We strive to release yield information as quickly as possible to allow for unbiased comparisons to assist in the variety selection process for next year. This information will be updated once we receive fiber quality data. Seed providers are encouraging producers to book seed now. Early booking does often increase the likelihood of availability of some of our most popular varieties.
Twelve varieties were included in our 2021 testing program including DP 1646 B2XF which represented the most widely planted variety in 2020. The tables are sorted by averaged ranking across locations. Not all locations were able to include non-XtendFlex cotton varieties. An additional table includes counties that included all 10 XtendFlex cotton varieties.
Variety selection is perhaps the most important decision a producer makes. Once planted, no amount of worry, work, or money can make up for a poor decision. Our recommendation for planting is that roughly two-thirds of your acres be planted with varieties that are proven on your farm.
Of the remaining acres, limit new varieties to no more than 10% of your total acreage. The remaining 25% should be dedicated to those varieties in which you have limited experience. This strategy provides stability while allowing for the evaluation of new varieties.
There are a number of unbiased information sources available to assist in selecting new varieties. Our primary source is the University Variety Testing Program. Results from the county tests and the Arkansas OVT conducted by Dr. Fred Bourland may be found on the Arkansas Variety Testing website here.
A great deal of information is collected in the OVT and presented in a way to help evaluate fiber quality, maturity, growth characteristics, and other variety traits as well as yield. County data included in this blog will also be included in the University Variety Testing Program publication.
Don’t restrict yourself to your home state or area. In Arkansas, it is appropriate to evaluate variety performance trials from neighboring states in the Mid-South. Evaluating the consistency of a variety under a wide array of conditions will be beneficial.
Contact your local county Extension agent for assistance in obtaining or interpreting variety performance data and to get the date and location of upcoming county production meetings.