National Cotton Council periodically disseminates information such as news releases and articles in its newsletter, Cotton's Week, regarding Cotton Foundation projects, including progress reports and announcements of new special projects.
High Cotton Winners Recognized
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Recipients of the 2020 Farm Press-Cotton Foundation High Cotton Awards and regions they represent are: Larry Ford, Greenwood, Fla., Southeast; Matt/Kelly Griggs, Humboldt, Tenn., Mid-South; Dan Smith, Lockney, Texas, Southwest; and Greg Wuertz, Coolidge, Ariz., West. These cotton producers and their families were honored here today at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis.
The High Cotton Awards were begun by Farm Press Publications and the National Cotton Council in 1994 to demonstrate that cotton growers and their families are concerned about the environment and are the true stewards of their land, water, and air.
The program, which now has recognized more than 100 of this nation’s cotton producers, is supported by a Farm Press grant to The Cotton Foundation.
The 2020 awards recipients farm in distinctly different regions under a range of environmental challenges and regulations. They also vary somewhat in their production practices and management philosophies, but they all share a common goal of farming sustainably and passing the land onto the next generation.
Ford, for example, places an intense focus on irrigation because he farms in a watershed and spring basis under strict water-use restrictions. He uses soil tensiometers, which deliver data to his phone to help schedule irrigation, in most fields. He also uses variable rate technology, which conserves water and reduces irrigation costs.
Wuertz also places an emphasis on conserving water – using subsurface drip where possible and only flood irrigating fields that have been laser leveled. He rotates his cotton with wheat or alfalfa and runs minimum tillage equipment to oxygenate the soil and enhance decomposition. He also tries to eliminate early insecticide sprays to promote beneficial insect populations.
The Griggs place great importance on preserving soil, which they consider the most important resource in their family operation. They credit no-till for maintaining their soil but use cover crops and a strict crop rotation program to restore the soil.
Smith, who has been transitioning from conventional till to no-till since 1995 says he is now sold on no-till which saves wear on his equipment and reduces his fuel costs.
COTTON LEADSSM PROGRAM WELCOMES DELTA APPAREL
Commitment Emphasizes Support for Sustainable Cotton in Brand Supply Chain
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Delta Apparel Inc. (NYSE American: DLA), a leading provider of core activewear and lifestyle apparel products, has joined the Cotton LEADSSM program signifying their commitment to sustainability and acknowledging the ongoing improvements U.S. and Australian cotton growers continue to make under both countries’ stringent regulatory environments. The aim of the Cotton LEADS program is to raise awareness of sustainable and responsible cotton growing practices, and to keep member partners informed about the leading efforts in reducing the environmental impact of cotton production. Currently, the Cotton LEADS program has more than 600 partner companies around the world.
“Delta Apparel has been a good customer of U.S. cotton for many years,” says Jennifer Lukowiak, director of Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated. “By joining Cotton LEADS, they underscore their commitment to sustainability and to the role U.S. cotton plays in fulfilling it.”
Cotton LEADS is a program that is committed to responsibly produced cotton. Built upon core principles that are consistent with sustainability and that promote the use of best practices and traceability in the supply chain, Cotton LEADS offers cotton users the confidence and knowledge that their raw material is responsibly produced and traceable. Cotton LEADS was founded by an alliance of industry organizations in Australia and the United States of America.
“Quality products start with quality ingredients,” says Deb Merrill, president of Delta Group and CFO of Delta Apparel, Inc. “For Delta Apparel, quality has to also include a sustainability component. We are proud to support the work that cotton farmers are doing and to utilize their fiber across our brand portfolio, including Salt Life®, COAST®, Soffe®, and Delta. We take great pride in the efficiency throughout our supply chain and managing sustainable cotton resources without adding costs.”
About Cotton LEADS:
The Cotton LEADS program is a joint effort of the Australian and U.S. cotton industries. Its founding members are Cotton Australia, the Australian Cotton Shippers Association, the Cotton Foundation, the National Cotton Council of America, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated. The program is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices and commitment to continuous improvement among cotton producers in the member countries. More information on the Cotton LEADS program is at: www.cottonleads.org
About Delta Apparel, Inc.:
Delta Apparel, Inc., along with its operating subsidiaries, DTG2Go, LLC, Salt Life, LLC, and M.J. Soffe, LLC, is a vertically-integrated, international apparel company that designs, manufactures, sources, and markets a diverse portfolio of core activewear and lifestyle apparel products under the primary brands of Salt Life®, COAST®, Soffe®, and Delta. The Company is a market leader in the direct-to-garment digital print and fulfillment industry, bringing DTG2Go technology and innovation to the supply chain of its customers. The Company specializes in selling casual and athletic products through a variety of distribution channels and tiers, including outdoor and sporting goods retailers, independent and specialty stores, better department stores and mid-tier retailers, mass merchants and e-retailers, the U.S. military, and through its business-to-business e-commerce sites. The Company’s products are also made available direct-to-consumer at its branded retail stores and on its websites at www.saltlife.com, www.coastapparel.com, www.soffe.com and www.deltaapparel.com as well as through its branded retail stores. The Company’s operations are located throughout the United States, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico, and it employs approximately 8,400 people worldwide. Additional information about the Company is available at www.deltaapparelinc.com.