This year, Fiber Competition Cotton Management System™ Services will hold a Cotton Competitiveness Conference in Raleigh, N.C., June 17-19, at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. The theme for the Cotton Competitiveness Conference is "Cultivating Success in a Global Market." This conference will focus on cotton’s competitiveness throughout the entire supply chain—from the agricultural stage all the way up to retail. Some topics that will be presented at the conference include breeding, sustainability, ginning, classing, logistics, new products and technologies, consumer/retail, an economic overview, and discussion of standardization and test methods.
The Universal Cotton Standards Conference is usually held every three years to evaluate current standards and make needed revisions. This year, the Universal Cotton Standards Conference will also be held in Raleigh, N.C., following the Cotton Competitiveness Conference. This will be the first time since 1965 that the Universal Cotton Standards Conference has not been in Memphis. The Universal Cotton Grade Standards for Upland cotton are represented by 15 physical cotton grade standards. Approximately 2,000 practical forms or copies of the 15 physical grade standards are updated each year to be used as a reference in grading Upland cotton. This ensures that all cotton measurements are held to a set of universal standards.
With the location of the Universal Cotton Standards Conference in Raleigh this year, Fiber Competition’s Product Evaluation Laboratory (PEL) at the Cotton Incorporated World Headquarters in Cary, N.C., will be the hosting location for the evaluation of the standards. Delegates for the evaluations of the 15 physical cotton grade standards include cotton producers, ginners, merchants, textile manufacturers, and international merchants and spinners. Proposals this year will include the addition of standards for instrument trash measurements.
Mark your calendars to join us for the Cotton Competitiveness Conference June 17-19.
This year’s Beltwide Cotton Conferences were held Jan. 7-10, 2013, in San Antonio. The Beltwide Cotton Conferences provide useful networking and educational opportunities for those in the cotton industry. Attendees get to see presentations, panel discussions and exhibits relating to different aspects of the cotton industry.
At this year’s conference, Cotton Incorporated’s exhibit made cotton information throughout the entire supply chain available to conference attendees. The exhibit showed Cotton Incorporated’s Web presence with a listing of different Web sites with everything from agricultural sustainability to the latest fashion trends and forecasts. Cotton fiber charts were available for those interested in U.S. cotton quality. The cottonseed utilization portion of the exhibit gave attendees a chance to taste some different flavors of the Acala Farms flavor-infused cottonseed oil. The inclusion of cottonseed oil at the exhibit was to increase the public’s awareness of cotton in food, not just as a crop used for textiles. The exhibit also included information about Cotton Board members, agriculture and the environment, textile manufacturing, Fiber Competition’s Cotton Management System™ (CMS™) software and consumer products.
Unlike many cooking oils, cottonseed oil does not absorb the flavors of the food cooked in it, so it doesn’t transfer flavor. Its neutral flavor and high cooking temperature combine to enhance the natural flavor of food without overpowering it with additional flavor. Cottonseed oil, the original cooking oil of the United States, arrived on store shelves in the 1880s and remains widely used in the commercial food industry. For example, Crisco, the popular shortening brand, takes its name from crystallized cottonseed oil due to the high content of cottonseed oil in the original 1911 formula. Today, cotton and cottonseed oil can be found in a range of everyday food products, including mayonnaise, salad dressings, ice cream, hot dogs and potato chips.
Cottonseed oil’s value in the kitchen was further shown with the Cotton Board’s press conference with a cooking demonstration using the Acala Farms flavor-infused cottonseed oil. Attendees at the press conference enjoyed three recipes with these oils prepared by San Antonio Marriott Executive Chef Donald Hoffman. The salmon salpicon featured the jalapeño lime and cilantro cottonseed oil. The sautéed chicken breast featured fresh-roasted garlic cottonseed oil served with a honey chipotle barbecue sauce made with chipotle cottonseed oil. Hoffman also prepared a watermelon salad with pecorino cheese and habañero cottonseed oil. Attendees were impressed with all three selections.
Fiber Competition has released a free, Web-based version of EFS®-USCROP™ software called USCrop Web. All of the same functionality available in EFS-USCROP software is available in this program, but with only the last year’s crop data. The Web-based functionality makes the program more easily accessible. The program is centrally updated by our Cotton Management System (CMS) software staff, and that means users do not have to update their own software.
You can access the USCrop Web program via cottonpedia. Visit http://www.cottonpedia.net on the World Wide Web. Click on the Cotton Quality tab, and then on the USCrop™ Web link. When the program opens, click on the link to register your account.