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Delta Farm Press
by Bill Robertson and Joe McAlee - November 17, 2022
We strive to release yield information as quickly as possible to allow for unbiased
comparisons to assist in the variety selection process for next year. This information
will be updated once we receive fiber quality data. Seed providers are encouraging
producers to book seed now. Early booking does often increase the likelihood of availability
of some of our most popular varieties. Twelve varieties were included in our 2022
testing program including DP 2038B3XF which represented the most widely planted variety
in 2021. The tables are sorted by averaged ranking across locations. Not all locations
were able to include non-XtendFlex® cotton varieties. An additional table includes
counties that included all 10 XtendFlex® cotton varieties. Variety selection is perhaps
the most important decision a producer makes. Once planted, no amount of worry, work,
or money can make up for a poor decision. Our recommendation for planting is that
roughly two-thirds of your acres be planted with varieties that are proven on your
farm. Of the remaining acres, limit new varieties to no more than 10% of your total
acreage. The remaining 25% should be dedicated to those varieties in which you have
limited experience. This strategy provides stability while allowing for evaluation
of new varieties. There are a number of unbiased information sources available to
assist in selecting new varieties. Our primary source is the University Variety Testing
Program. Results from the county tests and the Arkansas OVT conducted by Dr. Fred
Bourland may be found at https://aaes.uada.edu/variety-testing/. A great deal of information is collected in the OVT and presented in a way to help
evaluate fiber quality, maturity, growth characteristics, and other variety traits
as well as yield. County data included in this blog will also be included in the University
Variety Testing Program publication. Don’t restrict yourself to your home state or
area. In Arkansas, it is appropriate to evaluate variety performance trials from neighboring
states in the Mid-South. Evaluating the consistency of a variety under a wide array
of conditions will be beneficial. Contact your local county Extension agent for assistance
in obtaining or interpreting variety performance data and to get the date and location
of upcoming county production meetings.