USDA announces cotton referendum

USDA has announced that a referendum will be conducted among U.S. upland cotton producers and importers from Oct. 13, 2009 through Nov. 10, 2009.

The 2008 farm bill stated that the states of Kansas, Virginia and Florida be separate states in the definition of “cotton-producing state” as defined in the Cotton Research and Promotion Act. The Agricultural Marketing Service is proposing to amend the Cotton Research and Promotion Order to implement that section of the 2008 farm bill.

According to the Act, a referendum among cotton producers and importers is required to amend the order or any of its provisions. The AMS is providing an opportunity for all eligible persons to vote on the amendments to the order.

Producers will have an opportunity to vote by mail or through their respective Farm Service Agency County office. All known cotton importers will be mailed a ballot and referendum instructions. Ballots will also be available at

The final referendum rules and the proposed rule and referendum order will be published in the Oct. 5, 2009, Federal Register, and can be found at

The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton.

The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline — from the field to the consumer — to keep cotton the No. 1 fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit

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