Variety decisions should  be based on multienvironment and multiyear replicated data in order to identify varieties with a high degree of stability

Variety decisions should be based on multi-environment and multi-year replicated data in order to identify varieties with a high degree of stability.

N.C. State releases cotton variety data to aid farmers with key decision

“Variety selection is one of the most important decisions a grower can make that will significantly impact their profitability in a given year,” says Guy Collins, N.C. State Extension cotton specialist.

North Carolina State University has released the results of its 2015 on-farm  cotton variety trials which consist of the most widely adapted and best-fit varieties for North Carolina cotton farmers as determined by seed companies.

“Within the first year alone, the on-farm program has clearly demonstrated that variety selection is one of the most important decisions a grower can make that will significantly impact their profitability in a given year,” wrote Guy Collins, N.C. State Extension cotton specialist, in a blog posting announcing the release of the results.

“It is always advised that variety decisions be based on multi-environment and multi-year replicated data in order to identify varieties with a high degree of stability (strong performance across a wide range of environmental conditions). It is also advised that growers observe data from both the on-farm program and NCSU Official Variety Trials (OVT) which will be available very soon," Collins wrote.

Collins notes that both programs serve as platforms for effective evaluation of variety performance, but are different in several regards.

“One of the primary strengths of the on-farm program is the vast number of environments that are effectively captured in a given season. However, OVT can accommodate many more varieties than we can effectively evaluate in an on-farm trial, and many of our seed companies have several competitive varieties for NC producers. Together, the on-farm and OVT programs collectively offer a complete means for making variety decisions,” Collins wrote.

Depending on the degree of variety selection error, the 2015 on-farm trials clearly illustrated that producers could lose an average of $120 to $156 per acre due to improper variety selection, with a statewide economic value of $45,600,000 to $59,280,000, according to Collins.

Collins says variety performance information will be discussed in much greater detail during the upcoming winter meetings. He urges farmers to attend a meeting near them to learn more about variety selection for 2016.

Details of the trial can be found at this link: 2015 On-Farm Cotton Variety Trial Yields.

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