When working with growers to cultivate Cleaner Cotton™, SCP promotes biologically based farming systems which decrease chemical toxicity and increase beneficial insect habitat and survival.
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 and 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 cover crops can reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, maintaining the health and productivity of the soil and minimizing 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 eases 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 familiar with and therefore more inclined than their counterparts to use these biological controls.
Beneficial Insect Habitats Developing natural habitats increases the number of "good bugs" that prey on pest and reduce reliance on pesticides.
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.