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Alternative Crops

U.S. cotton farmers are lamenting a season in which they planted a lot of acres, faced lower yields due to weather, lower prices due to competition from Brazil, and restricted markets due to the U.S. - China trade war. Still, natural fibers remain a buoyant market and cotton was always a fallback crop for production when prices of other commodities soured. With global demand for cotton growing at a 1.59 percent annual rate, it isn’t a market on fire, but neither is it one to ignore. What is notable are the markets where it is expanding in production, and where it has slacked off. Brazil and the U.S. have increased cotton production in recent years, while India has expanded production, but it is still below the level in 2013.  Ch...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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