Why Plant Cotton?
Everyone has heard of “off-shoring”, well a new trend is occurring called “on-shoring” which is a return of manufacturing jobs, including apparel to Mexico and Central and South America to reduce costs and carbon footprints.
Cotton prices are becoming more competitive to grains because grain prices are coming down.
Cotton is a more drought tolerant crop, making it a better survivor during dry weather than beans or corn.
Where cotton and corn are irrigated with a common water source, cotton’s peak water use generally occurs after corn’s peak water use allowing a shift in watering from corn to cotton during the summer.
Cotton is a great rotation crop especially in the Southeast for control of peanut diseases and nematodes.
Following corn, a cotton rotation allows better use of the residual fertilizer and water deep in the soil profile. Cottonseed prices provide much needed income and should be a factor in all planting decisions. This much needed revenue is paying for ginning costs plus adding to per acre profit.
Cotton is THE sustainable fiber globally and the move to sustainability is not a fad.
Cotton is a better economic engine for local communities. It is a job and wealth creator and not a “pass through” crop. Cotton producers are all important members of their community.
Most importantly the Cotton Research and Promotion Program through Cotton Incorporated is building demand in the U.S. and across the globe, developing better, more sustainable textiles processes and importantly, they are creating new breeding tools and resources which will lead to better performing varieties; new uses for cottonseed; and new precision agriculture methods to maximize inputs and reduce costs.
Cotton has lower fertilizer inputs than corn and often lower than soybeans.
Cotton has much lower water requirements than corn.