Land

Increasing land use efficiency has been made possible by using higher-yielding cotton varieties and modern agriculture farming practices. Wide adoption of conservation practices such as cover crops, windbreaks, contour farming, and conservation tillage also contributed to protecting agricultural land. Over the next 10 years, U.S. cotton growers are committed to reducing soil loss per acre by 50%, increasing soil carbon by 30% and increasing land use efficiency by 13%.

On average, U.S. cotton growers produced 830 pounds of cotton per harvested acre between 2015 and 2019.3 That’s enough to make 1,660 t-shirts per acre!4

Since 1980, the land needed to grow a bale of cotton in the U.S. has dropped on average by 42%.5

IN THIS SECTION
Soil Health

Soil Health

Healthy soil benefits the cotton plant and the environment. Conservation tillage and cover crops can dramatically increase soil retention and help create a more biodiverse environment and more fertile soil for farming.

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Habitat Preservation

Habitat Preservation

Cotton and the environment benefit from a diverse range of wildlife habitats. Cotton growers enjoy and understand the upsides to biodiversity, which is why land that is no longer efficient for cotton production is often turned into to create habitats for birds such as pheasant and quail, pollinators, and other species.

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Fertilizers

Fertilizers

Cotton needs fertile land to grow. Cotton growers around the world aim to limit their use of synthetic fertilizers and rely instead on cover crops and other natural methods to improve soil health and create environments where cotton plants can thrive.

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Pesticides

Pesticides

Cotton growers only use pesticides when it is necessary to protect their crop, and precision farming ensures they are only applied where they are needed. Growers in the U.S. today make 50% fewer insecticide applications than growers in the late 1980s.6

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Stewards of the Land

In the agricultural industry, land is the livelihood for cotton growers across the world. Preserving land so that it can continue to efficiently produce cotton for generations to come has always been a priority for cotton growers. Today, family farms make up roughly 98 percent of cotton-farming operations in the U.S.7

THE LATEST

Precision Agriculture – Commitment to the Land

Sustainable success starts with innovation and collaboration. The Precision Partnership for Working Lands program does just that by integrating agricultural economics, cutting edge geospatial technology, and wildlife conservation to deliver profitable producer...

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Uncovering the Dirt on Soil Health

North Carolina cotton growers prepare to give us the dirt in the name of soil health this summer. Alan Franzluebbers, soil scientist with the USDA - Agricultural Research Service in Raleigh, leads a field survey assessing the baseline condition of the cotton...

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  1. https://cottontoday.cottoninc.com/cotton-production/land/
  2. Cotton’s global land use as planted acres has declined.
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/191494/cotton-yield-per-harvested-acre-in-the-us-since-2000/
  4. https://ccgga.org/cotton-information/much-cotton-take/
  5. https://cottonleads.org/sustainable-production/pest-management-united-states/
  6. https://www.farmprogress.com/blog/98-percent-us-cotton-farms-are-family-operated