Conventional Cotton vs. Organic Cotton

Today, we’d like to help you understand the difference between conventional and organic cotton.


Conventional Cotton:

  • Grows from seeds typically treated with fungicides and insecticides
  • A large amount of this cotton comes from genetically modified (GMO’s) seeds
  • Use of synthetic fertilizers
  • Requires intensive irrigation (artificial application of water)
  • Due to the mono-crop culture (repeated use of the same crop and same soil), there is soil loss
  • There is application of herbicides to the soil to inhibit weed germanisation and are subsequently used over and over to kill weeds that do grow
  • Heavy use of insecticides – in fact, cotton accounts for only 3% of crops grown worldwide but represents 25% of the world’s insecticide use
  • Heavy use of pesticides, the 9 most common being highly toxic, and five of these are probably carcinogens
  • Aerial spraying is a common technique for application of harmful chemicals, and these can potentially drift to neighbouring farmers, nearby wildlife and even communities
  • Toxic chemicals are used for defoliation (removal of leaves)

Organic Cotton:

  • Seeds utilized are not treated nor are they genetically modified (GMO’s)
  • The crop rotation system used builds strong soil
  • The organic matter helps the soil retain the water more efficiently
  • Control over weeds is obtained through hand hoeing and foregoing usage of destructive chemicals
  • Healthy soil ensures a balance between “pests” and their natural predators
  • To control pests, beneficial insects are used
  • Trap crops are used to attract “pests” and lure them away from the cotton
  • Defoliation and water management are done through the seasonal freeze

And there you have it! There are stark differences in the way cotton is made organically and conventionally! You have the power to decide which industry you want to support!

Source: Beaumont Organic

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