Organic Farming - A Niche for Cotton Production

Andreas Oswald, Joachim Sauerborn


In the cotton crop 10-12% of the world pesticide production are used. These very high chemical inputs affect the ecology in the main production areas considerably and often cause resistance of the major cotton pests, which in turn require even more intense  applications. In some areas cotton production was given up because pests were no longer controllable and therefore the crop unprofitable. Recently, some farmers and organizations intended to produce cotton without application of agrochemicals according to the standards of organic farming. For this  objective specific farming practices were developed to ensure nutrient supply and crop protection. Nevertheless, yields are generally lower than for conventional cropping  systems. Researcher were hardly active in this area so far; therefore the production practices and cropping systems are based entirely on the knowledge and experiences of the farmers.

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