SAS and Cotton Incorporated address productivity and sustainability in cotton industry
North Carolina powerhouses show cotton growers and ginners the power of using analytics
Analytics leader SAS and research and promotion company Cotton Incorporated are introducing cotton growers, ginners and textile companies to advanced analytics and the ways it can strengthen the industry. Using SAS’ agricultural technology expertise and Cotton Incorporated’s industry access, the alliance is geared to offer new data on crop production and ginning processing that will help produce higher yields and reduced downtime for cotton processing machinery, supporting a stronger ecological mindset.
Agriculture has evolved over the years to drive efficiency, yield and profits, and the rise of digital agriculture has the potential to be the most transformative and disruptive evolution of all. Experts at EY say investors are pouring billions of dollars into agriculture technology like software because the agriculture industry has begun harnessing the power of data and analytics. The introduction of precision farming – an approach that uses data sensors, connected devices, remote-control tools and other technologies – has enabled farmers to accurately measure, map and manage variations in their fields to increase yields and lower production costs.
Explore more about how analytics helps create higher yields and better uptime in this webinar, Optimizing Manufacturing Quality and Yield With SAS® Analytics.
Why big data matters to the cotton industry
A cotton gin separates cotton seeds from cotton fiber. It takes about 90 seconds for a 480-pound cotton bale to go through that process. The faster the gins run, the better. By analyzing the data flowing off multiple gins over several years, SAS identified key factors that affect the rate of processing – gin function, cotton condition and variety, fiber strength – to determine ideal gin speeds that improve machine uptime to get cotton products to market more quickly. SAS and Cotton Incorporated used this project as a method to demonstrate the value of such analytics to industry leaders.
“When Cotton Incorporated talks, the industry listens,” said David Blakemore, CEO of Blakemore Cotton & Grain, a Missouri company that has used SAS predictive analytics to improve the uptime on its cotton gins. “SAS is so precise it can tease a gnat off a dragon’s rump. When you combine that kind of influence and power, you’ve got a winner.”
SAS began in 1976 as a company that analyzed agricultural data. SAS established an AgTech business unit in 2019 that forms partnerships with emerging companies. “SAS’ roots are in agriculture, and we’re eager to make a difference in the cotton industry with support from Cotton Incorporated,” said Paula Henderson, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for the Americas. “Together we’ll use the latest analytics and artificial intelligence technologies – like computer vision and streaming analytics – to help companies supply food and fiber to the world.”
“SAS, our North Carolina neighbor, will help the cotton industry further modernize,” said J. Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated. “I have no doubt our work in ginning, textiles and retail will make a meaningful difference in the ways our industry grows in more fruitful and sustainable ways.”
About Cotton Incorporated
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.
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SAS and Cotton Incorporated will introduce analytics to the cotton industry.