate, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a $300 Cabela’s gift card - there is no limit on how many pairs of denim you can donate, so there is no limit on how many chances you have to win big! Be sure to stop by The Cotton Board’s booth to drop your jeans for a good cause.

MORE THAN 100 TEXTILE BUSINESSES NOW WITH COTTON LEADS™ PROGRAM

Launched in October of last year, the Cotton LEADS™ program continues to resonate with global textile businesses as a supply chain program committed to responsibly-produced cotton. The program emphasizes national capabilities of the cotton industries in Australia and the United States, along with their commitment to continual improvement, research and best practices. The Cotton LEADS™ program continues to gain interest among textile businesses committed to responsible sourcing, including the iconic American brand Brooks Brothers. "The founding members of Cotton LEADS™ program; including Cotton Australia, the National Cotton Council, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, are gratified that so many businesses around the world recognize the ongoing environmental gains made by cotton growers in Australia and the United States," Mark Messura, SVP Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated. Currently, more than 100 retailers, brands and manufacturers have joined the Cotton LEADS™ program as partners.  The partners recognize the principles of the Cotton LEADS™ program and encourage its efforts toward responsible cotton production and continual improvement.

BRAKE F2® GRANTED SECTION 18 EMERGENCY EXEMPTIONS

In 2004, the first case of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth was discovered in Georgia. Today, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth is widespread across the Southeast and has made its way to Texas, Virginia, Indiana and many other states. In an attempt to control this highly-competitive weed,  a Cooperative Research Program to evaluate a new herbicide for cotton was initiated by SePRO Corporation and  supported by Cotton Incorporated and the National Cotton Council. "We had to find out how Brake would fit into today’s cropping system," explains Dr. Bob Nichols, Senior Director, Cotton Incorporated. "The spread of glyphosate-resistance has increased grower interest in the use of residual herbicides and Brake fits into pre-emergence/post emergence weed management programs," says Nichols. In response to an industry in need of a new mode of action, Brake F2® Herbicide has been granted Section 18 emergency exemptions for use in 2014 in approved counties within Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee to help control glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Log on to                                            www.sepro.com/brake for application instructions, links to expert advice, pricing and other information.

COTTON UNIVERSITY AMBASSADOR

Cotton Incorporated, under the direction of The Cotton Board’s Importer Support Program, created an online resource called Cotton University™ to increase and enhance the understanding of cotton textiles among professionals, faculty, and students through an education community. Whether they’re looking for the latest trends in cotton or a variety of self-paced online cotton courses, users will find these things and many more at Cotton University™. The value of Cotton University™ goes beyond quality information on the site, the people who participate are also key. Madyson Rengstorf, a sophomore Retail Management student in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University, was recently selected as one of five national Cotton University "ambassadors." Madyson’s role as an ambassador includes conducting promotional activities on the Texas Tech campus and encouraging apparel, retail students and faculty to use the wealth of knowledge available through Cotton University™. To find out more about Cotton University™  visit www.cottonuniversity.org.

ECONOMIC UPDATE

New York futures and the A Index increased last month. Other benchmark prices were flat to slightly lower. In the New York futures market, the May contract surged higher in early March and above 91 cents/lb after increasing three cents/lb on March 6th. In recent trading, the May prices held onto these gains, and nearby prices are at their highest since early August. Values for December futures, which reflect price expectations for the 2014/15 crop year, also rose in early March, with values shifting to the high end of the range between 76 and 80 cents/lb that they have been trading in since November. The A Index increased three cents/lb last month, climbing from values near 94 cents/lb in early February to those above 97 cents/lb in early March.

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