Embrapa’s cotton breeding program has made substantial progress in the last 18 years in developing cotton cultivars with higher yield and fiber properties. A parallel increase in resistance to drought and insect pests has also been obtained. Seed cotton yield and fiber property means of the cotton cultivar regional tests conducted by Embrapa in many locations of Northeast Brazil over the past 18 years was used to estimate the genetic progress achieved. These data show that the genetic progress for seed cotton yield over the 18 year period was 1.03% a year. Progress in fiber characteristics was also made.