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Variety Selection & Stress Factors

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Dr. Chris Main
Cotton Development Specialist, Dow AgroSciences

Not to say that any cotton season is normal, but as producers approach the end of this one, they do so with a sigh of relief. It’s been a wild, late crop that has presented cotton producers with many challenges. As you look back on the successes and challenges of the 2013 growing season, also reflect on how varieties performed on your farm. When you begin making variety selection decisions for 2014, keep in mind the stress factors presented in your fields. Is weed pressure the major concern? Are you battling new and more powerful insects? Or is it disease or weather that poses the biggest threat?

Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin making variety selection decisions:

Evaluate yield performance over multiple years and multiple locations. This gives you a broader impression about overall variety performance. No single trial provides the be-all, end-all answer. However, all experiences are useful in deciphering which varieties should be planted in a given field. As a risk management tool, plant multiple varieties with differing maturities across your cotton acres. Make the best of your highest yielding fields by planting the varieties with the highest yield potential on those acres. Choose varieties with high yield potential for your highest yielding fields, especially those with irrigation.

On dryland acres, or those that are stressed year after year, choose varieties with a high degree of yield stability. Limit your first time experience with a variety to less than 10 percent of your total acreage. Even with excellent trial data and grower reviews, make sure the variety will fit your management style. Plant the majority of your acres to varieties that have worked well on your farm in previous growing seasons.

New PhytoGen Varieties

In addition to the all-star PHY 499 WRF, our 2014 lineup will feature six new PhytoGen varieties that will be offered for sale in limited quantities.

PHY 222 WRF: a very early maturity variety selected for storm tolerance, consistency and yield potential in the Northern Texas High Plains.

PHY 333 WRF: early maturity with outstanding yield potential and stability. Broadly adapted, this variety will produce good fiber quality wherever it is grown.

PHY 417 WRF: early to mid-maturity with a high level of root-knot nematode resistance. This broadly adapted variety is ready to compete in yield and quality.

PHY 427 WRF: early to mid-maturity with a high level of root-knot nematode resistance and excellent seedling vigor.

PHY 495 W3RF: a mid-maturity variety featuring the WideStrike 3 trait package. This variety exhibits excellent seedling vigor with superior yield potential and broad adaptation.

PHY 599 WRF: a full season variety with excellent yield potential, especially in the Deep South.

Good luck as you embark on your variety selection journey!