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  E. An Experimental System Boosts Cotton Crop Potentials

Narrator: This is Science Today. Agricultural scientists at the University of California are studying experimental systems that may boost cotton crop potentials. Cotton specialist Bob Hutmacher of the University of California, Davis, says for over four years now, they’ve been studying a double-row cotton planting concept that has led to a 4 to 12% increase in yield.

Hutmacher: What we’ve been looking at essentially a change in planting systems that would have two planted rows per bed. In addition, under quite a few different conditions, we find a little bit of advantage in terms of earliness of the crop, which can help in terms of getting it off the field earlier. The other thing that we’ve found is some potential for the plants to develop and kind of shade out potential weeds that may be coming up and that’s proven to be a fairly consistent advantage with this type of system.

Narrator: California cotton production represents about 10 to 14% of the total U.S. yearly production. For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.