The National Cotton Council’s COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force has a plan.
“Our industry wants to be the supplier of choice for those who are committed to only buying cotton that is produced with sustainable and responsible environmental, safety and labor practices,” says Ronnie Lee, a Georgia cotton producer and chairman of the National Cotton Council.
The task force plan includes implementing science-based metrics and benchmarks developed by Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, according to a press release. Field to Market works across the agricultural supply chain to define, measure and advance the sustainability of U.S. crop production.
Task Force Goals Set for 2025 include:
- Reduce land needed to produce a pound of cotton fiber by 13%.
- Reduce soil loss by 50%, in balance with new soil formation.
- Increase water use efficiency (more fiber per gallon) by 18%.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39%.
- Increase soil carbon in fields by 30%.
- Reduce energy to produce seed cotton and ginned lint by 15%.
“U.S. cotton growers have achieved significant environmental gains over the past 3 decades,” says Ted Schneider, a Louisiana cotton producer and Task Force chairman. “The goals are meant to continue that trend and to reinvigorate efforts through the setting of realistic targeted reductions.”