C&T Stakeholder Newsletter

Agricultural Marketing Service

The Stakeholder Newsletter of the Cotton & Tobacco Program - March 2022

Ronald Robbins, C&T ADA; Darryl Earnest, C&T DA; and Monica Alexander, C&T ADA

Hello to all and welcome to another bi-annual edition of the AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program (C&T) External Stakeholder Newsletter.  In this issue, we will cover some of the highlights and challenges faced during the 2021-22 cotton season, provide some crop quality information, discuss the status of the new Lubbock, TX Cotton Classification Complex (CCC), explain the importance of purchasing cotton bales each year to make the USDA’s physical Universal Cotton Standards, and feature a video discussion between Dr. Gary Adams, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council and myself about the past season and looking forward to 2022 and beyond. 

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2021-2022 Quality Highlights

Graph of the percentage of the crop tenderable

The USDA, AMS, Cotton and Tobacco Program (C&T) Market News Division’s most recent Season-to-Date (Monthly) Quality Report for the 2021 cotton crop contained quality data on bales classed through February 24, 2022. C&T’s ten regional Classing Offices graded 16,612,096 Upland bales and 319,117 bales of American Pima. This compares to 13,646,902 Upland bales and 531,974 American Pima bales for the entire 2020 crop. For the 2021 crop, 82.9 percent of cotton classed was tenderable for delivery against the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Cotton Futures contract.  This is the highest percent of the crop tenderable since the 1958 crop. 

Several measurements including length and strength saw either record highs or very close to record levels.  The very high quality 2021-22 cotton crop also accompanied market prices higher than recent years.  Specific details about the crop quality are shown in a series of charts included in this newsletter. 

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New Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex (CCC) Nears Completion

New Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex

The new Lubbock Cotton Classification Complex (CCC), under construction in Lubbock, TX, is very close to being complete and ready for implementation.  The 30,000-square-foot facility, which began construction in May 2020, will replace the Cotton and Tobacco Program’s (C&T) current facility located on Ironton Avenue.  The existing facility has been in operation since 1987.  The new Lubbock CCC started as a concept several years ago when it became clear that the current facility had reached its capacity and was not conducive to a major renovation.  During the design phase of the project, C&T reached out to Texas Tech University with the vision of possibly constructing the facility on campus property and incorporating some research, education, and outreach features not found in other locations.  This unique concept led to a cooperative agreement with Texas Tech University to locate the facility on campus property but still be owned by C&T.  The Lubbock facility will be the third facility fully owned by C&T but the first to be located on a university campus. 

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Watch the Video:  New Lubbock CCC Front Elevation

The Importance of Bale Purchases in Classing Operations

Picture of Bales and Standards Products in Warehouse

Most stakeholders of the AMS, Cotton and Tobacco Program (C&T) are familiar with the classing services we provide to our customers but what many might not know is what happens behind the scenes to support the classing operations. To assure quality grading services, the C&T Program utilizes standardized materials to assure the precision, accuracy, and consistency of the entire grading process. The Cotton & Tobacco Program’s Standardization & Engineering Division produces and distributes these standards within all of its regional offices and to customers worldwide each year.

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Video Feature:  Darryl Earnest and Gary Adams Review the Current Crop Year and Talk Future Outlook


Darryl Earnest & Gary Adams

In February, the Cotton & Tobacco Program's (C&T) Darryl Earnest, Deputy Administrator, met up with Dr. Gary Adams, President and CEO of the National Cotton Council, for a conversation to discuss challenges for the C&T Program and the cotton industry from the 2021-22 season, as well as an outlook for the coming months and season ahead.  



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