Use of dicamba-tolerant seeds common among most major cotton-producing States in 2019

This is a map of the southern half of the United States showing the share of U.S. cotton acres planted with dicamba-tolerant (also known as DT) seeds in 2019.

Weed management, which increases the quality of the harvest and farm profit, is an essential component of cotton production. A common herbicide used to control annual and perennial broadleaf weeds is dicamba. In 2016, Monsanto first commercialized genetically engineered (GE) dicamba-tolerant (DT) cotton seeds. The genetic engineering process inserts into a plant’s genome traits, such as the ability to tolerate herbicide applications. Data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which covered the majority of cotton-producing States, show that U.S. farmers quickly adopted DT cotton seeds. By 2019, the percentage of upland cotton (cotton with short staple length) acres planted with DT seeds had reached 69 percent in the 12 surveyed States. The States with the most DT seed use in 2019 were Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee—in which approximately 88 percent, 85 percent, 83 percent, and 80 percent of cotton acres were planted with DT varieties, respectively. This chart appears in the July 2021 Amber Waves data feature, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Dicamba-Tolerant Cotton Seeds is Prevalent Throughout the United States.

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