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National Cotton Council looking for ways to help U.S. cotton survive

National Cotton Council seeking ways to restore their crop as a Title I commodity.

The National Cotton Council’s efforts to win approval for designating cotton as an “other oilseed” under the 2014 farm bill were doomed to failure, but that doesn't mean the NCC is giving up on its efforts to find a new safety net program for their commodity.

Council Chairman Ronnie Lee says the $330 million producers received in ginning cost share payments did help in 2016. But Lee, a speaker at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, Tenn., said he is hopeful a new Congress and a new administration will mean the Council will be more successful in winning approval for the oilseed designation in 2017 -- as a bridge to the new farm bill Congress is expected to pass in 2018.

Lee, a producer and ginner from Bronwood, Ga., said he had been attending the "Gin Show" for 21 years, listening carefully to what cotton merchant Billy Dunavant and now, Joe Nicosia, with Louis Dreyfus Commodities, had to say about the cotton outlook. "Never did I dream that one day I would be up here speaking to you," he said.

To read more about Lee's comments, visit

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