Ag News

Cotton growers receive updates during GCC meeting

by Jay Stone

Posted on Feb 16, 2024 at 8:09 AM

During the Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC) Annual Meeting, the state’s cotton growers heard presentations from GCC, the National Agricultural Law Center, Cotton Council International and Southern Cotton Growers.

GCC Executive Director Taylor Sills reviewed the commission’s activities over the past year and its plans for 2024.

In addition to presenting cotton information at farm days, through broadcast advertising and social media, Sills said the organization is working with Georgia Public Broadcasting to provide educational materials for teachers to use.

“We’re continuing to do the things that work,” Sills said. “One of the things I’ve picked up over the years is to meet people where they are to maximize those efforts.”

The GCC is coordinating with the Savannah College of Art and Design fibers and merchandising students on the benefits of cotton.

The GCC is providing $1.5 million in support of 18 different UGA research projects in 2024.

Sills said an increasing number of Georgia cotton growers are enrolling in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (USCTP), which aids in promoting U.S.-grown cotton around the globe and provides financial incentives for growers to sign up. Growers who wish to sign up for USCTP should contact Grower Enrollment Specialist Chaz Holt at Growers who want to participate in USCTP for the 2024 crop should enroll by April 30 at

Sills invited growers to participate in the Cotton Board’s video conference series, “Cotton and Coffee,” which usually takes place monthly via Zoom on the third Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Topics for 2024 topics include soil health, engineered fiber selection, USCTP, consumer attitudes, cotton entomology, cotton production evaluation and more.

The National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) provides objective, non-partisan research and information on laws and regulations affecting agriculture. NALC also produces The Feed, a bi-monthly review of ag law and policy developments.

Staff attorney Micah Brown with the NALC covered key topics of interest for cotton growers, including proposed new restrictions for pesticide use under Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The new restrictions, known as “early mitigations,” are likely to affect all pesticide users. The NALC will present an in-depth look at the proposal in a Feb. 21 webinar. For more information or to register, visit

Cotton Council International (CCI) Executive Director Bruce Atherley, provided data on cotton exports and apparel imports. Atherley noted that over the past three years, Cotton Brazil has expanded its promotional efforts and improved its cotton systems. Every bale of cotton produced in Brazil is now classed and carries a QR code that allows the cotton to be traced back to the farm where it was grown.

In competing with Brazilian-grown cotton, U.S. cotton has two advantages, Atherley said. First is the USCTP and second is Cotton USA Solutions, a set of business-building programs designed to show mills how using U.S. cotton can make them more productive, efficient and profitable.

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