Will technology continue to help the US cotton industry compete in the global market?
I definitely think that technology will always drive the cotton market. When I think about all of the new genes being tested, it’s just phenomenal. Sometimes the technology seems way out in left field, so to speak. Then, three years later, it has become a reality. However, I do worry that the technology moves so fast that a farmer barely has time to learn about it. That’s when it’s important to have a consultant helping out.
From a plant breeder’s perspective, we’ve done a good job of utilizing technology. It certainly has had an effect in terms of the quality, strength and length of the cotton fiber. This is what will help us continue to compete in international markets. The farmer knows that we are on a faster track as far as adopting this new technology. Also, the seed technology has a much shorter shelf life in today’s market.
San Marcos, Texas
From what I have seen and heard, the U.S. cotton industry will continue to be the world leader when it comes to the use of technology. I honestly believe that our competitors look to the United States to see what we are doing in this area. Technology moves fast in agriculture, but it’s the same thing in our everyday life. You have to be able to adapt and overcome. That’s the American way of doing things. Having said all of this, I have great confidence in the cotton industry looking ahead to the next few years. We had some lean times, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
East Salem, Ala.
Let me describe it this way. Just having a mousetrap isn’t good enough anymore in this industry. You’ve got to have the best one out there. We’re a small group, but I think we’re gearing ourselves to becoming more of a research and development company. We’re constantly trying to work on different things to improve our product. Nearly everything we do in the gin is computer related. You’ve got to stay ahead of the curve.
Well, here is the deal. This train is rolling, and you might as well jump on board in some form or fashion. Today we’re doing some things that might not necessarily be technology driven. Instead, it’s all about finding new synthetic chemistries because of the resistance problems that are out there. The farmer has to buy in because of the resistance. Now weed competition has become so important because of how the seed and young plant are affected. It’s also a case of combining old and new technologies to accomplish our goal of eliminating that resistant pigweed.
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