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DESPITE DROUGHT, CALIFORNIA COTTON CONTINUES TO GENERATE $5 BILLION FOR THE STATE

 DESPITE DROUGHT, CALIFORNIA COTTON CONTINUES TO GENERATE
 $5 BILLION FOR THE STATE
 LOS ANGELES, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite six years of drought and growing demands on water, California's cotton growers continue to produce a crop that generates approximately $5 billion annually to the state.
 Speaking today at the Jonathan Breakfast Club in Los Angeles, Cotton Incorporated President and Chief Executive Officer J. Nicholas Hahn said, "California's $1 billion cotton crop has a multiplier effect of roughly five times -- when you take into consideration employment, spending in California communities, purchases of equipment, fertilizer and other agricultural inputs. Moreover, cotton is the leading 'money crop' for farmers who export 80 percent of what they grow to the Pacific Rim. Whether you are living in Los Angeles or Bakersfield, the state's cotton crop helps to pay for the Toyotas and VCRs that we import from abroad.
 "Part of the reason that cotton continues to be so profitable is its technological efficiency. The drought has not had a major impact on the size of the crop over the last decade because cotton farmers have, in effect, shortened the growing season, enabling them to conserve precious water resources and other environmentally sensitive inputs. The state's cotton farmers are using 20 percent less water," according to Hahn.
 Hahn outlined several new developments that are helping cotton producers cope with the six-year drought, while maintaining near record crop yields as well as protecting the environment.
 Hahn said, "California cotton producers are using a fully automated computer data base system, called Cotton Monitoring, to access up-to- the-minute information on plant growth, enabling producers to make real-time decisions on inputs of water and environmentally sensitive chemicals. In effect, this kind of advanced technology gives producers the ability to 'speed up' the growing cycle, thereby saving water and even eliminating unnecessary irrigations.
 "Moreover, because of the size and unusually high quality of California's cotton crop, the entire state has become a kind of 'laboratory' for developing new cotton agriculture technology," said Hahn. "Farmers in this state are definitely doing their part to conserve water as well as use environmentally sensitive chemicals in the most judicious manner. This is all part of a sound strategy for maintaining California as one of the nation's key agricultural producers and employers."
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Daddi of Cotton Incorporated, 213-627-3561; or Mary Ellen Keating, 212-210-8737, for Cotton Incorporated/ CO: Cotton Incorporated ST: California IN: TEX SU:


GK-OS -- NY032 -- 0510 04/21/92 10:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1992
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