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Better Cotton in the US

The United States is the third-largest cotton-producing country in the world, and its cotton quality is prized across the global textile industry.

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Licensed Farmers
Tonnes of Better Cotton
Hectares Harvested

While American cotton farmers use advanced production methods, they still face sustainability challenges like herbicide resistance, soil erosion and regional irrigation water shortages.

In response to demand from our members, retailers, suppliers and interested farmer groups, we launched a Better Cotton programme in the United States in 2014. Since then, we have been working closely with the American cotton industry to grow the US Better Cotton supply chain.

Better Cotton Partners in the US

Our current Implementing Partners in the United States include:

  • Allenberg (Louis Dreyfus)
  • Calcot
  • Cargill
  • Jess Smith & Sons
  • Olam
  • Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA)
  • Quarterway Cotton Growers
  • Staple Cotton Cooperative Association
  • Viterra

We also work with local and national NGOs, universities and government agencies.

Sustainability challenges

Cotton in the US is grown throughout the US Cotton Belt, an area that stretches from North Carolina to California. In many parts of the Cotton Belt, farmers struggle to manage weeds that have developed resistance to common herbicides, making it necessary to use alternative herbicides and weed management techniques and/or herbicide rotations to reduce overall usage.

Extreme weather events are also impacting growers. California, known for its long-staple cotton varieties, has experienced a multi-year drought, making irrigation water both scarce and costly. In other regions like West Texas, water tables are falling, compelling farmers to invest in more efficient irrigation methods or transition to less water-intensive crops. Some Better Cotton Farmers are installing drip irrigation, which can reduce irrigation water needs by up to 50%.

Through our US Implementing Partners, we help farmers address these and other sustainability challenges to improve their performance and profitability.

Find out more about the outcomes farmers are experiencing by participating in the Better Cotton programme in our latestFarmer Results Report.

US Cotton Connections: Better Cotton & Quarterway Cotton Growers Field Trip

Join the Better Cotton US team, Quarterway Cotton Growers, ECOM, and Soil Health Institute in the cotton fields of Plainview, Texas July 20-21, 2023. The goal of this field trip is to bring Better Cotton Members to meet with Quarterway Cotton Growers, develop meaningful connections and learn more about the US cotton supply chain.

This event is free to Members. Lunch, dinner, and transportation from the hotel to Quarterway on July 20, as well as breakfast on July 21, will be provided. Attendees are responsible for their travel and accommodation in Lubbock. 

There is limited space, please register to attend. More information on accommodations and our multi-media policy can be found at the registration link below.


Thursday 20 July, 2023
9:30              Meet for transportation outside Cotton Court Hotel
10:00-11:00  Tour of USDA Classing Office
12:00-1:00    Lunch and Soil Health Institute Presentation
1:00-2:00      Cotton Gin and Equipment Tour
2:00-5:00      Farm Tours
5:00              Dinner at Barn Event Space
7:00              Drive back to Cotton Court Hotel

Friday 21 July, 2023
8:00-9:00      Breakfast at Cotton Court Hotel
9:00-11:30    Better Cotton and ECOM Presentations

A recent Better Cotton field trip to Lubbock, Texas

Major merchants are now actively trading US Better Cotton, and many leading North American suppliers and manufacturers are joining the Better Cotton Initiative as demand rises from Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Members. A list of North American Better Cotton Members can be found here.

North Carolina as a state is one of the larger adopters of cover crop use in the US, and across the entire country we are seeing a soil health movement. With cover crops, people are trying to look at a more holistic way of treating and using our soil as the valuable resource it is.

Get in touch

Contact our team via the contact form if you’d like to learn more, become a partner or you’re a farmer interested in farming Better Cotton.