Dunn, Rex 1983-10-18

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Rex Dunn discusses his background and career in cotton breeding.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Rex Dunn

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: October 18, 1983

Location: Seminole, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Background information, b: Lamesa, Texas, 1924, To Seminole 1975, Parents' migration to Plains, Reasons, Grandparents, Cotton breeding in Dunn's family, Father's experimentation, Results, Goals, Cotton breeders, Qualities and characteristics, Father's experience with cotton breeding; James T. Dunn, Abilities and accomplishments, Seed operation, Marketing, Farmer acceptance of new seed breeds, Mishandling of seed varieties, Role of Ginners, Cotton on the Plains, Old varieties, Changes, Mechanical harvesters, Characteristics of new varieties, Fiber content, Old varieties (again), Anecdote: crop loss in sandstorm 1926, Storm resistance problems in the Delta, Cotton quality, Delta vs. Plains, Farmers' awareness, Educational revolution among farmers, Development of new varieties, Role of Universities

Tape 1, Side 2: Role of Universities (continued), Time span required to develop new varieties, Cost of development, Independent breeders, Breeding for strength and productivity, Reasons for experimentation, Burning of operation (late 1950s), Effect of open end spinning on breeding, Spinning characteristics, Marketability in breeding operation, Mechanical harvest, Picker versus stripper, Water requirements for cotton, Lint production levels, Limitations, Regional differences, Breeding goals, Insect and disease tolerance, Dry land cotton farming, Irrigation, Emphasis on quality cotton, Role of cotton breeders

Tape 2, Side 1: Corporate involvement in seed breeding, Efficiency, Thoughts of selling out, Relationship of breeders with mills and farmers, Guidelines for breeders, Maintenance of characteristics, Testing, Future of cotton breeding, Glandless cotton, Insect problems, Cotton as a food crop, Hybrid cotton, Potential, Economic factors, Producing for seed rather than lint, Cotton as food (again), Seed control as means of world domination, Versatility of cotton, Effect of synthetics on breeders, Comfort as a factor, Characteristics of a cotton breeder (again), Future for cotton on the Plains

Tape 2, Side 2: Future for cotton on the Plains (continued), Water supply as a factor, Conservation, Water importation, Potential Plains productivity, Population growth, U. S. cottons dominate world market, Role of private breeders, Technology transfer, Characteristics of cotton breeders (again), Choice of Gaines County for seed operation, Dealing with weather, Micronaire, Problems, Removal, Strength as primary factor, Major developments (post 1958), Fiber strength, Growing season, Disease resistance, Disease increase, Factors involved, Regeneration of soil, Climate change, "Kicking the sacred cow"

Range Dates: 1906-1983

Bulk Dates: 1940s-1983

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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