Back to Focus
on Cotton

NRCS and Louisiana Cotton
Sustainability Pilot Project

December 2018

By Rachel Holley Lee
Soil Health Research
and Implementation Manager
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Cotton Incorporated
National Cotton Council
LA Cotton & Grain Association
LSU AgCenter
Louisiana Farm Bureau
The Cotton Foundation
Winnsboro, Louisiana
318-435-9424 Ext. 3

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Summary: Over the last several years, sustainability has become a hot topic for the agricultural industry. The Fieldprint Platform (FPP) was developed by the Field to Market Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture for cotton, rice, soybeans, corn, wheat, potatoes, and alfalfa farmers. In 2016 the Louisiana Cotton Sustainability Pilot Project was created as a joint project of the National Cotton Organizations, NRCS, Louisiana Cotton and Grain Association, Louisiana Farm Bureau, and Louisiana State University. In its 2015 National Indicatorís report Field to Market published significant improvements of US cotton in reducing the impact of key metrics such as soil loss, irrigation water use efficiency, greenhouse gas, and others. In setting the stage for the next decade, the US cotton industry set further goals for continual improvement. They are by 2025: reduce land use 13% per pound fiber, increase fiber per gallon of water 18%, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 39%, reduce energy 15%, reduce soil loss 50%, and increase soil carbon 30%. The Louisiana Cotton Sustainability Pilot Project utilizes the FPP to assess management practices and natural resource conservation for Louisiana cotton producers. This presentation will help consultants, growers, and other practitioners in U.S. cotton-producing states to understand how the Louisiana Cotton Sustainability Pilot Project is trying to mend the gap between producers and the supply chain to meet the increasing need for transparent evidence of responsible production practices. Specifically, growers will learn the importance of measuring their sustainability efforts using the seven-sustainability metrics used by Field to Market: land use, energy, irrigation, greenhouse gas, soil carbon, runoff water quality, and soil loss.

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