Organic cotton in the U.S.
Conventional Cotton Facts for the U.S.
- The "American Crop Protection Association" estimated that 1997 (most recent year for data availability) approximately 10% of all pesticides sold in the U. S. were applied to non-organic cotton. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 2003 Fifty-five million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on the 12,800,000 acres (52,000 km2) of conventional cotton grown in the U.S. that are 4.3 pounds/acre. Thereby cotton is ranked third behind corn and soybeans in total amount of pesticides sprayed.
- In 2000 over 2.03 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizers were applied to cotton (that makes 142 pounds/acre). Thereby cotton is the fourth most heavily fertilized crop. (U. S. Department of Agriculture)
- The "Environmental Protection Agency" considers that in the U.S. in 2000 seven pesticides (acephate, dichloropropene, diuron, fluometuron, pendimethalin, tribufos, and trifluralin) out of the top 15 pesticides used on conventional cotton as "possible," "likely," "probable," or "known" human carcinogen.
- After a non-organic cotton field is treated with pesticides re-entry is prohibited for 24 hours. In 1999, a work crew re-entered a cotton field about five hours after it was treated with tribufos and sodium chlorate. Seven workers subsequently sought medical treatment and five have had ongoing health problems. (Acoording to the "California Department of Pesticide Regulation")
How much organic cotton is grown in the U.S.?
Organic Trade Association survey:
2006: farmers planted 5,971 acres (24.16 km2) of certified organic cotton and harvested 5,811 acres. Organic non-food sales (personal care products, household products, flowers, apparel, textiles, toys, supplement, pet foods and organic cotton) grew from $744 million in 2005 to $938 million in 2006, that is a 26% grow.
2007: farmers planted 7,473 acres (30.24 km2) of organic cotton.
2008: farmers project a total increase in organic cotton acreage of 883 acres above 2007 planted acreage.