USDA Announces Results of Cotton Research and Promotion Sign-Up

December 21, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that it did not receive the number of requests required from the cotton industry to conduct a continuance referendum regarding the 1990 amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act. A sign-up was conducted June 21, 2021, through July 2, 2021, and October 18, 2021, through October 29, 2021, during which eligible cotton producers and importers were provided an opportunity to request a continuance referendum.

In 1991, USDA implemented amendments to the order that provided for non-refundable assessments on all U.S. Upland cotton, imported raw cotton, cotton textiles, and apparel products. The amendments require a five-year review by USDA of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program to determine whether to conduct a referendum on continuing the assessments. The review completed in 2020 found that a referendum was unnecessary.  Once this decision was announced, the Act provides an opportunity for producers and importers to request a referendum through a sign-up period.

A referendum would have been conducted upon the request of 10 percent or more of the number of eligible cotton producers and importers voting in the most recent referendum, which was in 1991.  USDA received 3 valid sign-up requests for a continuance referendum, which is significantly less than the 4,662 required. The results of the sign-up reflect continued support for the program and, consequently, a referendum will not be held.

Details of the sign-up results were published as a notice in the Dec. 21, 2021, Federal Register. Copies are available at or by contacting the Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, VA,  22406; tel. (540) 361-2726; or email

The Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966 authorized a national cotton research and promotion program that is both industry-operated and funded. More information is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Cotton Board webpage or on the board’s website at

Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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