Cotton Links


Assess Technology’s Positive


Today’s cotton production practices and tools have become more sophisticated and high-tech as each growing season rolls around. Producers across the Belt may not have had the opportunity or resources to try everything that’s out there, but they are embracing much of what’s available.

In doing so, these farmers also have had a chance to assess which technology has had the most positive impact on their respective operations.

In fact, that was the topic of our November Web Poll. Participants were given a choice among seed traits, new crop protection products, precision ag tools, equipment or “other.” Quite a few of the respondents – 62 percent – chose seed traits.

Seed trait technology that U.S. cotton producers have been exposed to so far has been in the form of insect and herbicide resistance. However, according to breeders and geneticists across the Belt, additional traits are in the pipeline and, hopefully, will beef up farmers’ toolboxes and pocketbooks at the same time.

To learn more about what’s on the horizon for future seed traits, see what Todd Campbell, Jane Dever and Peggy Thaxton have to say on the subject in “Cotton Channels” on pages 32 and 33. These experts are working in seed trait areas that include drought tolerance, nitrogen use efficiency, root-knot nematode tolerance, reniform-resistant and nectariless cotton germplasm lines just to name a few.

After the votes were tallied for the remaining choices in the Web Poll, precision ag tools captured 19 percent of the votes, equipment came in at 10 percent, followed by new crop protection products at seven percent and “other” at two percent.

Technology is having a positive impact on many operations. In fact, the theme of the Cotton Farming January issue is how technology is helping to take U.S. cotton to the next level. Be sure to check out all of the articles with the “Technology” heading at the top of the page, beginning with Editor Tommy Horton’s “Looking Ahead” story on page 12. Other technology-related topics featured this month include cost effectiveness and water efficiency.

Following is a sampling of some specific comments from readers who voted in the November Web Poll. As always, we do appreciate the feedback.

• “Cotton crops all begin from seed, and whether the seed is viable with good genetic qualities and vigor is a direct correlation with the young plant’s survival.”

• “Getting the technology into the plant is key. What better way to do it than with traits bred into the seed?”

• “Precision guidance/auto-steer and drip irrigation have far exceeded the profit generated per acre by genetically modified seed because they are basically one-time expenses rather than recurring and accelerating expenses.”

• “Since I have been growing cotton for 44 years, all of the answers fit. Roundup Ready cotton has probably had more impact on my operation.”

• “All of the answers are good ones, but I have to wonder how 40-cent cotton will actually pay for this. My equipment dealers and chemical and fertilizer suppliers say everything will be up in ’09. How will I pay for everything with 40-cent-per-pound cotton?”

In mid-December, farmers were more than ready for the regulations implementing the new farm law to be published. With this in mind, we’re asking our readers to vote and share their comments about which of the four farm law components listed here will impact their operations the most.

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the January poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming March issue.

Web Poll Results

• Seed traits — 62 %
• New crop protection products — 7 %
• Precision ag tools – 19 %
• Equipment — 10 %
• Other — 2 %

January Web Poll Question

Which of the following components of the new farm law will impact your operation the most and why?

(1) Lower adjusted gross income test
(2) Modified payment limitation rules
(3) Direct attribution of payments
(4) ACRE program option

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

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