Research Identifies Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton Production

A research collaboration between The Organic Center and Iowa State University, funded by the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council, surveyed organic cotton producers and processors to better understand the specific approaches and methods used in organic cotton production and processing, and the environmental impacts of those techniques. Survey results showed a strong recognition by organic farmers of production practices that benefit the environment, and identified key pest-management concerns, as well as concerns with GM contamination, pesticide drift, weather, and organic seed sourcing. The findings were published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. They note the benefits of organic cotton to water and biodiversity, as well as beneficial practices such as building soil health and utilizing non-toxic processing methods.