Cotton farmers profit from simple steps to help pollinators

 Cotton farmers profit from simple steps to help pollinators

Sarah Cusser and Shalene Jha

Cotton is the world’s most widely grown and economically important nonfood crop. In the United States alone, farmers grow cotton on 12 million to 14.5 million acres, and produce a yearly harvest worth nearly US$25 billion.

Before cotton’s fluffy bolls emerge, the plant produces large white flowers, similar to those of the hibiscus. These flowers attract a wide range of insects, including bees, flies, butterflies and beetles, which visit the flowers to collect nectar and pollen as food and act as pollinators, moving pollen between flowers. Read more.