Federal Initiatives: 2006 Accomplishments
Optimizing Production Systems, Market and Policy Analysis for Cotton and Other Natural Fibers
The Cotton Initiative is a comprehensive program that is critical to continued viability of the U.S. cotton industry that accounts for more than $25 billion in products and services annually, generating over 400,000 jobs in the industry sectors from farm to textile mills. Cotton is the single most important textile fiber in the world, accounting for over 40 percent of the total world fiber production.
International Center for Food Industry Excellence
This Initiative is pivotal to continued viability and sustainability of the U.S. livestock agriculture industry that is valued at more than $100 billion in livestock and livestock products sold each year. Primary losses to this industry come from recalls and outbreaks of food-borne illnesses and from consumer mistrust issues such as BSE (mad cow disease).
Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center
The U.S. is currently the number one producer and exporter of sorghum in the world market. Grain sorghum is the third most important cereal crop grown in the U.S. and the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world. The U.S. harvests about 3.5 million hectares of sorghum annually and production is concentrated in the central and southern plains - representing approximately 85 percent of total production.
Southern Great Plains Center for Renewable Biofuels
The Southern Great Plains includes over 100,000 square miles and covers parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. This region has over 20 million acres of rainfed cropland and another 7 million acres of irrigated land. This massive crop production area, vast crop production capacity, and extensive feedlot/dairy operations make this region an ideal location to produce renewable biofuels.
The projected total present value of irrigation over 60 years is $19.3 billion or $990 per acre. Agriculture irrigation accounts for nearly 90 percent of the groundwater withdrawals in many areas of the Ogallala Aquifer region. The Ogallala Aquifer in Western Kansas and the Texas High Plains is, however, declining at an unacceptable rate of 1 to 3 feet per year.
Center for North American Studies
Canada and Mexico are our first and second largest markets; accounting for 36 percent of U.S. export growth to the world in 2005. For agriculture, Canada and Mexico alone account for 55 percent of the increase in U.S. agriculture exports to the world since NAFTA. From 1993 to 2005, trade among the NAFTA nations has increased from $297 billion to $810 billion.
Southern Great Plains Dairy Consortium
A large migration of dairies to the Southern Great Plains has occurred from other parts of the United States and from within Texas. The production environment and natural resource constraints are unique compared to other historical dairy areas of the U.S. The Consortium will enhance the dairy industry’s competitiveness and its economic impact on the Southern Great Plains economy.