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Press release provided by Texas A&M AgriLife
Special to The Post Dispatch
As cotton producers across the Texas High Plains begin preparing for a new season, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists are providing up-to-date information on the performance results of commercially available varieties across the state during 2020 trials.
The annual Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation (RACE) trials conducted by AgriLife Extension specialists and agents are sponsored by Cotton Incorporated, Plains Cotton Growers and the Texas State Support Committee. They test varieties offered by seed companies such as BASF, Bayer, WinField United and Americot.
“Although 2020 was a tough year, variety results are still valuable when making 2021 decisions,” said Jourdan Bell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Amarillo. “Our 2020 results provide producers an opportunity to evaluate variety stability across multiple management and production environments. By comparing variety performance across multiple locations and multiple years, producers are able to select stable varieties for their farms.”
In the South Plains, the 2020 season was riddled with challenges in the field, from start to finish. Lack of rain was the main bottleneck, said Murilo Maeda, AgriLife Extension cotton specialist, Lubbock. With warmer temperatures early in the spring, some farmers planted early. What little moisture was available then, however, didn’t make it very far.
The lack of adequate planting moisture resulted in a great percentage of dryland fields failing to obtain a good plant stand, if they emerged at all. Those with access to irrigation fared much better overall, but producers also struggled in places where water availability was limited.
In-season precipitation was scarce and tended to favor areas east of Interstate 27. A cold front early in September and a two-day ice/snow event in late October closed out the season in style. Those weather events impacted overall fiber quality and caused some cotton to fall to the ground.
Combined South Plains and Panhandle results can be found online at http://varietytesting.tamu.edu/cotton/.