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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC AND CULTURAL PRACTICE IMPROVEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE COTTON PRODUCTION Title: Trends in United States cotton yield productivity since 1980

Authors
item Campbell, Benjamin
item Boykin, Deborah
item Abdo, Zaid
item Meredith, William

Submitted to: Yield Gains in Major U.S. Field Crops
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2014
Publication Date: May 12, 2014
Citation: Campbell, B.T., Boykin, D.L., Abdo, Z., Meredith Jr, W.R. 2014. Trends in United States cotton yield productivity since 1980. In: Yield Gains in Major U.S. Crop Fields. Crop Science Society of America: Madison, WI. 13-32.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is produced in over 30 countries and provides a major fiber source of textile manufacturers. In the United States (U.S.), upland cotton is produced along the southern most portion of the country in sixteen states from California to Virginia. In 2012, the direct market value of 17.0 million bales of U.S. cotton equated to US$ 8.1 billion. The objective of this study was to document trends in U.S. upland cotton yield productivity since 1980. A second objective was to document the impact of genetic gain on yield productivity. Analyses of on-farm and replicated variety trial data suggest that yield productivity and genetic gain have occurred since 1980. In particular in 1996, both yield productivity and genetic gain significantly increased with the adoption of transgenic cultivars. The rate of genetic gain for yield from 1982-1995 was significantly lower than the rate of genetic from 1996-2011. This indicates that substantial yield productivity and genetic gains have coincided with the shift to transgenic cotton production systems. Through joint efforts to transfer stably inherited transgenes and improved genetic backgrounds, evidence suggests that significant genetic gains have occurred and will continue to do so in the future. Traditional germplasm enhancement programs, new transgenic technology, and molecular/genomic breeding technologies offer exciting opportunities for future productivity and genetic gain increases.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is produced in over 30 countries and provides a major fiber source of textile manufacturers. In the U.S., upland cotton is produced along the southern most portion of the country in sixteen states from California to Virginia. In 2012, the direct market value of 17.0 million bales of U.S. cotton equated to US$ 8.1 billion. The objective of this study was to document trends in U.S. upland cotton yield productivity since 1980. A second objective was to document the impact of genetic gain on yield productivity. Analyses of on-farm and replicated variety trial data suggest that yield productivity and genetic gain have occurred since 1980. In particular in 1996, both yield productivity and genetic gain significantly increased with the adoption of transgenic cultivars. The rate of genetic gain for yield from 1982-1995 was significantly lower than the rate of genetic from 1996-2011. This indicates that substantial yield productivity and genetic gains have coincided with the shift to transgenic cotton production systems. Through joint efforts to transfer stably inherited transgenes and improved genetic backgrounds, evidence suggests that significant genetic gains have occurred and will continue to do so in the future. Traditional germplasm enhancement programs, new transgenic technology, and molecular/genomic breeding technologies offer exciting opportunities for future productivity and genetic gain increases.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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