The U.S. cotton industry is poised to emerge from recent challenges “stronger and better prepared,” and looking forward to new opportunities, National Cotton Council Chairman Eddie Smith told delegates to the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting at San Antonio, Texas.

“We see optimism for U.S. cotton as acreage continues to rebound in response to current prices,” he said in his farewell address as NCC chairman.

He says 2011 will provide profit opportunities for cotton, with continued good prices and a surge in plantings, predicted to top 12.5 million acres. But he also pointed to challenges, including early discussions on the 2012 farm bill, continued concern with trade issues and the Doha Round of GATT, the effect the Brazil WTO case will have on the 2012 farm bill debate and ongoing concerns over regulatory issues.

“We will continue to discuss budget issues in an extremely difficult environment in Washington. Our efforts in Washington underscore our need to keep the Committee for the Advancement of Cotton (CAC) political action committee well-funded.”