Farm Press Blog

Attaboys aplenty to California, Arizona cotton industry

  • It has been a privilege to write about the Western cotton industry. Cotton paid for the dirt where many crops now flourish.

Arizona cotton growers are right there with their IPM achievements. They were one of the first to eradicate the boll weevil and demonstrated remarkable product stewardship and IPM in turning back the whitefly. They were the leaders in pioneering Bt technology cotton that reduced pesticide use immensely. Today Arizona’s cotton growers are on the threshold of eradicating the world’s most destructive cotton pest, pink bollworm, not only in the Grand Canyon State, but Arizona’s  cotton industry also provided leadership to do the same thing across Northern Mexico, New Mexico and Far West Texas.

California and Arizona cotton wrote the book on IPM before it ever became fashionable.

Water used to grow 3- and 4-bale cotton but fallen dramatically over the years from 4 acre feet or more to a matter of inches, using technology like laser leveling, GPS technology and drip irrigation.

California and Arizona cotton growers have turned back challenge after challenge while not only producing but successfully marketing high quality cotton in demand worldwide.

I could go on endlessly about the successes of the California and Arizona cotton industry, and will warble on later.

For now, let me say that I have huge admiration and respect for the Western cotton industry. Perhaps more important, I am indebted to a multitude of people  in the industry who have allowed me to do my job of reporting on cotton. Thank you for answering my phone calls and allowing me to visit your farms and gins. Thank you for answering my questions, even when they were strange. You never made me feel as dumb as I seemed sometimes.

I would like to name lots of names, and may before I write my “30” column. For now, please accept my abiding appreciation for allowing me to be a small part of your industry. Attaboys by the truckloads to you all.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

J. Brigman (not verified)
on Aug 15, 2013

I have been involved with the Pink Bollworm Program for 34 years. I have always been amazed by the foresight the founding growers had, to come together as a group to rid cotton of it's most damaging pest and improving the end product in the process. Although, the program for the past four decades has been suppression of the insect, only in these final years has new technology become available to eradicate the pest. Only through cooperation of growers, scientists and area-wide cooperators has this program become a successful bio-control program on the verge of eradicating this destructive pest while reducing pesticide use, thereby, improving our environment.

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