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Cotton Inc. Researching Everything from the Seed to the Finished Product

cotton plantYesterday we heard from Bertie County cotton farmer and ginner BB Griffin, recently elected as chairman of Cotton Inc. Today Griffin discusses the agricultural side of research at Cotton Inc.:

“We are on the cutting edge of resistance and have projects in both core research and state support funded. In ag research we have eliminated the gossypol from cotton seed which opens up the possibility of using it for human food and other things. We are really going to run with this. We are trying to expand this program into commercial seed.”

Cotton Inc. has also launched Cotton Leads, among other things explains Griffin:

“Through a union with other organizations, we are launching Cotton Leads, which showcases all the great work we have done on sustainability both in ag and also though our global supply chain. We are researching everything to do with cotton from the seed to the finished product.”

Speaking of finished product, in the couple of years, Cotton Inc. has returned to their roots, so to speak, and refocused on cotton for apparel:

“The two dollar a pound cotton really hurt the demand for cotton because polyester prices were so much better. But we have seen the bottom and though the ad campaigns and heading up. We anticipate the percentage of cotton to go back up.”

And one of the biggest turn-arounds for cotton was the athletic apparel company, Under Armor endorsing cotton after many years of avoiding cotton altogether:

“Under Armor had a campaign saying ‘Cotton is the Enemy’ and from there to them embracing cotton technologies and using it in many of their products.”

So, all in all, Griffin says, the future is bright for the cotton industry:

“One thing that is going on, is what is China going to do with their stockpile of cotton. In the next few months their government will announce their plans to reform cotton policy. One thing we think will go on, is the decline in corn prices up has opened up producers to go back into cotton.”

Chairman of Cotton Inc. BB Griffin.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.