Strengthening American Cotton’s Marketability

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Cotton Incorporated designs research and promotion projects to strengthen the market position of American cotton at every stop along cotton’s pipeline.

When the funding base of the Research and Promotion program was strengthened in 1991 after the law was amended to assess imported apparel, a Cottonseed Marketing and Research Program was launched to increase the value of cottonseed at the grower level.

Innovative products and processes created through this program include Easiflo cottonseed, the Power Roll Gin Stand and most recently, GeoSkin, an earth-friendly, erosion control hydro-mulch made from gin waste.

A long-term goal of this Program has always been the elimination of gossypol from cottonseed while allowing it to be maintained in the plant. Since the Program’s inception, much of this research has been conducted with funds dedicated through Cotton Incorporated’s State Support Program.

Decades of Cotton Incorporated research in gossypol elimination contributed to the accomplishment of this goal, recently announced by Texas A&M University. More recently, a bio-fuels initiative was created to address opportunities for cottonseed and cottonseed oil. I hope to bring you an update about successful developments in this area in the near future.

To learn more about the Cottonseed Marketing & Research Program, visit Cotton Incorporated’s web site


Ring Spinning Continues to Dominate Industry

Ring spinning continues to be the dominant textile spinning system among the world’s mills.

“In China alone there are an estimated 70 million ring spindles,” explains David Clapp, director, Fiber Processing, Cotton Incorporated. (There are even 600,000 more Open End rotors in China today than there were at the height of the U.S. rotor-spinning boom in 1994.)

To help ensure as many ring spinning frames as possible are running cotton, Cotton Incorporated maintains three ring spinning frames at its World Headquarters and Research Center in Cary, NC.

“We are constantly studying the effects of fiber length, short fiber content, and other important fiber properties to illustrate to U.S. growers their importance to a mill’s operation and why it’s critical to remain focused on maintaining and improving them to increase U.S. cotton’s marketability,” adds Clapp. “U.S. growers have helped themselves tremendously over the last few years by increasing cotton’s average staple length.”

Making a Difference

While making great strides with its forward-thinking efforts to reduce cotton’s environmental footprint, Cotton Incorporated was recently included in Fast Company magazine’s list of the “top 50 companies making a difference in the world.”

The acknowledgement came soon after the breakthrough announcement that cottonseed could be entering the high-volume, low-cost food market due to the reduction of gossypol — an enzyme that has historically rendered cottonseed inedible for human consumption. After years of initial research and identifying the gossypol enzyme at Cotton Incorporated, the company turned over its findings with additional funding to Texas A&M’s Dr. Keerti Rathore — who, near the end of last year, succeeded in breeding seeds with lower levels of gossypol, while retaining higher levels in the plant.

“We know this research will help open new market opportunities for cotton across industries and around the world,” says J. Berrye Worsham, Cotton Incorporated’s President and CEO.

Worsham is President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.

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