Cotton Extension

Cotton field under blue skies

Cotton management

Stay current on cotton production.

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Round cotton bale in a cotton fieldCotton is an important crop in Missouri. In 2018, southeast Missouri counties produced lint and seed valued at $324 million, though the number of cotton-planted acres varies each year with commodity prices.

Missouri cotton farmers have been early adaptors of technologies to increase cotton yields, reduce input costs and conserve resources. Many changes have occurred in recent years, including:

  • For a long time, cotton was transported from fields to gins in trailers. Farmers improved efficiency first by using modules and then by making round bales, such as the one pictured on this page.
  • Conservation tillage has replaced the moldboard plow. In the fall, farmers plant winter wheat cover crop in row middles to avoid cotton seedling injury the following spring from blowing sand.
  • Farmers schedule irrigation with smartphones, using weather-based soil water balance programs and soil moisture sensors.

Find timely information on research-based cotton production tools and practices on this site.

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