It is definitely a Catch 22. The Bt seed gives you so much protection and the yields are almost double the regular cotton varieties. The price of the seed is astronomical and the technology fees per acre are high but there is still more profit in the Bt cotton.
There is some regular seed out there because you have to plant 10% regular cotton for a refuge for bugs so that they don’t adapt and become resistant, and that just reenforces the yield disparity because you are using the same techniques for both and yielding much less on the conventional cotton.
One of the additional reasons that it caught on here was that we could no longer delint the seed for planting because of new regulations and you know the huge companies are the only ones who can afford the new technology.
We used to grow a premier 1517 variety and always saved our seed.
Cotton lint is a valuable feedstock for specialty paper.