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September 23, 2022

USDA applauded for climate-friendly cotton farming initiatives

The US cotton industry is applauding the US Department of Agriculture for promoting sustainable farming practices through its Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities — including the new Climate Smart Cotton Program led by the US Cotton Trust Protocol.

By Hannah Abdulla

National Cotton Council chairman Ted Schneider said the Climate Smart Cotton Program project would provide technical and financial assistance to more than 1,000 US cotton producers, including historically underserved cotton producers, to advance adoption of climate-smart practices such as no-till, cover crops and nutrient management on more than a million acres, producing more than four million bales of Climate Smart Cotton over five years. 

“The US cotton industry is committed to sustainability and to protecting the environment,” said Schneider. “The $90m of funding allocated to the US Climate Smart Cotton Program is a historic investment that will further enhance our industry’s voluntary environmental stewardship efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, soil loss and water and energy use, while increasing land efficiency and soil carbon.”

The Climate Smart Cotton Program is a collaborative effort with Cotton Incorporated and the NCC’s export promotion arm, Cotton Council International; the Soil Health Institute; the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund; Alabama A&M University; North Carolina A&T University; Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Research; and Agricenter International in Memphis. The NCC also is grateful for Target’s support of the project through cost-share funding.

It will be led by the US Cotton Trust Protocol, a voluntary programme where its US cotton producer participants commit to providing sustainably-grown cotton to not only meet the needs of brands and retailers in the fashion and textile industries but ultimately protect and preserve the planet.

“The US cotton industry is honoured to partner with USDA on this very important environmental enterprise,” Schneider said. “We look forward to working with secretary Vilsack on future climate-smart programmes not only to build and expand market opportunities for US cotton but be global leaders in mitigating the impact of climate change through voluntary and innovative conservation practices.”

Earlier this month, CottonConnect and The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a collaborative partnership on knowledge sharing, innovation, environmental sustainability assessment and joint project initiatives.

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