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Published on Tuesday, 10 February 2015

US organic cotton acreage at 20-year high

Written by John Mowbray

WASHINGTON - A survey of organic cotton growers by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) suggests more acres of organic cotton were planted in the US in 2014 than since 1995. The OTA gathered data from 62 organic cotton growers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas and North Carolina who, between them, are believed to represent all the states with growers of organic cotton in the United States in 2013. Respondents reported a 14 per cent increase in organic cotton acres planted in 2014 – from 15,973 in 2013 to 18,234, representing the largest planted organic cotton acreage in the US since 1995.

The OTA's research suggest that a core group of experienced, knowledgeable organic cotton growers will increasingly account for organic cotton production moving forwards as factors such as a limited supply of labour, the increasing difficulty of weed control, the lack of commercial availability of organic cotton seed, and the growing dominance of GM seeds make the organic cotton market an increasingly tough nut to crack.