I have been managing field research trials for 23 years, and I can’t ever remember a year like we had in 2009. I am sure most of you would agree with that statement.
I started my new position as Director of Research with Agricenter International in mid-May of last year. At that time, about half of our cotton was already planted, and we finished planting the rest of our research trials on June 8.
Temperatures were already in the 90s, and at that time of year, the Agricenter was experiencing some very dry conditions. In fact, we brought out the poly- pipe during the first part of June to irrigate some of our other research trials. But, as everyone is very well aware, that was the end of the dry conditions for 2009.
Tennessee planted about 300,000 acres of cotton in 2009, and I believe most everyone planted about the same time as we did. I am always a little nervous about June-planted cotton – mainly because of our chances of receiving an early frost.
The cotton variety trials were managed for optimum yields and quality. Most of our ground here is a silt loam with pH around 6.3. We tend to go out with at least two applications of a PGR and scout weekly for cotton insects since we grow cotton with many different trait packages.
As a scientist, I always like to impress upon my clients and others reading the data to avoid looking at any field trial in isolation. Regardless of where your data comes from, look at other trials that have been conducted in your area.
Consult your university variety trials, local county variety trials as well as data from the seed companies. The Agricenter and I would like to thank everyone for their support and assistance in fulfilling our commitment to those in the agricultural industry. If you ever find your way to the Agricenter, be sure to stop by and visit.
Bruce Kirksey is the Director of Research for Agricenter International in Memphis, Tenn. Contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (901) 757-7754.
Variety Seed Cotton/A
DP 0924 B2RF 2,358
DP 0935 B2RF 2,363
PHY 367 WRF 2,958
PHY 370 WRF 3,137
PHY 375 WRF 2,765
AM 1550 B2RF 2,431
ST 4288B2RF 2,559
ST 4498B2RF 2,541
FM 1740B2RF 2,127
Soil type: Silt Loam
Date planted: 6/1/09
Row spacing: 38”
Date harvested: 11/12/09
Plot dimensions: 4 rows