The cotton industry needs a collective effort by all of its stakeholders to advance.
As the planting season approaches on the High Plains of Texas, stakeholders related to the industry gathered in Lubbock, TX, to discuss the upcoming planting season, cotton market situation and federal support programs.
Researchers from Texas AgriLife Research and Extension, Texas Tech University and USDA presented scenarios with regard to pest management, weed control, moisture situation and more. With the medium to long-term climatic conditions showing above average precipitations for the High Plains region, this season should be very positive for cotton.
Global demand of cotton is good, which may also be a driver for more cotton planting in the High Plains.
However, cotton, being a non-food crop, is subjected to many uncertainties such as consumer demand, price volatility, competition from other cotton-producing countries and cost of production. With a heavy dependency on weather, safety net policies are needed to help sustain advancements in cotton and production agriculture in general.
Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, emphasized to the group the importance of collaborative efforts among all stakeholders to carry through stressful situations, which the U.S. cotton industry has been facing recently.
The global textile and cotton industry – whether a major cotton producer like India or leading apparel producer like Bangladesh – needs to have strong associations such as those in the United States to take care of the needs of their producers and manufacturers.
More importantly, when it comes to advocating support structure to the respective governments, while appreciating the contributions of other allied industries, such associations are vital. In the United States, associations such as Plains Cotton Growers, Memphis-based National Cotton Council and the National Council of Textile Organizations play a vital role to support and advance the industry.