- Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A Louisiana farmer has been elected to head the export marketing and promotion arm of the National Cotton Council.

Ted Schneider will head Cotton Council International, the Shreveport Times reported .

Schneider is an LSU graduate who farms about 3,600 acres from his Lake Providence headquarters including cotton.

He says 20 ago the United States used 80 percent of its cotton domestically but now that 80 percent is exported.

Most of those customers are in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey and China.

“It’s absolutely critical that our customers abroad continue to rely on and trust our ability to deliver the highest quality cotton at a competitive price in a timely manner,” he said.

Cotton used to be a dominant crop in Louisiana and the Deep South. Just a decade ago, 800,000 acres of cotton were planted in Louisiana. That dropped to 115,000 acres in 2015. But the crop staged a modest comeback in 2017 with Louisiana farmers planting 200,000 acres of cotton.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said Schneider’s appointment gives the state a larger voice on the national and world stage.

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