No cotton referendum for research, promotion

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service said a continuance referendum of the 1991 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order is not needed based on the number of grower and importer signatures received from Sept. 3 through Nov. 30, 2007.

AMS officials said they received 107 valid requests for a referendum from eligible producers and importers.

Tennessee led all Cotton Belt states with 55 sign-ups, followed by Arkansas with 11. There were 19 registered signatures from importers.

During a similar 2002 sign-up, 1,550 registered signatures were submitted to AMS. The Cotton Research and Promotion Act says USDA must conduct a referendum if 10 percent of the cotton producers and importers who voted in the most recent referendum — in 1991 — request it. AMS said 4,622 signatures were required.

“The results of this sign-up period and the dramatic reduction of signatures from the 2002 sign-up period demonstrate our industry's strengthened support for the Research and Promotion Program,” said Ted Sheely, California cotton producer and chairman of Cotton Incorporated.

“We are pleased with the results of the sign-up period and are ready to continue working with Cotton Incorporated to advance cotton's world market position,” said Bob McGinnis, Arkansas cotton producer and chairman of the Cotton Board.

The Cotton Board administers the Cotton Research and Promotion Program and oversees Cotton Incorporated's activities for America's cotton growers and importers.

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