Farmers looking to capitalize on sustainability for their cotton farms should make plans to attend the first ever Cotton U on Dec. 5 at the Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show in Amarillo, Texas, to learn about a new pilot program initiated by the National Cotton Council.
The National Cotton Council is aiming to quantify sustainability data through its U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. Craig Brown, vice president of producer affairs for National Cotton Council, will be the keynote speaker at the Cotton U luncheon. He’ll cap off a morning of education by explaining what the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is and how it benefits participating cotton farmers.
According to the Cotton Council, the protocol was developed to help the U.S. cotton production sector reduce its environmental footprint via specific sustainability goals targeted for 2025.
Goals include a 13% increase in productivity or land used per pound of fiber; an 18% increase in irrigation efficiency; a 39% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; a 15% reduction in energy expenditures; a 50% reduction in soil loss; and a 30% increase in soil carbon. Before these goals can be met, farmers must enroll and complete self-assessments to provide a baseline of data for the industry.
Other speakers slated for Cotton U include Oklahoma State University Cotton Extension Specialist Seth Byrd. He will present the latest findings from university trials in the Oklahoma Panhandle that can help producers grow better quality cotton under new conditions. Jeff Miller with ForeFront Agronomy, a cooperating consultant with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, Lubbock, Texas, will present “2 Goals, 1 Drop: Irrigation for Profitability and Soil Health.”
Cotton U, sponsored by High Plains Journal and the Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central on Dec. 5, in the Grand Plaza Ballroom at the Amarillo Civic Center. Registration is free but limited to the first 150 registrants. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register online at Cottonu.net or by calling 620-227-1834. Attendees are invited to enjoy the Amarillo Farm & Ranch Show in the afternoon.