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Cotton Farming is the official publication of the ginning industry.

  • Irrigation Strategies – Part 2

    Irrigation Strategies – Part 2

    The West and the Southwest are areas of the Cotton Belt that typically experience water shortages. Instead of giving up on trying to irrigate their crops, cotton farmers have adopted systems to make the most of the water that they have. “California is the only state that has to rely fully on irrigation to meet crop water needs,” says Bob Hutmacher, University of California Extension cotton specialist. “We are growing cotton in a dry environment with essentially no chance of rainfall during most of our cotton-growing season. Arizona growers may get growing-season water from monsoon rains, but there is little chance of that for most California producers. “In the past, when we had more consistent, favorable water supplies, better quality water, and weren’t competing as much with permanent crops, furrow irrigation was a typical system used by cotton farmers. Today, we still have large acreages of level basin irrigation – a type of border system – on land well suited for it, such as the finer-textured lake bottom land in the San Joaquin Valley. For these specific soil types, soil characteristics allow this ground to be irrigated quite efficiently at low costs with the level basin system.” Read More »
  • 2nd Annual Transform My Community Contest Kicks Off Aug. 1

    2nd Annual Transform My Community Contest Kicks Off Aug. 1

    A.J. Hood knows firsthand the personal gratification derived from taking the time to compose a heartfelt essay about how his community could be transformed. Hood, a grower and farm manager for Tillar & Co., an 18,000-acre tract of land in southeast Arkansas, was motivated to enter the contest in 2015 for very personal reasons. His brother had lived for more than 40 years with several disabilities before losing his courageous battle this past spring. Transform My Community, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and Cotton Farming, is a way for cotton growers and crop consultants to parlay suggestions on how local communities could be “transformed” with the positive experiences they’ve had using Transform® WG insecticide. The 2016 Transform My Community contest kicks off Aug. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2016. Due to Section 18 label use restrictions, only cotton growers and consultants in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are eligible to submit essays. Read More »
  • Red cotton leaves: causes and implications

    Red cotton leaves: causes and implications

    Leaf color is determined by pigment content and concentration. Pigments commonly present in cotton leaves include chlorophylls, carotenoids, tannins and anthocyanins. Differences in pigment properties give each pigment color characteristics; for example, chlorophylls a and b absorb light in the blue and red regions while reflecting light in the green. Similarly, carotenoids are visually associated with yellows and reds, tannins with browns, and anthocyanins with reds and purples. The content and concentration of these pigments can additionally provide insight into the plant’s current or past growing conditions. For instance, reddening of a leaf can indicate the plant has experienced abiotic or biotic stress such as excessive radiation (Fig. 1) or a nitrogen (N) deficiency (Fig. 2). Since changes in pigments within the plant also changes the color of the leaf, visual observations of the canopy collected through the growing season can be used to gauge plant health. In the case of a reduction of chlorophyll due to an N deficiency, a reduction in chlorophyll is directly associated with a shift from dark green to light green leaf color. Whether used subconsciously or consciously, pigment content and concentration has been used for hundreds of years to diagnose stresses, including nutrient deficiencies, disease, pest damage, and water deficits/excesses. Read More »
  • Supporting Our Textile Industry

    Supporting Our Textile Industry

    Although export of raw cotton has become essential to U.S. cotton producers’ economic well-being, the National Cotton Council continues its longstanding work for our domestic textile industry. How about assistance in the legislative arena? n A major effort is the NCC’s work to maintain the highly successful “Economic Assistance to Users of Upland Cotton” program first introduced in 2008 farm law and reauthorized in the 2014 bill. This program makes a payment of 3 cents per pound to U.S. textile manufacturers for all upland cotton consumed. Payments must be used for specific purposes such as acquisition, construction, installation, modernization, development, conversion, or expansion of land, plant buildings, equipment, facilities or machinery. More recently, the NCC has been working with the Washington D.C.-based National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) and key lawmakers to make sure the Berry Amendment is not weakened in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act. That Amendment requires the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to purchase textiles and apparel made with 100 percent U.S. fiber and labor. Likewise, the NCC, NCTO and others have conveyed to lawmakers the critical need for Export-Import Bank Reauthorization. The Ex-Im Bank provides important financing for the U.S. textile industry and its ability to export products. Read More »