Cotton is used mainly for its fiber which is pivotal for the textile industry globally. Cottonseed is crushed to produce oil for food uses and cottonseed cake for animal feed. The main exporter of cotton is the USA, which accounts for almost 30% of total global exports, followed by India, Australia, Brazil, Uzbekistan and other countries.
Cotton is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India where environmental conditions promote the rapid and persistent growth of vegetation. Therefore, growers need to make a special effort to destroy perennial grasses, nightshades, field bindweed, and other competitive weeds in these areas. Glufosinate-ammonium is an extremely versatile tool in the cotton farmer’s battle against weeds.
The use of broad spectrum herbicides and in conjunction with corn varieties – bred using genetic modification to be herbicide-tolerant (HT) – offer the most effective means of weed control. The only broad spectrum herbicides that can be used with HT cotton crops today are Glufosinate-ammonium and Glyphosate. Until recently, only Glyphosate-tolerant cotton was available. Insufficient rotation of the herbicidal modes of action in the past has resulted in many weeds in vital cotton growing regions no longer responding to Glyphosate treatment. As such, farmers are increasingly aware of the need to rotate their use of Glyphosate with Glufosinate-ammonium to mitigate weed resistance.