If Chinese interest in Cotton Incorporated's Engineered Fiber Selection system leads to further purchases of the system in China, it can only be good for U.S. cotton producers.

The EFS System software is a computer-based innovation developed by Cotton Incorporated that uses High Volume Instrument (HVI) data to provide superior cotton fiber management for the textile supply chain.

The innovation is considered to be the world's leading cotton fiber management system for producing consistently high-quality yarns and even running laydowns.

The system allows mills to identify the fiber properties that make the most economic sense for the mill and the end product. “They are better able to use U.S. cotton with its HVI data in every bale,” said Charles Chewning, Cotton Incorporated's vice president of fiber management research. “It's very difficult for mills to get that type of information on other cotton growths, even their own.”

It's also an indirect advantage for U.S. producers that the EFS system is constantly being improved by researchers at Cotton Incorporated, an effort financed by U.S. cotton producers. You could say that the continued improvement of the EFS system is largely dependent on the health of the U.S. cotton industry. And, of course, the health of the U.S. cotton industry is dependent in large part, on exports to China.

It's definitely a tangible benefit for both countries for a continued commitment by China to purchase U.S. raw cotton.

In a big step for the U.S. cotton industry, representatives from more than 40 major Chinese cotton mills attended the first EFS Conference in China, held April 10-12 in Shanghai. There were professional explanations from EFS experts and on-site demonstrations of the computer programs.

“There was great interest overall from the attendees, with several companies pursuing the possibility of licensing the EFS system to integrate it into their current fiber management procedures,” Chewning said.

Speaking at the event was Central Textile, Ltd., director, Leo Yung, whose company adopted the EFS software in October 2005, making it the first Chinese mill to use the technology. “We realize that challenges lie ahead for us, such as increased competition and more stringent product requirements from our customers,” Yung said.

“Since its introduction, the EFS system has evolved from an innovative concept to an industry standard in the U.S. and Europe,” said Cotton Incorporated's president and CEO, Berrye Worsham. “China is clearly a good customer of U.S. cotton, and sharing our EFS technology with them benefits the entire supply chain.”


e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com