Dr. Gary Adams, vice president of economics and policy development for the National Cotton Council in Memphis, Tenn., gave an update on where his organization stands on the new farm bill during the Cotton Conference at the 88th Annual Farm Bureau Meeting here June 26.
“From the (Cotton) Council’s perspective, one of the things we try to reiterate is we’re still happy with the provisions that were put in to place in the 2008 Farm Bill and we feel it continues to serve the industry well,” Adams said. “We also understand there will be a number of challenges in writing this next farm bill because of budget deficits and the fact we’re not going to have as much money to work with.”
Adams also said the Brazilian challenge to U.S. cotton export program would be a major factor as Congress debates the new farm bill.
Because there are challenges on the horizon for cotton producers and the new farm bill, Adams said the Cotton Council is working to protect the interest of all cotton growers.
“We know there will be some challenges, but we think it’s important to try to keep a safety net under cotton producers when we look at the 2012 Farm Bill,” Adams said.
Also during the Cotton Conference, Dr. Mike Strain, Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry, announced the state’s boll weevil eradication program is working. The program started in Louisiana in 1997.
“Just one weevil has been found in Louisiana this year,” Strain said. “I’m proud to say our program has been effective and we will be successful.”
In other business, Bobby Skeen of Cotton Incorporated said new products being developed from cotton and cotton byproducts include: cotton hyrdomulch, cotton-rich wall covering and fuel sources such as briquettes. Cotton also is being used in brain cancer research, as well as in booms and pads to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico, he said.
“Cotton is one of the most versatile products we have,” Skeen said. “It is important we support cotton producers and the cotton industry so that we can continue to enjoy the many products created from cotton in the United States and in the world.”