The U.S. cotton industry has made great strides in improving yields on existing acreage; 50% more cotton is grown today on the same amount of land. Advanced insecticide management, coupled with widely-cultivated and pest-resistant Bt cotton hybrids being used, have resulted in lowering only the levels of specific pests, leaving beneficial insects unharmed and in turn protects the natural food chain.
Conservation tillage, which essentially means letting crop residue lie fallow to prevent soil erosion, also protects wildlife habitat; birds and mammals thrive in the protective residue of no-till fields.
Agriculture, once the major cause of wetlands conversion, achieved a net gain of nearly 263,000 acres between 1997 and 2003. These agricultural gains reflect years of accomplishments in wetland conservation by landowners, conservation groups, and state and federal agencies.