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Cotton News

February 9, 2024

By February 19th, 2024No Comments

Welcome to the February 9, 2024 issue of Cotton News, a service provided by Plains Cotton Growers Inc. for the cotton industry in the Texas High Plains and beyond.

Registration for the Plains Cotton Growers Annual Meeting is Now Open!

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Plains Cotton Growers Reacts to Dicamba Ruling

On February 6, a federal court in Arizona vacated the 2020 registrations for three dicamba products previously approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for over-the-top applications. According to the National Cotton Council, “The impacts of this ruling will be felt across the Cotton Belt as dicamba-tolerant varieties account for more than 75% of U.S. cotton acres.”

A prohibition of the use of dicamba products for the 2024 crop would add to the ever-growing list of challenges producers are facing of late. Producers on the Texas High Plains begin their planting season in May — they have already made their cropping decisions and have begun purchasing seed and other inputs for the season.

“The timing of this ruling will also not allow for the production of seed with alternative herbicide technology in time for 2024 planting,” the National Cotton Council said in a statement released on February 7. “Without widely available alternatives, losing the foundational herbicides in the dicamba-tolerant weed control system will put millions of acres in jeopardy of reduced production.”

With the persistent drought of 2022 and 2023, Texas High Plains cotton production doesn’t need another obstacle hindering production in the 2024 season.

“It’s unfortunate, after combatting an uncooperative Mother Nature and a volatile market, that we have this ruling staring us in the face to start 2024,” said PCG President Martin Stoerner. “And while things are uncertain at the moment, the impact of this ruling could have dire consequences to our industry.”

PCG CEO Kody Bessent added that PCG stands with NCC in urging EPA to immediately appeal the ruling.

“Our producers should have all crop protection tools available to them when producing our fiber,” he added. “Our local, state and national economies depend on it.”

On February 8, PCG submitted a letter in coordination with NCC to EPA requested they draft and grant an existing stocks order to provide producers the opportunity to access and apply the over-the-top dicamba products currently existing in the retail supply chain — especially since the 2024 season is already underway.

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Upcoming Events

Soil Health Symposium
Date: February 13-14, 2024
Location: West Texas A&M University

Getting to Know Your Soil
Date: February 15, 2024
Location: TTU Native Rangeland

Pesticide Applicators License – Levelland 
Date: February 15, 2024
Location: Levelland

Auxin Training – Hale County
Date: February 22, 2024
Location: Hale County Extension Office – Plainview

Managing Nutrition in Dry Regions Workshop
Date: February 22, 2024
Location: FiberMax Center for Discovery

For a full list of upcoming events, see the Events Page.

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