Glossary related to cotton industry

Glossary of terms related to the cotton industry

Cotton Terms

A basic unit of lint after the cotton is ginned. The weight of a bale varies from country to country. By convention, a ‘statistical’ bale weighs 480 lbs.


The fruit of a cotton plant in which cotton is formed.

Bt Cotton

A genetically engineered cotton type that carries the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene that produces protein crystals toxic to some insect pests like bollworms.


Cultivated cotton is a perennial shrub which belongs to the genus Gossypium. There are two major species in current production – G. hirsutum, commonly known as upland cotton, and G. barbadense or pima cotton. Some less commonly grown species are G. herbaceum and G. arboreum

G. arboreum, G. herbaceum

Asiatic short staple coarse cotton, usually having high Micronaire values.


The basic entity which is twisted into yarns, and then used in the production of fabric.


Ginning is the process which separates leaf matter, cotton trash and seeds from cotton fiber which is then made into a bale


A measure of fiber strength

Plant Breeding

Plant Breeding has been defined as the art and science of improving the heredity of plants for the benefit of mankind.


A group of individual plants having some characteristics in common, either location, family ancestry, or intended use.

Span length

The extent exceeded by a stated proportion of cotton fibres, eg, 2.5% span length is the length exceeded by only 2.5% of fibres by number.


The ability of plants to endure a specified pest, pathogen, environmental pressure or chemical stress. A tolerant variety will sustain less damage than a susceptible variety when grown under the same conditions.


A populations ability to live, grow and develop. It is affected by physical habitat factors (climate, geology, topography, and aquatic features) and by biotic habitat factors (plant and animal populations and communities).


Strong, vibrant germination and growth is defined as plant vigor.