Breeder's Viewpoint

David Bush


Most of my experience as a cotton breeder is in Texas and Oklahoma so I will direct my observations and comments to this area. Production practices and cultivar development appear to adapt rapidly to changes in economic conditions in this area. Prior to the 1970's, cotton production philosophy seemed to be to "grow cotton, the more the better." In the early 1970'sproduction costs increased to the point that the thinking changed to "grow profitable cotton." Early maturing cultivars that shortened crop exposure to insects, environmental stresses, and weathering became the varieties of choice. The Tamcots and other MAR type cultivars rapidly replaced older varieties in many production regions of Texas and Oklahoma. The attitude for the1980's is "grow quality cotton" and cultivar selection is quickly shifting to high strength cultivars. Better fiber quality, especially higher strength, is superimposed on the breeding goals of high yields, earliness, and adversity resistance. Rapid, reliable and relatively inexpensive fiber testing methods are necessary to the breeder for screening germplasm for the necessary fiber traits. High Volume Instrument (HVI) methods give us the information we need to develop the cultivars of the future. Cultivar development is a lengthy process and we have to use testing procedures that are or will become standard in the future. From all I can read and hear, HVI, whatever its limitations, appears to be the method that will be used.

Reprinted from Proceedings: 1989 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference pp. 97 - 98
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998