Skip to main content

cotton incorporated

Weaving Up New Uses for Cotton

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

In the agriculture industry, having a green thumb can help businesses improve their yield and their bottom line. As good stewards, our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and agricultural business are also committed to another type of green. Through sustainable and conservation practices, ag businesses are finding multiple uses for products, which reduces land and water usage.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) witnesses these efforts first-hand while overseeing industry Research and Promotion Programs. These self-help programs that are requested for and completely funded by the industry are charged with developing cutting-edge marketing campaigns and supporting nutrition research that benefits all of the industry’s members. Many of their research projects focus on sustainable practices and conservation. While we know that the list of these types of projects is endless, we would like to highlight a few of the things that the cotton industry is doing.

Partnering for the Success of the Agriculture Industry

As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” This certainly holds true when it comes to the critical partnership between public and private sectors. Several times a year the Commodity Roundtable brings together leaders from many of USDA’s national research and promotion programs and marketing orders, which play a vital role in helping our nation maintain one of the strongest agricultural sectors in the world.

At the most recent Commodity Roundtable meeting in Memphis, TN, I was impressed by the open dialog and the leaders’ deep commitment to supporting America’s farmers and ranchers. Members discussed best practices and strategic plans that will help their respective industries succeed and grow, thanks in part to a commitment to diverse leadership, viewpoints and opinions.

Create a New Market for Cotton? No Sweat.

As more and more Americans are working to become fit and healthy, one of the top athletic clothing companies – Under Armour – has been building a team to help improve its use of natural fibers.  Relying on cutting edge research to provide products that wick away moisture, Under Armour products traditionally were not made of the classic sporting apparel material - cotton.  However, since early 2011, one of the company’s most popular items has been Charged Cotton™, a line of clothing that uses cotton -- the fabric of our lives.