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Cotton Quality and Yields

Choosing Varieties for the 2016 Season

Charles Burmester Contract Agronomist Decatur, Ala. I was raised on a small farm in Alabama where we always grew cotton and became very familiar with the crop at an early age. In, fact, my mother made me my own “pick sack” when I was five-years-old. After graduating from Auburn University, I started my career with the Extension Service in Alabama ... Read More »

End of Year Reports Filtering In

ARKANSAS The National Agricultural Statistics Service November Crop Production report lowered our yield estimate for Arkansas cotton to 1,124 pounds of lint per acre down from last month’s estimate of 1,218 pounds of lint per acre. The November estimate is just short of last year’s record yield of 1,145 pounds of lint per acre, from 330,000 harvested acres. We have ... Read More »

2016 Seed Variety Guide

It’s The Time Of The Season Late fall, early winter is the time of the season for slowing down a bit after a hectic harvest and contemplating which varieties will have the best fit in your operation in the upcoming year. The menu of varieties from which to choose includes a host of high-yielding, good quality selections for 2016. To ... Read More »

Choosing a Cotton Variety for 2016

planting cotton

In recent years, the presence of glyphosate-resistant pigweed in Mid-South cotton has compelled producers to grow glufosinate (Liberty)-tolerant varieties. In 2015, more than 85 percent of cotton acreage in Arkansas was planted to varieties that are tolerant to glufosinate. This acreage included 11 percent planted to XtendFlex (resistant to dicamba) varieties. However, dicamba applications beyond the current burndown label were not allowed. Almost half of the transgenic entries in the 2015 Arkansas Cotton Variety Test were resistant to dicamba or 2,4-D (Enlist) – a clear indication of the direction of variety development. The Enlist trait is fully registered in the United States, and the herbicide is labeled in all Mid-South states except Tennessee. Import approvals for some Far East countries are still being pursued. We expect a limited release of Enlist cotton in 2016. It is expected, but at this point still uncertain whether labels will allow spraying of dicamba beyond burndown on XtendFlex cotton in 2016. Thus, producers should make their variety choices accordingly and follow all label requirements. Selection of varieties then returns to long-established principles of choosing varieties that are likely to produce stable, high yields of premium quality cotton – regardless of their transgene conf iguration. Read More »

Cotton Variety Selection ABCs

The ABCs of variety selection may start with letters behind a variety name denoting insect resistance or herbicide tolerance technology, but they certainly do not end there. Beyond the letters are complex characteristics controlled by multiple genes – yield, fiber quality, stress response, disease resistance, plant type and relative maturity. “A” stands for area-appropriate. Consider performance data generated from the same area as your farm. Know specific field production constraints and choose varieties with appropriate disease resistance, nematode tolerance and moisture stress response. “B” is for broadening risk with more than one variety in more than one maturity class so harvest on large farms can be staggered. Broadened risk improves the odds of catching beneficial rains and avoiding widespread hail damage. “C” is for control. Stay grounded with input capabilities. Highhorsepower varieties in low-input situations can lead to quality problems. “Control” reminds me of the first cotton farmer to ask my advice on variety selection – my father, who passed away in May. Professional presentation of yield data did not impress him. He told me, “I can make these varieties yield. Show me something with the potential for good fiber quality. I have less control over that.” Read More »