This paper discusses the role of agricultural research for developing technology for innovative producers. Although many, exciting discoveries are coming out of our laboratories, maintaining sound agricultural research programs will not be easy. Public spending for all research and development will remain flat in 1989 due to inflation. Other hurdles must be cleared, too. Many productive agricultural scientists are reaching retirement age, universities are raiding agricultural faculties to fill other positions, start-up costs for newly-hired scientists have risen, and laboratories are aging. Biotechnology is growing at faster clip today than the chemical industry did during the past 40 years. This science should not only help lower input costs, but improve the environment. In the long run, farm legislation alone is not sufficient to secure success for the U.S. cotton industry. Success only can be achieved with expanded promotional and trade efforts and a renewed commitment to research aimed at product development, cost reduction, and resource conservation.