The new Climate Smart Cotton Program, run by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, is one of the initiatives being promoted by USDA's Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities, according to Ted Schneider, Chairman of the National Cotton Council (NCC).
The Louisiana producer, said that the U.S. cotton sector is devoted to sustainability and to safeguarding the environment. The record investment of $90 million in the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program will help the industry's voluntary environmental stewardship initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions, soil loss, water consumption, and carbon emissions while enhancing land productivity and soil carbon levels.
In order to advance the adoption of climate-smart practices like no-till, cover crops, and nutrient management on more than a million acres, he said that the project announced today will provide technical and financial assistance to more than 1,000 U.S. cotton producers, including historically underserved cotton producers, producing more than four million bales of climate-smart cotton over the course of five years.
Schneider said the three-year-old U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol®, a voluntary program where American cotton producer participants commit to providing sustainably-grown cotton to not only meet the needs of brands and retailers in the fashion and textile industries but ultimately protect and preserve our planet, will be in charge of the new project.
Cotton Incorporated, Cotton Council International, the Soil Health Institute, the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, Alabama A&M University, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University's AgriLife Research, and Agricenter International in Memphis are all partners in the Climate Smart Cotton Program. Target's cost-sharing contribution to the project is also appreciated by the NCC.
Schneider said the USDA and the American cotton industry are proud to collaborate on this crucial environmental project. They look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack on future climate-smart projects to grow and extend market possibilities for American cotton and to be world leaders in reducing the effects of climate change via voluntary and creative conservation measures.
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