National Cotton Council (NCC) Chairman Ted Schneider said the U.S. cotton industry applauds USDA for promoting sustainable farming practices through its Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities — including the new Climate Smart Cotton Program led by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.
The Louisiana producer stated that, “The U.S. cotton industry is committed to sustainability and to protecting the environment. The $90 million of funding allocated to the U.S. 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.”
He said this project announced today will provide technical and financial assistance to more than 1,000 U.S. 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.
Schneider said the new project will be led by the industry’s three-year old sustainability initiative — the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® — a voluntary program where its American 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 our planet.”
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.
“The U.S. cotton industry is honored to partner with USDA on this very important environmental enterprise,” Schneider said. “We look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack on future climate-smart programs not only to build and expand market opportunities for U.S. cotton but be global leaders in mitigating the impact of climate change through voluntary and innovative conservation practices.”