A research project at Texas Tech University has resulted in a Web-based calculator tailored to cotton harvesting, helping producers to make key decisions on harvesting and equipment investment.

Sukant Misra, associate dean of research for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, says the project began with a producer's question. He asked if an eight-row stripper was a suitable investment for him, or if he should examine other, smaller options.

When no suitable answer could be found, the idea of researching cotton harvesting and its investment took root in Tech's department of agricultural and applied economics.

The project, sponsored by the Cotton Economics Research Institute and Cotton Incorporated, had two objectives:

  • To provide accurate economic information about harvesting costs for cotton.

  • To help producers make informed investment decisions.

The calculator may be used in two ways. Producers may determine harvesting costs using their pickers or strippers. Or, they may compare costs with alternative harvesting techniques.

The harvesting cost calculator may be found at www.aeco.ttu.edu/CER-Institute/CottonHarvesting.

Arkansas Puts Quarantine On Hold

The Arkansas boll weevil eradication quarantine plan has been delayed for a few months. At a Sept. 19 meeting in Little Rock, the Arkansas State Plant Board voted unanimously to send proposed quarantine plans and regulations back to staff for additional work.

According to Daryl Little, Arkansas Plant Board director, the board didn't feel as though the matter was urgent enough to move immediately.

“At the meeting, we pulled the quarantine down because of so many good, reasonable comments on how the plan would affect areas actively involved in eradication,” Little says.

Most quarantines target a pest area and prohibit articles from moving outside it. The proposed Arkansas quarantine works differently. The triggers for the quarantine don't kick in until there are areas in the state where weevils have been eradicated.

Little says the Plant Board needs to look at risks more closely and how proposed regulatory language defines areas that would be under quarantine.

The Board will also examine how to maximize efforts with the neighboring states of Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

International Textile Customers Visit U.S. Cotton Belt

Textile executives from Bangladesh, Estonia, India and Turkey traveled throughout the U.S. Cotton Belt Sept. 24-Oct. 3. Their goal: to get acquainted with U.S. cotton and the operations that produce, process and market that fiber.

The four countries represented on the tour are expected to consume 21.2 million cotton bales in the 2001-2002 marketing year, says Bill Dunavant, president of Cotton Council International (CCI). That's about 23% of the total cotton consumed outside the U.S.; one out of every four bales exported by the U.S. goes to one of those countries.

The tour made stops in Raleigh, NC; Greenwood and Stoneville, MS; Memphis; Dallas and Lubbock, TX; and the San Joaquin Valley (Bakersfield and Fresno) of California. During their visit, participants observed cotton research in North Carolina and Mississippi, toured the American Cotton Growers Denim Mill in West Texas and the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, TN. They also met with exporters in the four major Cotton Belt regions.

The Cotton USA Orientation Tour's specific objectives are to increase these U.S. cotton customers' awareness of the types and qualities of U.S. cotton, help them gain a better understanding of U.S. marketing practices and enhance their relationships with U.S. cotton exporters.

Over the years, the Orientation Tour has led many foreign textile manufacturers to develop an appreciation for U.S. cotton fiber quality. It has also furthered the U.S. cotton industry's reputation as a reliable supplier. The tour continues to be a vehicle for helping U.S. cotton capture additional market share overseas.