What is the allied industry’s long-term commitment to cotton?
Valent USA Corp.
Olive Branch, Miss.
In any market, you will have high and low points. However, it’s very encouraging that cotton acres are coming back. I think that’s a good sign. Valent is certainly looking to the future, and we are seeing excellent opportunities for this industry. I grew up in Greenville, Miss., and it’s very gratifying to know that I can drive down US 61 this year and see the return of a lot of cotton acreage. It’s very positive to see this happening.
Our company definitely has a long-term commitment with cotton. When the economy is down, that’s when those relationships with customers are most important. You have to be creative and do the things that will help make the
customer more profitable during the lean times. In the cotton industry, that means learning to do more with less and ultimately becoming more efficient.
John Deere Co.
We continue to be committed to the cotton industry, and that fact should be evident by the continued investment John Deere makes in its research and development of new technologies. And I can’t think of a better example of that than the round module cotton picker that is now in use across the Belt. I think this one piece of equipment has clearly demonstrated where we are as a company and how committed we are to the cotton industry. No matter how broad the swing is in cotton prices, it makes me feel good to know that John Deere remains committed to this industry and its future.
From everything I’ve heard, the chemical and seed companies are on board with the cotton industry for the long haul. They have a lot at stake just like the farmers do. We certainly couldn’t function without their support. These folks are going to help us to protect the industry’s infrastructure, and that’s very critical as we go into 2010. We need good things to happen in cotton because 2009 was definitely a tough year for us in the Mid-South.
We’ve lost a lot of cotton acres in the last few years. However, our allied partners are still sticking with us. The seed companies, for example, continue to deliver very good varieties to us that will help improve our crop production. So, I haven’t seen any dropoff in commitment from the companies out there that support cotton. A lot of farmers had sold their pickers when they got out of cotton, but now I’m seeing more farmers coming back to cotton and buying new equipment. It’s good to know that our allied industry friends have stayed with us.
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