Empowering the Arizona Cotton Industry through Research, Crop Protection, and Education
The AF36 Program
Competitive Displacement for Aflatoxin
Our Partners in Science
Our Team
Staff and Council Members
Newsletters and Reports
Latest updates from the Council
Plower Program
Procedures surrounding Cotton Production in Arizona
Pest Management
Eradication and Continued Management of Cotton Pests
Statutes and Rules
Regulations in Arizona Cotton Production

Who We Are

The Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council (ACRPC) was established by statute in 1984. It is a grower-funded organization that provides funds to support research and applied technology in order to address industry needs such as pest control, aflatoxin mitigation, and crop production.

Mission Statement    
To provide, research, and monitor innovative technology, and comprehensive programs to protect Arizona cotton and our environment.

Vision Statement          
Our commitment to safeguarding Arizona’s cotton is unwavering. With innovative research, comprehensive programs, and vigilant monitoring, we strive to protect our cotton industry for generations to come.

Contact Us

News and Updates

What We Do


AF36 Program

The Challenge: Aflatoxin Contamination

Aflatoxins are carcinogens produced by the Aspergillus flavus fungus. They threaten many global crops, especially cottonseed, corn, and tree nuts. This contamination results in millions of dollars in industry losses and prevents these crops from accessing premium markets.

The Breakthrough: AF36

USDA-ARS has identified AF36, an atoxigenic variant (incapable of producing toxin) of Aspergillus flavus. When applied to fields, this strain reduces aflatoxin levels by suppressing the growth of toxin producers. Collaborative efforts between academic institutions and the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council have enabled the commercial production of AF36, showing significant reductions in aflatoxin production across treated regions.

The Future: Bio-Control Expansion

ACRPC works to extend bio-control technology geographically across various crops. This expansion allows for a beneficial shift of the fungal community suppressing aflatoxin contamination. This not only boosts the U.S.’s agricultural export market, but also addresses critical public health concerns. Arizona stands at the forefront of battling the costly effects of aflatoxin contamination, For Growers, By Growers.

AF36 Program


Plower Program

The Plower Program plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and productivity of Arizona's cotton industry. By effectively suppressing cotton pests and insect vectors, it helps protect cotton crops from significant damage and ensures a sustainable cotton production system. This is achieved through the destruction of post-harvest crop remnants, which eliminates the opportunity for these pests to overwinter and cause damage to future cotton crops.

The Plower Program has established specific guidelines for crop destruction that all growers must adhere to. These guidelines can be found in the Arizona Administrative Code R3-4-204. Growers must complete plow down activities according to these guidelines.

Plower Program


Pest Management

The Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council has a long-standing history of managing and eradicating major cotton pests to benefit growers. In the early 2000s, the Council successfully eliminated the invasive Pink Bollworm through a coordinated program that included surveys, trapping, and mapping of all cotton fields in the state. This program used sterile insect releases and genetically engineered Bt cotton. The Southwest Boll Weevil Eradication Program also utilized similar mapping and trapping efforts, which led to eradicating the Boll Weevil across most cotton-growing states. The Council continues to monitor Pink Bollworm, Boll Weevil, and other pests of concern, including the Cotton Seed Bug. 

Through close collaboration with universities, government agencies, and individual growers, the Council aims to support the viability and competitiveness of Arizona cotton through integrated pest management and protection.

Pest Management