Like most things in the 21st century, farming has evolved. When it comes to cotton, the past 20 years have seen major changes in farming practices to increase overall efficiency. With cotton as popular as ever, this allows farmers to find a balance between mass production and environmental friendliness.
When considering the amount of water usage, soil loss, and energy usage associated with producing one pound of cotton, the numbers have declined over the past two decades. The good news is that emissions are down a third, too. And with most of the U.S. cotton crop now irrigated exclusively from rain, seeds now require less pesticides and tillage. It’s also important to note that for every pound of cotton fiber, there are roughly 1.6 pounds of other useful products being created, such as cottonseed oil, dairy feed, and mulch.
Below you’ll find an infographic we pulled together to showcase the dropping percentages in four categories: energy usage, emissions, soil loss, and water usage. Seeing is believing, so we hope you’ll be pleased to learn that cotton farmers are always striving to hone their practices.