Cotton Competitiveness Conference

On June 17-19, 2013, Cotton Incorporated hosted the Cotton Competitiveness Conference in Raleigh, NC. The theme was “Cultivating Success in a Global Market.” Topics presented at the conference focused on competitiveness in the entire cotton supply chain — from the agricultural stage all the way up to retail. We have made the presentation slides available here.

Without the Right Agricultural Practices and Products We Can’t Be Competitive

D.r. Kater D. Hake

Vice President

Agricultural and Environmental Research

Cotton Incorporated


The pace of change in modern cotton production continues to accelerate out of necessity. The technologies necessary to stay competitive in cotton force us to constantly learn and implement new production practices and try new products.

Getting the Genome into the Game

Dr. Don C. Jones


Agricultural and Environmental Research

Cotton Incorporated


What is genome sequencing and why is it important? These questions will be explored.

Variety Performance: A Critical Issue for Cotton Competitiveness

Dr. Robert Loring Nichols

Senior Director

Agricultural and Environmental Research

Cotton Incorporated


The U.S. cotton industry needs varieties that provide good yields and quality that benefits textile mills. These goals are being met. This presentation will review breeding objectives, variety evaluation, U.S. yield and quality trends, and the critical integrating role of Cotton Incorpora

Translating Research into Effective Results in Cotton Production

Dr. Gaylon Morgan

Professor and Extension Agronomist

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


Higher cotton leaf grades have been increasing in some portion of the Cotton Belt over the past decade. Researchers evaluated the impact of cotton harvest aids and cotton variety characteristics on cotton leaf grade values. Cotton defoliation had a minimal impact on cotton leaf grade, while cotton leaf hairiness was identified as a significant contributing factor to higher leaf grade values.

Effectively Moving Product from the Field to the Gin: Module Handling Survey

Dr. Andrew G. Jordan


Jordan Associates


Managing product information from the farmer to the textile mill and beyond is becoming increasingly important. This presentation summarizes results of a survey of U.S. cotton ginners to ascertain the state of product tracking systems from the cotton field to the gin; it also determines ginners’ views of additional technology needs to enhance product flow and information from the field through the gin.

Precision Ginning – Preserving Product Quality

Dr. Richard K. Byler

Research Leader

ARS / Cotton Ginning Lab

U.S. Department of Agriculture


ARS ginning research focuses on preserving the fiber quality available in seed cotton while properly drying and cleaning the seed cotton and lint. The seed cotton arrives at gins with a wide range of moisture content, trash levels, and different trash, seed, and lint properties; many related to the cotton cultivar. The goal is to advise the gin manager regarding adjustments or to automatically adjust the gin machinery for optimum processing.

Module Averaging: Improving Production Returns and Classing Data

Darryl W. Earnest

Deputy Administrator

AMS, Cotton and Tobacco Programs

U.S. Department of Agriculture


Module averaging is a cotton quality data management program offered by the AMS Cotton Program since the early 1990s as a means to improve the reliability of classing data to the supply chain. While being a more reliable and statistically sound method of reporting the fiber characteristics through HVI® testing, module averaging also provides an economic benefit to the producer and/or ginner submitting the cotton for testing. Both the quality and economic benefits of the module averaging program will be discussed during this session.

HVI Standardization and Inter-laboratory Harmonization – Critical Elements for Assuring the HVI Result Level

Axel Drieling

Senior Manager

Cotton / Head of Testing Method Department

Bremen Fiber Institute (FIBRE) / ICA Bremen


For trading cotton, it is essential to assure that all cotton testing laboratories obtain similar test results for similar samples, independently where the lab is located. Several measures for assuring test result reproducibility are explained. The CSITC Round Trials are an important international tool for comparing laboratory test results and for helping laboratories to remove systematic test result deviations.

