Hilgardia
Hilgardia
Hilgardia
University of California
Hilgardia

Preliminary studies show yield and quality potential of organic cotton

Authors

Sean L. Swezey
Polly Goldman
Ralph Jergens
Ron Vargas

Authors Affiliations

S.L. Swezey is Specialist and P. Goldman is Post-Graduate Researcher, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz; S.L. Swezey is Specialist and P. Goldman is Post-Graduate Researcher, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz; R. Jergens is Agronomist and Nutritional Consultant, New Era Farm Service, Tulare; R. Vargas is County Director and Farm Advisor, UCCE Madera County.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 53(4):9-16. DOI:10.3733/ca.v053n04p9. July 1999.

PDF of full article, Cite this article

Abstract

For three years (1993 to 1995), we monitored organically and conventionally managed cotton fields in Madera County, and measured pest and beneficial arthropod populations, plant growth and development parameters, nutrient status, plant density, yields and lint quality. Square (flower bud) retention was similar in the two systems, although western tarnished plant bugs (Lygus hesperus or lygus bugs) were significantly more abundant on several dates in the organic fields. On most dates, populations of the predatory insects Geocoris spp. were significantly higher in the organic than in the conventional fields. Lint yields were not significantly different for the two production systems in any of the three years, but were lower than county averages in all years. In 1994, lint quality in the two treatments differed in that color grades were more variable in the organic cotton bales. Late spring rains also affected planting success in each year and the shortened seasons in 1994 and 1995 generally kept yields in both treatments at or below two bales per acre.

References

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). California Agricultural Resource Directory. 1994, Sacramento 1995. p.96.

California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). Pesticide Use Report, 1991 Sacramento. 1992. p.297.

California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). Pesticide Use Report, 1993 Sacramento 1994. p.306.

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), UC. Integrated Pest Management for Cotton in the Western Region of the United States. 2nd edition, UC DANR Publication 3305 1984, 1996a. p.164.

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), UC. Cotton Production Manual. DANR Publication 3352 1996b. p.417.

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), UC. CALEX/Cotton User's Guide Version 4.0, UC IPM Publication 8. Davis 1991. p.186.

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR), UC. UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines. In: UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines, UC DANR Publication 3339 1998. p.1,600.

Gliessman SR, Werner MR, Swezey SL, et al. Conversion to organic strawberry management changes ecological processes. Cal Ag. 1996. 50(1):24-31.

Grafton-Cardwell EE, Godfrey LD, Brindley WA, PB Goodell. Status of lygus bug and cotton aphid resistance in the San Joaquin Valley. Proceedings, Beltwide Cotton Conferences 1997. 2:4.

Hsieh Y-L, Honik E, MM Hartzell. A developmental study of single fiber strength: Greenhouse grown SJ-2 Acala cotton. Textile Research J. 1995. 65(2):101-12.

Kerby TA, Keely M, Johnson S. Growth and development of Acala cotton. UC Experiment Station Bulletin. 1987. 1921 16-

Sevacharian V, VM Stern. Host plant preference of lygus bugs in alfalfa inter-planted cotton fields. Envir Ent. 1974. 3:761-6.

Swezey SL, Rider J, Werner M., et al. Granny Smith conversions to organic show early success. Cal Ag. 1994. 48(6):36-44.

Swezey S, Goldman P, Jergens R, Vargas R. 1999. Preliminary studies show yield and quality potential of organic cotton. Hilgardia 53(4):9-16. DOI:10.3733/ca.v053n04p9
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu