When working with growers to cultivate Cleaner Cotton™, SCP promotes practices which decrease chemical toxicity, increase beneficial insect habitat and survival and support the use of biologically based farming systems.
SCP delivers its services to farmers through a number of channels. Fields registered in the program undergo extensive weekly field monitoring for pests and beneficial insects. SCP farm days provide a way for growers to exchange information and experiences farmer-to-farmer, or with industry experts. A weekly blog and a bi-annual newsletter distributed to more than 1,600 growers spread knowledge across the entire state of California and beyond.
SCP is the only organization of its kind working in the field to educate California growers on biologically based IPM practices in cotton. Many of the practices that SCP implements are endorsed by University of California.
Biologically based Farming
Soil Biologically based farming starts with the soil. Compost and use of cover crops can reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers to keep the soil healthy and productive and reduce water runoff into local watersheds.
Insect Pests Rather than attempting to eliminate all pests, our growers cultivate a diversity of natural enemies that prey on insect pests. Well-timed releases of beneficial insects can reduce pest pressure in the fields. Planting annual habitat on field margins or interplanting the habitat provides a food and nectar source for beneficial insects as well as serving as a trap crop for pests. If significant pest problems develop, our growers are more inclined than their counterparts to use more environmentally friendly materials.
Beneficial Insect Habitats Developing natural habitats will increase the number of "good bugs" that prey on pest and reduce reliance on pesticides.
Photo Credit: Karina Corbett Photography
Weekly Field Monitoring SCP’s field scout conducts a weekly sampling for both pests and beneficial insects in each of the participating SCP fields. Every week written reports are distributed to each grower, helping the farmer to make informed pest management decisions.