Genetic and Agronomic Improvement in Cotton Quality -- Review and Projection -- The Irrigated West

Hubert B. Cooper, Jr.


Cotton is produced from the Carolinas to California. There are roughly six quality types grown across the U.S. Cotton Belt. These types and areas of growth are shown in Figure 1. Feaster (4) suggests that the geographical distribution of these fiber types has not come about arbitrarily for marketing purposes, but because cotton breeders were trying to develop the best combination of lint yield and fiber quality for their specific area. The objectives of the U.S. Cotton breeding programs are influenced by demands of the textile industry, the producer, and government support programs. The latter often places greater emphasis on yield than spinning properties of cotton fiber. Fiber spinning technologies are advancing rapidly, and Deussen (3) has discussed the demands that these new technologies will place on cotton fiber. Deussen predicts that cotton fibers of the future will have to be more mature, finer and stronger than the cotton fibers produced today.

This paper summarizes the genetic and agronomic improvement of cotton in the Western irrigated areas. These are: New Mexico, District 6 (El Paso) area of Texas, Arizona and Southern California, and the San Joaquin Valley of California. These areas are shown as dashed enclosures on Figure 1.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1987 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference pp. 106 - 109
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998