Cotton

Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production, and is the state’s leading cash crop, supporting an economic impact of over $5 billion. Texas annually produces about 25% of the entire U.S. crop and plants about 6 million acres! That’s over 9,000 square miles of cotton fields, or a cotton field the size of New Hampshire!

Almost anywhere you travel in Texas, you’ll be in cotton country. Specifically, eight production regions are recognized around the state. These regions differ with respect to climate, soils, and the cultural practices employed by the growers. We’ve all heard the slogan “Texas is like a whole other country”, and from a cotton production perspective it’s certainly fitting. For example, when it’s planting time in the Rio Grande Valley in February, it might be snowing on the High Plains, and when the first bale is harvested in the Valley in July, growers have just recently finished planting in the Rolling Plains. In most years, the harvest season is about six months long, beginning in July in the Valley and finishing-up in December in the High Plains region. In fact, many custom harvesters make the northern trek from the Valley to the High Plains each season.

Faculty/Staff

  • Tom Cothren, Crop Production, College Station, TX
  • Jane Dever, cotton breeder, Lubbock, TX
  • David Drake, wheat and oilseed crops, San Angelo, TX
  • Tom Gerik, cotton physiology, Temple, TX
  • Steve Hague, cotton breeding, College Station, TX
  • Mark Kelly, Extension cotton specialist, Lubbock, TX
  • Gaylon Morgan, state Extension cotton specialist, College Station, TX
  • Wayne Smith, cotton breeding, College Station, TX
  • David Stelly, cotton cytogenetics, College Station, TX

Research Interests

  • To deliver technically sound information and provide support to this diverse industry, consisting of growers, consultants, allied industry, governmental agencies, educators, consumers, etc.
  • Development of superior germplasm/cultivars which will enhance the productivity, improve the product quality, and/or decrease production costs associate with cotton production in Texas.
  • Breeding goals include enhancement of yield and fiber quality potential, and resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
  • Research addresses basic and practical needs related to plant reproductive genetics or biology, evolution, chromosome biology and cytogenetic manipulation, genomics, genetic barriers to introgression, or other processes that impact our ability to genetically analyze, manipulate and improve plants.
  • Improving dryland cropping systems by alleviating genetic and cultural constraints to productivity.
  • The ultimate goal of our research and education program is to provide information that supports a healthy and environmentally sound cotton production industry for Texas.

Related Sites of Interest

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