Alabama Cotton: July 15 Check-Off Vote Important to Producer, Consumer

    The July 15 runoff ballot includes Amendment 1 for Alabama’s Cotton Check-Off.

    This is a per bale fee that the farmer voluntarily pays at harvest that goes toward cotton research as well as educational and promotional activities. Cotton farmers created the check-off in the 1970s to help the cotton industry in Alabama to become stronger. Since then, the check-off money has gone to provide money to researchers and farmers for activities that are vital to cotton production.

    The funding provided by the farmer is overseen by the Alabama Cotton Commission and Cotton Incorporated which is composed of producer members that select how the money is used on an annual basis. This includes the boll weevil eradication in the late 1970s. The boll weevil was the single most destructive pest in U.S. cotton history. 

    Research also includes biotechnology (bt) cotton which reduces pesticide use, improves yields and reduces input costs.

    Over half of the U.S. grown cotton relies on rainfall for water. Cotton Incorporated and Alabama farmers have played an important role in researching drought resistant varieties that would better use water to make high yields. Other research includes uses for cotton by-products, variety selection, important pest management such as nematodes and glyphosate resistant weeds, irrigation management, row spacing determination, growth regulator usage, seeding rate determinations, and much more.

    Consumers of cotton and its by-products benefit also. Cottonseed oil has been used for over 100 years. Crisco ® actually stands for crystallized cottonseed oil which has zero trans-fat, zero cholesterol, is gluten free, pesticide free and has a high degree smoke point.

    Cotton Incorporated has also developed several patented technologies such as Wicking Windows, Storm Cotton, and Storm Denim to name a few. These technologies are shared with brands and retailers at no cost to benefit cotton producers and consumers. Researchers have also worked with washing machine manufacturers to educate them on washing and caring for cotton garments using less water and extending the life of these garments.

    If the July 15 amendment passes, farmers will get the opportunity to vote at a later date to determine if their current voluntary check-off will become automatic. Currently, 93% of all US producers voluntarily provide funding through their check-off dollars. As you see above, the money paid by the farmer goes to good use for both producer and consumer.

    Your vote of “yes” on Amendment 1 is supported by cotton producers, the Alabama Farmers Federation, The Alabama Cotton Commission, and Cotton Incorporated.  For the information above and more, visit

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