Important Cotton Grower Webinars Scheduled

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Announces NEW DATES for Regional Grower webinars

Growers should join to learn how they can benefit and how collectively this will help increase demand for U.S. cotton globally.  

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, which aims to give brands and retails the critical assurances that they need to source U.S. cotton, has announced a new slate of regional-focused webinars from November 9th through the end of 2020. These additional webinars were added following strong demand during the September and October sessions. Grower enrollment is now open to all U.S. cotton growers.

Starting November 5th, growers who have not yet had the opportunity will get to learn about the benefits of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and ask questions with our team. While the sessions are divided by region, interested growers are free to join any session that fits in their schedule. Participants can enroll at https://trustuscotton.org/enrollment-webinar-live-sessions/.

“There’s more scrutiny on the global cotton supply chain than ever before. At the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, we aim to raise demand for U.S. cotton as a sustainably-grown fiber and meet the needs of brands and retailers as they work to lower their impact on the environment,” said Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “Joining the Trust Protocol will also provide producers with data that will help them to improve their growing practices.”

A recent study from the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 60% of fashion, apparel, and textile business leaders said implementing sustainability measures was a main strategic objective for their organization. The top sustainability measure businesses are implementing is establishing a sustainability strategy with measurable targets, which 58% of respondents said they were doing. In second, 53% said they were working on collecting data from across the business and in the supply chain to measure performance.

The next slate of webinar sessions will begin on November 9th – growers can access the full schedule of webinars here.

For those interested in enrolling, please visit: TrustUSCotton.org

 

 

Bowles Farming Co. Shares Success Secrets

Google Hangouts Helps Bowles Farming Communicate Throughout 

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

When it comes to agriculture, Merced County-based Bowles Farming Company has it figured out. With 160 years of experience, and six generations worth of history, the company has had a major influence on the state. Danny Royer, Vice President of Technology at Bowles, has valuable insight on what makes the company so successful.

Royer is in charge of the technology behind growing various crops including tomatoes, cotton, wheat, watermelon, and other organic commodities. He said that the key to solving issues is by sharing data within the operation.

“Data is what’s going to provide the solution, but we have to create systems that give the people [the data] who have the competencies to solve the problem,” he explained.

One way Bowles Farming Co. is able to achieve this is by using Google Hangouts on the farm, which enables them to communicate with different sectors of the operation single-handedly.

“We’ve got to be a little more transparent and open about sharing our information with people that are coming from the tech sector trying to help us,” Royer said.

2018 Cotton Crop Proceeding Well

Late Season Pests Can Be a Challenge

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

The 2018 cotton harvest will be starting in the southern part of the Central Valley later this month, and some growers will be facing pressure from pests.

California Ag Today recently spoke about the topic with Dan Munk, a UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor in Fresno County specializing in irrigation crop nutrient management and cotton production systems.

“The crop looks very good and loaded with cotton bolls. We don’t have a lot of boll losses, and that’s a real positive thing, so very excited about the potential for fairly high yields in the 2018 season. The biggest concern right now is pest management, press pressures as we approach the latter part of the season,” Munk explained.

The main issue this time of year is the honeydew that pest leave on the cotton. Honeydew is the exudate extracted by the insect as it feeds on the leaves.

“Because we have the bolls on the plant that have opened, we now have exposed lint and need to protect that lint from stickiness that’s created from whitefly and the aphid honeydew, which is basically the added sugars that those insects that feed on the leaves of the plant, and they excrete them and deposit them on the lint,” Munk said.

Munk explained that the big concern right now is dealing with pest pressures in terms of whitefly and aphid—both sucking insects. “The problem right now [is] where we’re seeing pest pressures—particularly from whitefly as we get later in the season—will build in many fields.

There are several approaches to controlling whitefly and aphids. One is to deal with the eggs that they produced. And then there’s a certain class of materials to deal with the eggs.

“There’s another class of materials that deal with the juveniles—that early form of the insect—and then there are ways to control the adults,” Munk said.

“A number of insecticides have been applied to deal with those various levels of insect populations based on the individual field situation,” he explained.

Mills Seek Out California Cotton Crop

California Cotton Crop Has High Quality

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

California Ag Today recently spoke with Dan Munk, Irrigation Soils and Cotton Farm Advisor of the UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County, about the state’s cotton crop. California farmers have an advantage in that they get a higher price per pound due to the high quality produced.

Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

“The San Joaquin Valley, and really California, does enjoy the production of higher quality cotton,” Munk said. “When mills are looking for the highest quality, extra long staple cotton, oftentimes they’re going to be going straight to California because of the consistency of the crop, the good color, the good strength, the good fiber qualities that typically make up a good and optimum fiber for translating into fabric.”

Munk said that an extended gin period could be implemented due to the increased crop in the Valley. “I’m not aware of any closed gins that are going to be opening up after closure. Although that might be the case for one or two, I imagine we’ll see extended gin period this year to take care of the additional crop.”

And while there is a trend to go with innovative harvesters that produce round bales of cotton, that will only be true for bigger operations, Munk sad.

“It’s going to be popular for the larger growers, and so we are going to see increases in equipment for those round bales, but for the most part, many of the smaller growers will not be converting any time soon to move to those round bale producing pickers,” he said.

Munk explained that the rainstorm coming through the Central San Joaquin Valley in early September had a minimal effect on the cotton.

“Certainly, parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kings County … there’s parts of the Valley that got quite wet, I’m sure. But most of the cotton had not opened, and because of those delayed crops, we’re probably not going to be impacted in a significant way at all by the rains that we saw,” he said.