Conventional Cotton vs. Organic Cotton

Conventional Organic
Seeds typically treated with fungicides or insecticides. Insecticides used account for 25% of the worlds consumption. Uses untreated seeds.
Uses GMO(Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds used for approximately 70% of US-grown cotton. Never Uses GMO(Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds.
Synthetic fertilizers used. Strong soil is built using crop rotations instead of fertilizers.
Requires intensive irrigation. Retains water more efficiently thanks to increased organic matter in the soil.
Herbicides applied to the soil to inhibit weed germination Repeatedly uses herbicides to kill weeds that do grow. Pesticides used are highly toxic and known carcinogens. Weed growth removed physically.
Aerial Spraying used results in harmful drifts onto farm workers, neighboring wildlife and communities. Weed control through cultivation and hand hoeing. Uses beneficial insects, biological and cultural practices to control pest.
Defoliates with toxic chemicals. Use of trace crops to lure insects away from cotton Relies on seasonal freeze or water management for defoliation.

Sources: Organic Cotton: Growing Together Symbiosis, Organic Essentials.