Cotton is grown on every habitable continent, providing clothing, home goods and food to the world. The crop grows mainly in areas that have subtropical climates.
The part of the cotton plant that most people are familiar with is the fiber, or lint. The lint is used to make cloth—for towels, clothes, sheets, etc. The cottonseeds from the plant are crushed into cottonseed oil, which can be used in everyday items such as cooking oil and salad dressing, and into hulls and meal, which are used for livestock feed.
Various types of cotton are grown all over the world. In the United States, upland cotton, which is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, is the predominant type. Pima, or extra-long staple, cotton is grown as well, and it is considered higher-value cotton.
During the growing season, cotton faces challenges from weeds and worms. A big pest for cotton is the bollworm, which is a caterpillar that eats away at the plant during the formation of the cotton boll, where the cotton lint develops. The bollworm’s eating habits decrease the amount of lint a plant can produce, and therefore, decreases the yield that a farmer can capture.
Monsanto has three products in the marketplace for cotton farmers. These products are:
Bollgard II® (insect protection)
Roundup Ready® Flex (herbicide tolerance)
Bollgard II® with Roundup Ready® Flex (both)