In Crop

During the in-crop months, it's all about monitoring to manage your cotton crop:

More crop per drop: make your water work

Ensuring the timing and volume of water applied to the crop is critical during this stage. Good irrigation scheduling should meet the plants' water needs, and should prevent over watering (waterlogging) and underwatering (water stress) so that balanced growth is achieved. Monitoring the conditions, the plant and the soil moisture will help in scheduling irrigations to meet crop demands and avoid plant stress.

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Protect against pests

To protect your crop against pests, it's important to know what's going on: so monitor your cotton's growth, insect pressure and insect damage. Conserving natural enemies is at the heart of Integrated Pest Management: so conserve beneficial insects in your crop by avoiding ‘insurance sprays’ and choosing a selective pesticide option if necessary. And when spraying, always follow the industry's Insecticide Resistance Management Strategy.

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Stamp out disease

It's important to be aware of what diseases may be present in your crop, and where they occur. Conduct early and late season disease surveys and record findings to allow comparisions over time. Look for and report unusual symptoms, and if a suspect cotton plant is located, contact your state department cotton pathologist.

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Don't risk spray drift!

Did you know phenoxy herbicide drift costs the industry around $6 million each year in lost production? Avoid spray drift damage by getting your spray release height, travel speed, nozzle pressure and water volume and quality right. Check your spray nozzles regularly during the season, only ever spray when weather conditions allow, always follow label instructions, and map your fields on CottonMap - the industry's online mapping tool to help prevent spray drift.

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Make the most of your natural resources

Natural areas on cotton farms can provide benefits to your crop. Vegetation can be an important habitat for beneficial insects, helping to suppress pests. Diversity in vegetation can act as a refuge for pests that haven't been exposed to Bt toxins/insecticides, helping to slow the development of resistance. And, riparian vegetation can help prevent erosion and provide a natural filter, preventing soil, nutrients and chemicals from entering the river. 

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