Using the Cotton Management System™ to Minimize Raw Material Costs and Maximize Quality

Michael D. Watson

Vice President

Fiber Competition

Cotton Incorporated


With raw cotton typically representing at least 60 percent of cotton yarn manufacturing cost, effective cotton purchasing strategies, inventory control, and laydown management are all critical elements for maintaining cotton competitiveness. The Cotton Management System™ programs provide a complete toolkit for the cotton industry to meet today’s logistics and manufacturing challenges.

Water – The New Oil

Bill Holman

North Carolina State Director

The Conservation Fund


Increasing demand and competition for water resources in the 21st century will require new approaches to management, technology and collaboration by agriculture, manufacturers, water utilities and electric utilities. Bill Holman, co-author of 2008 and 2010 reports and recommendations on water allocation policy to the North Carolina General Assembly, developed by a team of Duke and UNC-CH researchers, will speak on the challenges and opportunities facing water managers from the perspective of a relatively wet state in the Southeastern U.S.

Effective Water Use for Cotton Production / What Are the Numbers and What Can We Do?

Dr. Edward M. Barnes

Senior Director

Agricultural and Environmental Research

Cotton Incorporated


Cotton is a heat and drought tolerant plant, often growing where other crops cannot. This presentation will document the amount of water used by cotton and provide an overview of ongoing research to make cotton even more water-efficient.

Modern Consumer Laundry – Will Protecting the Environment Protect Our Clothes?

Vikki B. Martin

Director, Quality Research and Product Evaluation

Fiber Competition

Cotton Incorporated


Water conservation and improved energy efficiency efforts reach beyond agriculture and textile processing and ultimately occurs in the consumer’s home. What impact can consumers have on the environment and more importantly, are more environmentally friendly laundering efforts, such as washing in cold water, helping or hurting our clothes?

Challenges Coming in Consumer Laundry New Regulations

Jennifer H. Schoenegge

Product Manager – Laundry

GE Appliances


Understanding the changing regulatory landscape for residential clothes washers and dryers and the potential impact on how consumers will care for clothes.

What Is “Sustainability” and How Does It Affect Competiveness in the Cotton Supply Chain?

Mark A. Messura

Senior Vice President

Global Supply Chain Marketing

Cotton Incorporated


International Forum for Cotton Promotion


The presentation will examine industry efforts to define and deal with sustainability in the textile supply chain. Remarks will also explore the various perspectives of business, NGOs, and the cotton sector as all groups confront what sustainability means and how to manage the concept.

Innovations in Textile Processing that Improve Efficiency and Meet Downstream Demands

William D. Kimbrell

Associate Director

Supply Chain Initiatives

Cotton Incorporated


Textile manufacturers continue to improve efficiency through the implementation of technologies that consume less water, energy, and chemistry. This presentation will provide an overview of the latest innovations that enable mills to process textiles more efficiently while achieving the quality, performance and fashion demands of downstream customers.

Recent Market Events and Challenges for Demand Growth

Jon Devine

Senior Economist

Corporate Strategy and Program Metrics

Cotton Incorporated


Virtually all major agricultural markets experienced significant changes in terms of both supply and demand in recent decades. The cotton market was not an exception, and the changes experienced in the cotton supply and demand contributed to imbalances that produced the extreme volatility that occurred in 2010/11. This unprecedented movement in cotton prices highlighted challenges for cotton consumption growth. This presentation provides an overview of these challenges and discusses how recent events, as well as longer-term trends, could shape the future of cotton demand.

Customer Comments and the Modern Consumer

Melissa R. Bastos

Associate Director, Market Research

Corporate Strategy and Program Metrics

Cotton Incorporated


The volatility in cotton prices and other increasing costs to manufacture apparel has caused the retail market to become more competitive. Rising prices in conjunction with the fast fashion trend have consumers reassessing the importance of quality and value in their apparel purchases. This presentation will address consumers’ main complaints about the current clothing offerings, and how the textile industry can capture the attention and dollars of the modern consumer.