It's time to make cotton seed decisions for 2013. In Georgia, growers have a handy on-line tool to help them compare varieties in side-by-side comparisons.
The University of Georgia Cotton Variety Performance Calculator was developed by University of Georgia cotton agronomists Guy Collins and Jared Whitaker, and it's based on statewide variety testing on small plots and large on-farm trials.
The calculator gives growers variety performance by using data only from trials in which all varieties of interest were tested. This allows for fair comparisons to be made across a wide range of environmental conditions and production practices.
"Yield data from The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program and Statewide Variety Testing are still coming in," Collins said, "but preliminary data suggests that some new varieties may be very competitive for Georgia growers."
The variety performance calculator can be found at www.ugacottonnews.com.
When making a decision, look at stability characteristics of particular varieties, especially brand new varieties. A variety with a high stability will likely yield within the highest yielding group across a number of yield environments. "In the past, we have observed that some varieties are competitive in most environments, and others are only competitive in a few environments that are similar to each other," Collins said.
Nematodes, he said, may play a larger role in how varieties perform in 2013, as some varieties appear to have some level of root-knot nematode tolerance.
"Multi-year data may have much more value for variety decisions this year, due to the relatively wet season that most of these on-farm trials experienced during 2012. Multi-year data is generally more robust and provides growers with a clearer picture on how a variety might perform across environments and years," he said.