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Texas Take On
Class Of ’09

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Click here to ask Clay Golden a question or submit a comment about this month’s Cotton Consultant’s Corner.




Recap: Texas Take On
Class Of ’09


Clay Golden
Golden Ag Consulting
Aiken, Texas

When I started consulting in 1995, there were two good cotton varieties from which to choose – HS 200 and HS 26. Each had its own characteristics, but, in general, either would work in any scenario. Now, we have a seemingly infinite number of varieties to fit certain situations, such as irrigation type, water availability, soil type, planting date, insect and weed pressure, replant options, etc.

The new numbering system for Deltapine varieties should help keep track of new varieties because it is simple and just makes sense. Season length is extremely important for variety decisions in our area, and with the help of the new numbering system, there is not nearly as much guesswork. Without even hearing of a particular variety, you can still get key information from the number alone.

The other good news is that the newer varieties are increasing our yields and fiber quality. An outstanding crop for the Texas High Plains in 1995 would have averaged 1,000 pounds per acre. We now can expect average cotton yields to be 1,250 to 1,500 pounds per acre. There are definitely some yield and grade advantages to longer season “picker” varieties in the High Plains’ area. They need closer management of water and plant growth regulators to mature in time, but there is no question that the new varieties are paying off.

With so many good seed options, it is more critical for consultants and growers to stay informed on new varieties by watching the characteristics of different varieties in our own fields and watching data from Extension and other independent researchers. (Monsanto’s D&PL business also has other varieties – DP 0912 B2RF, DP 0920 B2RF, DP 0924 B2RF, DP 0935 B2RF and DP 0949 B2RF – that will replace current standards like DP 555 BGRR by providing a new level of yield and technology, which will help growers make the move from Bollgard® to Bollgard II®).

In the near future, we should have new herbicide and insect-resistant traits available, as well as genetically modified plants to increase things like drought tolerance and cold tolerance. One variety that has garnered a lot of attention is DP 0935 B2RF’s nectariless trait. Any suppression of plant bug pressure is a good thing. We can reduce inputs if we can keep our beneficial populations in the field longer.


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