Independent Study Shows Strong, Positive Impacts for Cotton Research and Promotion Program Stakeholders

Third-Party Evaluation Examines Economic Impacts of the Program

(MEMPHIS, TN) - The 1996 Farm Bill requires The Cotton Board to conduct an independent, third-party evaluation every five years of the effectiveness of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program (the Program). The most recently concluded evaluation reflected well on the Program’s effectiveness both over the long-term (1986-2019) and over the last five years (2015-2019). In summary, the analysis found strong, positive returns to cotton producers and importers as a result of the Program. Some of the most significant findings from the report are listed below. Over the long-term, the Program – 

  • Increased retail cotton fiber demand by over 14%, which is equivalent to 2.74 million bales per year.
  • Caused U.S. farm prices of cotton to be about 13% higher, on average.
  • Generated $11.2 billion in farm-level returns.
  • Returned $6.4 dollars to cotton producers for every dollar they invested in the Program.
  • Returned $17.4 dollars to Importers for every dollar they invested in the Program.
  • Enhanced cotton yields and reduced U.S. production costs by an average of $7.60 per planted acre.
  • In addition, Program expenditures on cottonseed research and promotion increased nominal cottonseed prices received by producers by an annual average of $12.23 per short ton and increased cottonseed disappearance by about 266,000 short tons per year over the period 1993 to 2019.

    “The report concludes that the cotton checkoff program has enhanced cotton and cottonseed demand, augmented U.S. cotton yields and production as well as cottonseed prices, generated a positive return to both cotton producers and importers, reduced the dependance of cotton producers on government farm programs, and benefited taxpayers.  Additionally, due to investment in agricultural research, the checkoff program has reduced costs per acre planted of upland cotton, primarily for fertilizer, chemicals, fuel, and custom operations” said Jimmy Webb, current Cotton Board Chairman and cotton producer from Leary, Georgia. “We believe this is a very positive report and is a strong objective measure of the returns generated by the Program,” said Webb.

    To conduct the evaluation The Cotton Board contracted with Forecasting & Business Analytics,LLC; a firm that has significant experience in analyzing checkoff programs.  After many months of analytical work, both a draft written report and an oral summary were delivered to The Cotton Board. The Cotton Board sent the report to be peer-reviewed and it has since been approved by USDA. To view the full report please visit the Cotton Board’s Web site,, and look under the “Stakeholder Transparency” tab.           


    Contact: Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications, 901-233-9356, sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org

    About the Cotton Board: The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton checkoff, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit