The purpose of the work described in this report was assess the extent to which cotton farming practices studied, developed or otherwise supported through Cotton Incorporated (CI) State Support Program (SSP) research have been adopted by growers in the Southeastern region. We are equally interested in understanding the relationship between these practices and the profitability and sustainability of growing cotton.
Within each section of this report, we first provide some background and details on the extent to which SSP research has focused on practices related to this topic. We then describe the survey questions/items we used to assess the extent to which these practices have been adopted and the results that were obtained. These results are then analyzed to understand their meaning and importance. We incorporate external sources of research and information to shed additional light on the findings we obtained in an attempt to highlight the relationship between certain practices and the profitability and sustainability of growing cotton. Finally, in each section we provide conclusions and recommendations that summarize whether, and to what extent, the practices supported by the SSP research are being adopted and specify whether additional research seems warranted or valuable.
We wish to underscore that this investigation does not seek to provide scientific proof for the value, impact or relevance of SSP funded research. Neither is it meant to be an evaluation of specific research projects. Project results are considered at face value and considered null hypotheses. We are looking to obtain information that illustrates the degree of consistency among the growing practices studied with SSP funding, the adoption of those practices, and any relationship to enhanced profitability and sustainability of growing cotton. It is clear the range of factors that influence the adoption or the ultimate value of various growing practices, occurs within a broad, economic, environmental and social context that transcends the scope of this investigation.