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Newly Registered Pesticide May Help West Valley Cotton Farmers

Cotton farmers battling pests in their soil have a new option to fight back for their crops.

Nematodes are little creatures that can do heavy damage to cotton and vegetable roots, resulting in a lost profit for the farmer.

Now, California and Arizona growers can use a pesticide called Velum One.

University of Arizona pesticide expert Randy Norton has done tests here and said farmers in the West Valley will see the most benefit because nematodes thrive in the area’s sandy soil.

He says Velum One could end up being cheaper and less harmful than the typical fumigant chemical applied to crops.

“There are growers that actually would rather take the hit from the nematodes than use that control technique," he said. "So this new product is going to give more growers an opportunity to attempt to control these nematodes than what have traditionally done in the past.”     

Norton said the pesticide is not restricted-use and has been tested for at least eight years, with three in Arizona.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.