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Putting Money Back Into Producer’s Pockets

Information for U.S. cotton leaders about Cotton Incorporated from the Cotton Board
July 2013

Cotton root rot has been robbing yields, lowering fiber quality, and decimating Texas cotton for more than a century. “This disease affects an estimated 1.5 million acres of Texas cotton and causes an estimated $29 million in economic losses each year,” explains Dr. Bob Nichols, Senior Director, Agricultural and Environmental Research for Cotton Incorporated. When producers turned to the Cotton Incorporated Texas State Support Committee in 2009, a project was funded to screen newlyavailable fungicides. In 2010, research identified a candidate fungicide, flutriafol, trade named TopGuard.® The Cotton Research & Promotion Program, Cotton Incorporated and the Texas State Support Program Committee began funding field research evaluations in cooperation with Texas AgriLife Extension, Southern Rolling Plains cotton producers, and USDA-ARS. “Following positive results, and with the help of the Texas Department of Agriculture and the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency, a Section 18 label was granted for up to 288,000 acres,” adds Nichols. During the 2012
growing season, flutriafol was used on an estimated 77,000 acres of irrigated cotton and 153,000 acres of dry land cotton. Not even considering improvements in harvesting efficiency and in fiber quality, the total economic benefit to growers is estimated at $8.5 million or $61.47 per irrigated acre and $24.74 per dry land acre. “It was a true combined and unified effort to get this product in the hands of our producers who needed it,” concludes Nichols.

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