Modern cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars are more productive and have unique growth and fruiting characteristics due to optimization of genetics and management practices in the past 30 yr. The most recent work evaluating nutrient uptake and partitioning by cotton was conducted in the early 1990s, necessitating a re-evaluation of nutrient accumulation and requirements in modern high productivity cultivars. Modern cultivar (FiberMax [FM] 958 and Deltapine [DP] 1646) resource allocation, including dry matter production, yields, and accumulation and partitioning of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S to different organs, was compared with that of a 1990s cultivar (Paymaster [PM] HS26) in 2018 and 2019. The modern cultivars tested in this study partitioned a greater percentage of dry matter, N, P, K, and S into the fruit than the older cultivar, highlighting the importance of partitioning for increased production potential of these cultivars from the 1990s to the 2010s. Greater efficiencies in partitioning and remobilization of N, P, K, and S resulted in 66, 88, 64, and 30% increase in the amount of lint yield produced for every unit of uptake, respectively, under favorable growing conditions. These findings suggest that existing fertility paradigm in cotton may underestimate the accumulation expectations during the middle and latter part of the growing season. These results can be a basis for optimizing nutrient application to address partitioning changes. Adjusting nutrient recommendations to the shift in cultivar growth characteristics may improve both yield and application efficiency of fertilizers.