He contends the infrastructure of cotton in the U.S. is strong and is confident the business end of cotton will get the job done for what is expected to be one of the biggest crops in recent years.

Jordan Lee, president of the American Cotton Shippers Association told the group that customer satisfaction, regardless of the price of cotton, is critical to longevity of the U.S. cotton industry.

“We had a meeting at the Beltwide Cotton Conference back in January with a group of cotton producers and tried to educate them to the importance of warehouse performance and producer performance related to the risk cotton buyers and shippers are taking. We’ve never had this kind of volatility in the market, and most growers have never had to think much about it,” Lee says.

“I was very impressed by their reaction to what could happen if we can’t deliver on a contract. We are the intermediary between growers and the end users in China and other major textile producers in the world.

“Our four million bale domestic market can’t come close to using the cotton we produce and China, India, and other cotton producing countries around the world would love to take our place,” Lee adds.

Bringing cotton growers together with buyers, with textile industry leaders and even retail buyers is important, the cotton industry leader says. ‘The more we all know about how the entire industry works, the better we can be in working on the same page,” he adds.

“For example, all these parts of the industry can work together and it can all be undone by something as simple as a truck driver making his own schedule.

“We saw this several times last year. A load of cotton was due at the port in Charleston on a Friday and due to be picked up on Tuesday. The driver decides he can pick the load up on Thursday and still get to the port by Friday morning, that pushes the warehouse schedule back two days and affects how they receive cotton during that time period,” Lee explains.

“Keeping customers happy with high quality cotton delivered when the mill wants it is critical to us keeping our export business healthy,” he says.

rroberson@farmpress.com