New cotton seed protecting Kansas farmers from weed killer

MOSCOW, Kan. (KSNW) - A new seed is out on the market that’s protecting Kansas cotton from a problematic weed killer.

“We have been declining in acres since about 2006 because of the 2, 4-D,” said Jerry Stuckey, Northwest Cotton Growers Coop. “It got to where we couldn’t grow it. Not just once but two or three times during the growing season.”

2, 4-D is a weed killer used to protect crops like corn. The problem is the wind can carry 2, 4-D for several miles. Some crops are more sensitive and can be damaged by it. Crops like cotton.

“It started getting worse when we got the resistant weeds out here, kochia, pig weed, and farmers started using more 2, 4-D to try to kill the weeds.”

This year, Jerry will harvest more than four times as much cotton as he did last year.

“We harvested 6,500 acres last year. We’re going to harvest a little over 29,000 just our gin this year,” Stuckey said.

That’s because of a new cotton seed that’s resistant to 2, 4-D. Jerry expects the local cotton acreage to triple next year. He says it’s a better return on investment than corn, wheat, and milo even though the resistant seeds are more expensive.

“But it’s well worth the cost compared, you’re playing Russian roulette when you plant conventional,” he added.

Stuckey predicts the cotton boom will have a huge impact on the local economy going forward.

(Article from ksn.com)

 


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