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October 2015 Cotton Leader

October 28th, 2015


Cotton Incorporated recently announced the 2015 class of the Cotton Research and Promotion Hall of Fame. The program, now in its second year, recognizes U.S. cotton industry leaders that have made significant contributions to the Program or to the cotton industry in general. “The vision of cotton industry leaders in the 1950s and 1960s created The Cotton Research and Promotion Program at a time in history when there was a need to join together and form a movement to battle synthetic competitors and re-establish markets for cotton. These leaders and the public/private partnership they created gave the cotton industry a second life,” said Bill Gillon, President and CEO of the Cotton Board. “The Hall of Fame Honorees helped implement that vision by making significant contributions to cotton’s competitiveness.” The five honorees are:

  • Dr. Fred Bourland (Arkansas) is acknowledged for his extensive contributions to U.S. cotton plant breeding. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Bourland developed valuable plant measurements and techniques that aided the release of more than 80 cotton lines (germplasm and cultivars) for the Mid-South region.
  • David Burns (North Carolina) served as Cotton Board Chairman during the integration of importers to the Board. In this role, Burns facilitated the easy assimilation of the importer constituency to the Program, and kept growers and importers focused on common goals. 
  • Jim Hansen (California) has provided outstanding leadership to the Cotton Research and Promotion Program in a variety of roles. He is the only person to serve as both Chairman of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Cotton Board. Mr. Hansen also has served as Chairman of Supima and is a long-time board member of California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association.
  • Dr. Preston E. Sasser (North Carolina) is widely regarded as one of the cotton industry’s leading research experts. During his tenure as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Cotton Incorporated’s Research Division, Dr. Sasser led research that addressed health issues in cotton textile processing, and oversaw the development and implementation of cotton-testing technology.
  • Hugh Summerville (Alabama) elevated the participation of the Board of Directors during his time as Cotton Incorporated Chairman, and fostered the strong relationship between the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated that still exists today. He was also a champion of the Cotton Incorporated World Headquarters and its role as an incubator for cotton innovation.

Cotton Board Chairman, Aaron Barcellos of Los Banos, California, said, “By recognizing past leaders and innovators, we remind ourselves of the hard work and dedication required to make cotton the preferred fiber for the world. Their efforts inspire the leaders of the Research and Promotion Program today as cotton again faces significant competitive challenges. We will continue to work with the industry’s future ‘hall-of-fame’ leaders to find new answers for cotton and secure the industry’s future.” The 2015 honorees of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame were chosen from nominations made by Certified Producer and Importer Organizations and voted upon by the Chairman’s Committee of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors. The honorees will be formally inducted into the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame at the joint Cotton Incorporated/Cotton Board annual meeting in December.


A new blog post from The Cotton Board gives straight answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Cotton Research and Promotion Program (the Program). Questions like, “Who pays into the Program?” and “How does the Program benefit U.S. cotton producers and importers?” are answered with clear and easy-to-digest responses. View the blog here.


Starting in January 2016, Cotton Leader will no longer be delivered in the printed version, only in an electronic version - so, we need your email addresses. To sign up, visit and click on the “email newsletter” link in the top right corner of the site, directly above the seal of cotton. Once you sign up, Cotton Leader will start coming directly to your email inbox. After the December, 2015 issue, you will no longer receive the hard copy mailing. 


After getting a nice pop in mid-October, cotton prices have been range bound. The increase in prices, which appears to have been driven by mostly technical factors, lifted values for the December contract above the 62.5 cent mark. Resistance appears to be around the 64 cent level. The effects of recent rainfall in the southeast are apparent in USDA condition data. Prior to the storms, only 10 to 20% of the acreage in North and South Carolina were rated poor or very poor. In the most recent USDA condition figures, half of the acreage in South Carolina is rated as poor or very poor. In North Carolina, 30% of acres are rated poor or very poor. In terms of the national crop number, the damage in the Carolinas may not prove to be a major factor since less than 10% of total acreage is located in those two states. What is more worrying for the national crop is the threat of heavy rains in larger production areas, such as West Texas and Georgia. If the rains prove to be heavy, there could be impacts on color. If rain is especially heavy, and if there is wind, bolls can fall to the ground, which would lower yields and potentially pull the harvest forecast lower.

The decline in Chinese import quota has been an important feature of the global cotton market since reforms to Chinese policies began being implemented. Between 2011/12-2012/13 and the current crop year, Chinese imports have decreased 74%. However, this is only one of several demand-side factors contributing to lower prices, another factor is depressed mill-use. As the world’s largest consumer, China is also been at the center of the decline in global consumption. The decline in Chinese mill-use can be seen as a result of policies that maintained record premiums for Chinese cotton relative to cotton prices in the rest of the world. Another important factor has been the record separation between Chinese cotton prices and Chinese polyester prices. The difference between the CC Index and polyester prices remains nearly twice as large as it was before 2010/11. As a result, it remains difficult for cotton to regain share in China. Since China is the world’s largest spinning country, this is also a factor holding back consumption globally.

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