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Arkansas, cotton, cotton varieties, planting, breeding, harvesting, crop yield, crop quality, production, pest management, cotton history, agricultural history


American Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) is a Dixie product. Although the stocks of the species were brought from elsewhere, new types (through series of adaptational changes) formed this distinctive group—the final characteristics of which are a product of the Cotton Belt of the United States. These biological processes were considerably aided by man and the steps of development possibly were about as follows: (a) natural selection took place in the earlier introductions, (b) seed were saved from the more choice stocks, (c) series of subsequent introductions were obtained from the better sources, (d) these were acclimatized and the superior ones kept, (e) as the colonists spread or moved westward new ecological situations affected the direction in adaptation and varietal differences occurred, (f) the source of seed also had effects on varietal differences, (g) later in the time scale, selection breeding began and brought more pressure on varietal differentiation, and (h) finally, modern breeding took over and we now have the varieties and strains that exist today and the generally high level of responses maintained in most of them. From time to time during this period and out of this series of developments, stocks have gone out, or back, to most of the other cotton growing countries, where similar evolutionary processes (though shorter in span and less rugged in change) have re established the stocks and other special types of Upland cotton.

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