Confronting sticky cotton is one of the major areas of focus for the California Cotton Ginners & Growers Association (CCGGA). On April 25 the association held their annual Sticky Cotton Summit in Fresno, bringing together individuals from every part of the supply chain to hear the latest developments and offer feedback as to what priorities should be moving forward.
“We think by bringing people together in a forum like this, that we can try to identify where are the problems and really work to identify those solutions,” CCGGA President and CEO Roger Isom said. “We’re trying to find solutions at the field level, at the gin level and possibly all the way to the mill so that we can handle sticky cotton.”
Attendees heard about what has been accomplished since last year’s summit and the types of issues still facing the industry. Several panels featured individuals representing growers, ginners, merchants, and mills. The potential for damage to the industry caused by sticky cotton was the central theme of the event. “If you get that reputation of having sticky cotton, which can bring a mill to its knees, they won’t buy from you,” Isom noted, “California has this reputation of the highest quality cotton in the world, if we damage that our market’s gone.”
California has been actively confronting sticky cotton in several different areas, particularly in researching effective methods of identification to potentially establish an industry standard. “We have a lot of expertise and a lot of experience between Cooperative Extension, USDA, and the industry itself,” said Isom.
Last year was not a particularly bad year regarding the amount of sticky cotton reported, but that will not prevent the industry from continuing to be diligent in its goal of eliminating the problem. “We’ve been able to produce that quality, contamination-free cotton that they can just put in their mills and run with it. We want to preserve that,” Isom stated.