Cotton Fiber Testing and Standardization

The Universal Cotton Standards Agreement of 1923 elevated the status of the USDA cotton standards to a fully internationally recognized standard.  Since this time, the Universal Cotton Standards have been produced and distributed by the AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program under the auspices of a delegate body made up of U.S. and international signatory delegates.

Universal Cotton Standards

The Universal Cotton Standards consist of color and leaf grade standards, calibration cottons for length, strength, uniformity index and micronaire, and verification standards for instrument color and trash content. These physical standards, used for manual grading and instrument testing of cotton, are employed by cotton classification facilities around the world for the purpose of providing results that are based on internationally recognized and accepted levels.  In 1909, the USDA began producing physical cotton standards with the establishment of standards for grade followed by establishment of standards for staple in 1918.

Other Services

In addition to producing and providing Universal Cotton Standards, the Standardization & Engineering Division provides:

  • Known value cotton materials for routine classification testing verification and for qualification of classification instruments (ASTM 7410).  Order Forms
  • Known value cotton samples for international round testing programs including the USDA HVI Check Test Program and the Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC) Round Testing Program.
  • Customized instrument-based cotton classification workshops.

Request Services

Contact Info:

USDA AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program
Cotton Standards
Gretchen Deatherage, Deputy Director
3275 Appling Road
Memphis, TN 38133
Phone: (901) 384-3030
Email: Gretchen.Deatherage@usda.gov
Billing Questions Email: CTBilling@usda.gov