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PCCA Cotton and Currency

By Jayci Cave

Cotton producers take pride in knowing their crop is used to make many products people use every day. PCCA members can take pride in knowing their cotton is used to make United States currency. That’s right, the bills in your wallet were made with PCCA cotton.

Chris Ford, PCCA’s Domestic Sales Manager, said PCCA has been supplying this cotton since 2007.

“They were buying motes from Turkey, but they wanted to start buying U.S. cotton or motes,” Ford said. “There are not enough motes in the U.S. so they started buying graded cotton. We went through several tests for six or eight months before they figured out how to make it work and the pricing. Then we started supplying them with the cotton.”

Ford said Crane and Company looked to PCCA for this cotton because they wanted to help U.S. cotton producers.

“They liked the idea of buying cotton from cooperatives because the money goes back to the producers,” Ford said. “That’s what they wanted to do, help the U.S. and that is why they came to us, one because we are a large supplier of U.S. cotton, and two, because we are farmer owned.”

Crane and Company, has supplied the U.S. Treasury with the currency paper since 1879. According to their website, U.S. currency is made with the most durable banknote paper in the world. Crane and Company also has worked over the years to improve technology with the durability, printability, aesthetics and anticounterfeiting features of banknote paper. They make the paper and then ship it to a government printing press for the bills to be printed. There is approximately $1.38 trillion worth of Federal Reserve notes currently in circulation, according to the agency.

Normal paper consumers use every day is made of wood pulp while U.S. currency paper is made of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen, according to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The paper has security measures already built into it. For the five-dollar bill and above, this includes a security thread and watermark. A 6mm wide 3-D security ribbon is woven into the paper for the one hundred dollar bills.

PCCA members are unique because their cotton is touched by anyone who handles U.S. currency. It certainly is something to be proud of.