"Our mission is to conserve water for future generations by identifying agricultural practices and technologies that reduce the depletion of ground water while maintaining or improving agricultural production and economic opportunities," said TAWC project director, Rick Kellison. "Through a focus on soil health, Wrangler’s US cotton programme is aligned with our mission, and working with the well-known brand will add credibility and awareness to our work."
The MoU between Wrangler and TAWC will focus on sharing best practices for efficient water use and the building of healthy soils, which contributes to water retention, higher yields, fewer agricultural inputs, and other long-term environmental and social benefits. Wrangler is scheduled to participate in TAWC’s Water College, an educational event for Texas growers, scheduled for January 24, 2018 at the Lubbock Civic Center in Lubbock, Texas.
Based at Texas Tech University, TAWC is a partnership of producers, technology firms, universities and government agencies working to extend the life of the largest subterranean aquifer in the US. Stretching from the Texas panhandle in the south to the northern boundary of Nebraska, the Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath one of the most important agricultural regions in the US weather patterns and increasing water demands have depleted the aquifer in recent years, threatening the viability of crops and population centers as witnessed during the historic drought years of 2011-2012.
About 50 per cent of the cotton in Wrangler’s products is grown domestically, and the brand is committed to working with the US growers to maintain the profitability of the industry, while improving its resilience and reducing environmental impacts. Wrangler has formed a coalition of industry, academic and nonprofit partners (including TAWC) that is focused on soil health practices as the key to producing more sustainable cotton in the US.
Wrangler also has a long-term focus on water conservation. Last year, the Greensboro, NC-based apparel brand passed a milestone of more than 3 billion liters of water saved since 2007, and announced a goal to reduce water usage at its facilities by 20 per cent by the year 2020.
"Healthy soil is a common denominator for farmer profitability and sustainable cotton production," said Roian Atwood, sustainability director for Wrangler. "However, soil types are different from farm to farm. The expertise and technical assistance TAWC provides for comparing cropping and livestock systems is invaluable for Texas growers, and we’re glad to be working with them." (RR)
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