BS in Agronomy/Entomology – Texas Tech University
Selecting cotton varieties is becoming more sophisticated and important. Varieties should be selected to “custom fit” each field. Currently, of course, a variety’s yield is the primary factor in the decision-making process, followed closely by genetic traits that it possesses and fiber quality.
For my area – the High Plains of Texas – yield is still the primary factor used in selecting a variety because increasing pounds is needed to keep up with skyrocketing production costs. However, the genetic traits of a variety are also important, as certain fields or areas may require specific traits to best solve a problem. Fiber quality is closely involved in the process, as over the last several years, quality and yield have improved together.
To recommend a new variety, I would prefer to have at least a couple of years of personal on-farm experience with it but also would like a couple of years of local, non-biased data (university, Extension, etc.). The experiences of colleagues is also a valuable source of variety information. Company data concerning their varieties is helpful, too.
Recommending a new variety to a grower without having personal experience with it is very difficult. In today’s rapidly changing biotechnology environment, we – consultants and growers – must become our own researchers. Technology traits and varieties will soon change so rapidly that it is imperative that we annually practice our own onfarm research.
Technical information can be obtained in a variety of ways. First, the Internet has become one of the primary sources of technical information. Networking with colleagues is also a valuable source. Utilizing information gathered from on-farm test plots has increased in the last several years. Professional meetings and company meetings, along with various publications, are also important information sources.
Monsanto’s Delta and Pine Land business has been the pioneer in improving varieties, increasing yield and quality and offering current and future promising trait technology. To maintain a profitable cotton farming operation, yields and quality must continue to consistently increase. Monsanto’s Delta and Pine Land business has positioned itself to be the leader in this arena.