Cotton Variety Playoffs.
I am a big college football fan and sometimes it seems that choosing varieties has some parallel comparisons. For one thing, at the beginning of the season, you are never sure who is going to win it all, but you can often predict many of the teams that will be playoff contenders. We pick the ones with a history of winning rather than just expect the team that came out on top from a ‘Hail Mary pass’ to win again.
In the cotton world, the recent perennial varieties to beat have been PHY333 and DP1646. Both have had high yield potential, but some unforgiving management requirements based on technology and/or growth habit.
The 2020 challenging growing season offered us a chance to discover weakness and strength in our variety choices.
Just like always, the report card will place high value not only on performance from the previous year, but also adjusts for longevity, consistency of yielding in the upper tier over a lot of locations, local farmer results, and actual gin results. All the data available from our region is looked at, but more weight is assigned to third party data.
In 2020, there was stronger performance from the early and determinant varieties compared to 2018 which was the opposite favoring the indeterminant growthy varieties. The report card will be putting together the story.
It is also important to identify those that are not producing results to earn a place on our farms OR are brand new and ‘just like’ variety yyy except with new genes. I think we all learned if has new genes, it is not going to be like yyy anymore.
I am adding a new feature this year and that is to define varieties based on a breakout within our own region and management philosophy. We have geographical differences that impact not only pest management, but it appears to be variety performance as well. This may also be related to management practices as some localities might be more aggressive with inputs, while others are more passive, and varieties respond to these differences.
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