Project Summaries

10-775  Project Manager: D. C. Jones

CONVENTIONAL COTTON VARIETY EVALUATION FOR DRYLAND AND MARGINAL PRODUCTION

Jane K. Dever, Texas AgriLife Research

During the past decade the number of cotton seed developers has declined from ~30 to ~5 major seed companies with only one still providing cotton seed varieties without biotechnology traits to High Plains cotton producers.  Private sources providing conventional cotton varieties are vulnerable because they can be influenced by technology providers to diminish their commercial conventional variety effort by manipulating trait revenue agreements.  Many acres in the Southern High Plains can be profitable on dryland or limited irrigation with low margins, but price of trait varieties can threaten that profitability if only high value seed is available every year.  According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for the latest production year available, 2011, Dawson County, Texas planted 351,600 acres of cotton and harvested 64,800 acres with an average yield of 504 pounds of lint/acre.  Essentially all of the cotton harvested in 2011 was irrigated, as the dryland crop was abandoned.

The risk associated with dryland cotton production is a driving factor to seek other sources of conventional cotton planting seed.  Record low abandonment in 2010 was followed by record high abandonment in 2011. Public breeders across the cotton belt still develop new conventional genetics, but with limited ability to test in other cotton growing regions, are left with the option of licensing exclusively to technology providers.  A service seed production program has been initiated by Cotton Incorporated to provide public breeders with good quality, AP-tested seed; the Regional Breeder Testing Network offers limited testing in other regions.  This project seeks to provide on-farm, large plot demonstration for producers to evaluate potential of available sources of public and conventional cotton varieties in an area conducive to conventional production. 

In 2009, 8 varieties from 3 public breeding programs were tested in dryland and irrigated production with seed provided through the Cotton Incorporated seed increase program.  These varieties were planted in a strip plot demonstration at the AG-CARES farm in Lamesa.  Lines tested included LA 1110035RS and LA 1110017 from LSU; Ark 0102-48, Ark 9803-17-04 and Ark 9803-23-05 from University of Arkansas; and 06-21-519, 06-46-226 and 06-21-404 from Texas AgriLife Research in Lubbock

In 2010, FM 958, 4 lines from University of Arkansas, 3 lines from Texas AgriLife Research in Lubbock, 2 lines from University of Georgia and 2 lines from Louisiana State University were planted in large plot RCBD with 3 replications.  A producer Field Day was held September 24, followed by lunch discussion with breeders from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.  Two Arkansas lines and one line from Georgia yielded higher than standard variety FM 958.  All other varieties except one from Texas yielded equal to FM 958.  All but 4 lines had equal lint percent to FM 958, and 2 lines had lower and 2 lines higher seed index compared to FM 958.  Lint index was similar for all lines tested.

In 2011 and 2012, 3 lines from University of Arkansas, 3 lines from Texas AgriLife Research at Lubbock, 2 lines from Louisiana State University, 1 line from University of Georgia and FM 958 were planted in large-plot RCBD with 3 replications at the AG-CARES farm in Lamesa.  The test was planted under pivot irrigation in 2011 and sub-surface drip irrigation in 2012.

A line from University of Arkansas tested all four years in this trial was registered as UA48 and licensed as a commercial conventional variety during 2011.  Seed was available to producers desiring to plant conventional varieties in 2012.  Ark 0222-12 and one of the GA lines has also been licensed to seed companies.

 

Project Year: 2012
 

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