AgFax Cotton Review: New Use in Medicine; Chinese Stocks Lower Than Expected


    • Josie Musico reports for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that Texas Tech researchers are looking into a novel new way to use cotton in the medicinal field. They’ve created what appears to be a thin plastic film but is actually a biodegradable bandage made from cotton. The new product could help speed up the healing process and reduce scar formations compared to traditional bandages, and being biodegradable wouldn’t require the painful ripping off of adhesives or tedious unwrapping of traditional bandages.


    • reports that USDA’s Beijing bureau has released an estimate of Chinese cotton stocks at 58 million bales for the close of 2014-15, over 4 million bales lower than the official USDA estimate. The lower stock estimate comes from increased domestic use and decreased production as a result of changes to China’s subsidy policy and weak cotton prices increasing the fiber’s competitiveness against polyester.
    • The Press Trust of India reports on The Business-Standard that the International Cotton Advisory Committee has declared expectations that global cotton trade will fall 11% in the ongoing season due to reduced imports by China, the world’s largest importer. Losses are expected to be somewhat offset by increased imports in South and Southeast Asia. Prices are forecast to average around 74 cents per pound, while global production is expected to remain near last season’s levels.
    • Phoebe Sedgman reports for Bloomberg that Australia has cut its cotton production forecast by 19% to the lowest level in 5 years as drought reduced planting across the country. Current output is forecast at 470,000 metric tons, down from 580,000 forecast in September.


    • Josie Musico reports for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that Texas AgriLife cotton breeders are working on developing new, nematode resistant cotton varieties for use in West Texas. The most popular pesticide for the pests, Temik, was banned 4 years ago, but the dry conditions prevalent in the western areas of the state limit the effectiveness of chemicals in any case. Resistant varieties for the root-knot nematode already exist but aren’t well suited for the environment and soil types in western Texas. The varieties currently under development will maintain the desirable characteristics used in the area combined with resistance to the pests.
    • Christine Souza reports on that California’s cotton harvest wrapped up, shortened by the drought hammering the state. Acreage was down as growers were concerned about water during planting, and yields are variable depending on how much water growers were able to get. Overall the crop turned out fairly well, and quality was very good for the season. Many growers switched to planting more of the long-staple pima variety due to the premium prices offered than upland varieties.
    • Bill Lambrecht of the Houston Chronicle reports on that Texas cotton farmers may face new regulations on spraying herbicides as the state’s growing wine grape vineyards are concerned about the effects of drift from more potent chemicals. Resistant weeds are a growing problem across the country, but Texas has been particularly hammered by resistant pigweed this season. Growers are moving away from glyphosate to older, more toxic chemicals in an effort to combat the problem, and the state’s grape growers don’t like it. Drift from one season will affect vines for seasons on down the line, so some of their concern is understandable. Proposals range from outright bans on new herbicide tolerant cotton varieties to regulations on when growers can spray to transparent, easily accessed records of who’s growing what and where to help manage around drift.

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