MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Reports are being received from some U.S. cotton-producing regions that cottonseed quality has been adversely affected due to the extreme wet harvest season, says the National Cotton Council.

Elevated levels of free fatty acid (FFA) in the seed, associated with high moisture content, greatly diminish the seed's crushing value. Typically, FFA levels above 1.8 percent in cottonseed render it unacceptable for crushing. Reports indicate seed with significantly higher FFA levels, and thus extremely low seed values at the oil mill.

Knowledge of FFA levels could be helpful in determining the best marketing approach for seed with suspected high FFA content. A quick test to determine approximate FFA content in cottonseed has been developed by scientists at the USDA/Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans. Details on modified test procedures and equipment required for gin-level testing will be posted on the NCC web site, www.cotton.org, as soon as they can be made available.

These seed quality problems pose potential losses to the industry in affected regions. The NCC and other organizations continue to pursue assistance for weather-related lint quality and yield losses.