Cotton Variety Selection

  • Cotton variety selection has become more complex with the availability of varieties with different pest management traits.  
  • 13;10;
  • It is best to choose a cotton variety with proven high yield potential within a specific geography.
  • 13;10;
  • Select multiple cotton varieties with different maturities so cotton will not all mature at the same time.   
13;10;

Variety Selection

13;10;

One of the first decisions cotton growers make each season is selection of which varieties they will plant. This decision has become more complex due to the availability of varieties with different pest management traits. Consequently, analyzing new varieties and technologies for their fit in each field has increased in importance. The goal for cotton growers still remains the same, selection of a cotton product that can add the most to the bottom line through adaptation, yield, and input costs.

13;10;

Pest Management Traits

13;10;
Figure 1
13;10;

New insect or weed management trait offerings can be alluring to growers. It is wise to evaluate any new variety or trait technology combination on a limited scale during its first year of release, unless the technological advance is so beneficial that it is worth the risk of planting a high percentage of the farm to the technology.1 It is important to remember that with any new variety or trait package, specific management may be different than with previous products, whether they are related or not.

13;10;

When possible, it is best to choose a cotton variety with proven high yield potential within the specific geography. It is also important to consider the stability and quality characteristics of a cotton variety.  Multiple cotton varieties with different maturities should be selected so cotton will not all mature at the same time. Staggered planting may be used when the same cotton variety is selected for multiple fields.   

13;10;

The decision to use a trait package should be based on several variables that are fairly common in most crop production systems. Variables include:   

13;10;
  • Changes in application cost and frequency associated with shifting pest pressures and inherent characteristics of the technology.   
13;10;
  • Changes in inputs due to both trait and variety shifts.
     
    13;10;– Trait shifts - control of target pests, increased impact of secondary pests.
     
    13;10;–  Variety shifts - adjustment of PGR applications rates and timings, changes in fertilizer application and timing. 
13;10;
 
13;10;
  • Changes in labor - labor requirements may change according to the system selected. Labor required may be to hand weed, operate machinery, and manage the crop.   
13;10;
  • Change in yields - yield/fiber quality can be influenced by several factors including:   
     
    – Improved control of target weed and insect pests. 
     
    13;10;– Increased yield potential of new varieties.  
     
    13;10;– Improvements in fiber quality
    .   
13;10;
  • Risk management - new products may help to reduce a grower’s production risks and should be carefully evaluated on limited acres during the first year.  
13;10;
 
13;10;

Table 1 provides a worksheet to help determine which cotton agronomic traits are the best fit for a grower’s operation. Importance can be ranked in the left-hand column with 1- very important, 2 - important, and 3 - unimportant. 

13;10;
 
13;10;
13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10; 13;10;
Table 1. Worksheet to help determine best which cotton agronomic traits. 
 Importance Ranking
 Agronomic Trait
 Primary Question(s)
Specific Need (circle one)
 
 Maturity
What maturity helps maximize yield potential in your area?
Early
13;10;
 
13;10;
Midseason
 
Full season
 
 Plant Height
Does cotton tend to grow short or tall on your ground? Do you need a compact plant for harvest?
Short
13;10;
 
13;10;
Medium
 
Tall
 
 Leaf Pubescence
Are there insects in your area that make smoothness important?  
Smooth
13;10;
 
13;10;
Semi-smooth
 
Hairy
 
 
Does leaf pubescence affect fiber grades? 
 Yes         No
 
 Stom Resistance
Is fall out or harvestability more of a concern?  
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good   Excellent
 
 Fiber Qualitites
Are there qualities that you need to maximize or others you should limit?  
  
 
 
Length
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good  Excellent
 
 
Strength
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good  Excellent
 
 
Micronaire
Tendency :  Low    Medium    High
 
 
Turnout
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good  Excellent
 
 Disease/
 
13;10;Nematodes
Does disease resistance help add yield potential?  
 
 
 
Fusarium Wilt Resistance  
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good  Excellent
 
 
Verticillium Wilt Resistance  
Average       Good
13;10;
 
Very Good   Excellent
13;10;
 * Importance Ranking = 1-Very Important, 2-Important, 3-Unimportant  
13;10;
 
13;10;
 
13;10;
 
13;10;
 
13;10;
 
13;10;
 
13;10;