Science: Cotton Killer

In the counties of Wharton and Matagorda on the Texas coastal plain, cotton growers were dismayed to find their cotton plants blighted by a mysterious disease. Bolls were deformed, leaves twisted. Altogether 10,000 acres were affected.

From Texas A. & M. College, the county agents called in Dr. A. A. Dunlap, plant pathologist. The trouble was caused, he said, by 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) the miracle weedkiller (TIME, June 30). Further sleuthing uncovered the source: it had come from rice farms which planes had dusted with the chemical to kill broadleaved weeds. From the...

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