In 1907, an international group of cotton industry representatives met in Atlanta, Georgia, to address serious problems that had developed in the marketing of cotton.
A resolution was passed which recommended the establishment of uniform cotton standards to “eliminate price differences between markets, provide a means of settling disputes, make the farmer more cognizant of the value of his product, and, therefore, put him in a better bargaining position, and in general be of great benefit to the cotton trade.” In response, over the next several years, laws were passed authorizing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop cotton grade standards and offer cotton classification services.
Under the authority of the U.S. Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927, the U.S. Cotton Standards Act of 1923, and the U.S. Cotton Futures Act of 1914, USDA implemented a classification system. Thus began an industry-government relationship that remains strong and viable to this day, continuing beneficial results for the nation and for its customers abroad.
Overview of the Cotton Classification Process: Nature of Cotton, Classification, Structure, Scope, Process, Tracking.
Maintaining Official Standards for Classification
To maintain the integrity of the USDA classification system, official standards and standardized procedures have been developed and used.
Classification of Upland Cotton
Learn how US Upland Cotton is Classified: Fiber Length, Length Uniformity, Fiber Strength, Micronaire, Color Grade, Trash, Leaf Grade, Extraneous Matter, Module Averaging.
Classification of American Pima Cotton
Classification procedures for American Pima cotton are similar to those for American Upland cotton, including the use of HVI measurements.
Quality and Reliability of Classification Data
The reproducibility of cotton classing results from one USDA facility to another is the measure used to determine the reliability of the data produced.
Dissemination of Data
USDA disseminates data in two formats: (1) official classification information and (2) statistical information regarding quality, volume, and pricing.
United States Department of Agriculture and Cotton Council Internatinal Acknowledgements of the Classifications of Cotton.