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, like Puerto Rico.
The part of the cotton plant that most people are familiar with is the fiber, or lint. The cotton fiber is slightly over one inch long. It is a single cell, and is the largest cell in the plant kingdom.
The cotton fiber takes about 50 days to develop inside the “green bolls”, which then crack open to show the white, harvestable lint. The lint is used to make cloth—for towels, clothes, sheets, etc.
During the growing season, cotton faces challenges from weeds and worms. A big pest for cotton is the bollworm, which eats away at the boll, where the cotton lint develops.
Monsanto has three products in the marketplace for cotton farmers. These products are: Bollgard II® (insect protection); Roundup Ready® Flex (herbicide tolerance); and Bollgard II® with Roundup Ready® Flex (both).