Congratulations to the High Cotton Award winners and nominees. Their knowledge, management skills and determination have earned them success in their farming operations and well-deserved recognition from their peers. John Deere is proud to help sponsor this award program.

John Deere has been serving the equipment needs of cotton growers for decades. Over the years, John Deere equipment has helped growers increase their productivity and profits, and be good stewards of the environment.

For example, the first John Deere self-propelled picker - the No. 8 - was introduced in 1950. It was the first 2-row machine in the industry, capable of matching the daily productivity of 80 fieldhands, and was nearly twice as productive as the one-row models of the time.

The John Deere No. 8 established a new level of productivity in cotton fields during the early 1950s. Today, John Deere is the largest producer of farm equipment in the world, and John Deere cotton pickers, sprayers, tractors, planters and tillage equipment continue to provide growers with the performance and quality they can depend on day after day.

In 1998, John Deere introduced the most productive cotton harvester ever built. It houses new features, such as PRO-16 picking units, a new PRO-LIFT basket, a 300 hp engine, dual hydrostatic drive and an optional ROW TRAK guidance system. The 9976 Cotton Picker, whether in 4, 5 or 6 row configurations, will give our farmer customers the productivity they deserve. In keeping with John Deere's tradition of listening to the farmer and responding to their needs, we have also refined many of our other Cotton related products.

As the Cotton Producers of the World produce "High Quality Cotton," John Deere dealers produce quality in their Aftermarket Departments. Their commitment is to help their customers be more productive and profitable and to provide them with the best equipment values in the industry.