ORGANIC COTTON PRODUCTION
The Cotton Research and Promotion Program represents and benefits all U.S. Upland cotton. Conventional and nonconventional growers benefit from the Program’s far reaching research and promotion activities. We have estimated that over 75% of the roughly 450 agricultural research projects funded by the Program annually have applicability to organic cotton production.
Cotton producers who are growing organic cotton under an approved National Organic Program and whose operation is 100% organic are generally exempt from paying assessments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. Nevertheless, given the amount of funded research that is beneficial to organic production, The Cotton Board encourages organic producers to participate through continued support of the Program.
Producers who choose to opt out of the Program can find details of the exemptions, including application procedures, in regulations issued by USDA at the following link: Organic Exemption Final Rule. The regulations on the organic exemption are codified at 7 CFR 1205.519. There is also an organic exemption for importers.
The 2014 Farm Bill is likely to contain different rules governing organic producers and their participation in agricultural research and promotion programs. This section will be updated when the new rules are applicable.