The San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board has given its stamp of approval to five new cotton varieties -- three Acalas and two Pimas -- making them several cents a pound more valuable to producers than they were the day before the board gave them its blessing in early March.

These cottons include:

--Phytogen 72: an Acala that was the highest yielding of the approved Acalas in the board's testing program. Developed by Phytogen Seed Co., Corcoran, Calif., it will be marketed as Phy 72 Acala. It averaged 1,640 pounds per acre in board trials, outperforming the standard, Maxxa, by 150 pounds.

--OA-249: Another Acala with improved quality characteristics. It is from Olvey and Associates of Arizona. The variety also significantly out-yielded Maxxa in board testing and will be marketed by Delta and Pine Land Co.

--C-181: The only transgenic variety up for approval this time, It is a BXN cotton, resistant to the herbicide Buctril. It was widely planted last season as BXN Nova by its breeder, California Planting Cotton Seed Distributors.

--Phytogen 76: One of two Pima cottons approved. It produced yields of up to 210 pounds over the S-7 standard. It also is from Phytogen Seed Co.

--OA 340: Another high-quality Pima, OA 340 was the highest-yielding Pima in the board's testing program. It also is from Olvey & Associates.

The five new varieties join 46 other cottons that are approved for planting within the San Joaquin Valley Cotton District. There are hundreds more also eligible for planting now that the valley is open to all varieties.

The primary difference between the approved and non-approved cottons is that those winning the board's seal of approval meet quality standards for Pima and Acala lint and generally bring a few cents more per pound. All of these five were grown and lint sold last year at a discount. With the board's approval, the discounts disappear.