Cotton seed is acid-delinted to remove linters that remain after ginning. Though most seed processors currently neutralize seed following acid treatment, the methods used vary as to their efficiency, and inconsistent results are obtained. A 1993 survey of seed from eleven cultivars, representing four major seed processors, indicated that seed-surface pH levels are still very low, averaging pH 2.6. Additional neutralization of processed seeds, through use of saturated sodium bicarbonate solution rinses, can raise the pH level of the seed surface (>pH 5.0). In growth chamber trials, comparison of standard industry seed (pH 2.0) was compared to same-lot seed that had been further neutralized (pH 5.0). Comparisons were conducted in nonsterile, nonamended, field soil and pasteurized soil, amended with Rhizoctonia solani inoculum. Without use of any fungicidal chemicals, the neutralized seed produced significantly higher stands and significantly less soreshin symptoms in the field soil (P<0.10) and the pasteurized soil (P<0.01) tests. These results indicate a possible link between seed-surface pH and R. solani infection, and they point to the need for better neutralization methods at the industry level.