Project Summaries

11-990KS  Project Manager: J. M. Reeves


Stewart Duncan, Kansas State University

The overall objective of this study is to compare productivity and profitability of cotton varieties in Southern Kansas. Continued rising fertilizer prices and historically high cotton prices will favor cotton acres in 2011 and 2012. Results from a 2010 fertility study indicated that no more than 40-80 units of nitrogen per acre are necessary to produce top yields. When those yields are combined with current and projected commodity prices, grain sorghum cannot compete with cotton in those areas of Kansas. Variety Performance Test information is essential for growers, consultants and University personnel to make informed variety recommendations. Three to four new varieties are introduced each year into Kansas. The unbiased information from these plots is vital to make informed comparisons of new varieties with current industry standards. Selecting a top yielding variety, based on the Kansas State University VPTs, vs. a poor variety would have resulted in 17% to 23% more lint/acre in just the last two years. These plots are established across Kansas cotton growing areas on dryland and irrigated sites.

Twenty-one and 23 varieties were tested in the 2012 irrigated and dryland, respectively, Cotton Variety Performance Tests. Three dryland (Pratt, Stevens and Cowley Counties) and two irrigated (Pratt and Stevens Counties) plots were established in southern Kansas for the 2012 growing season and all were harvested. In a repeat of 2011, seedbed moisture was below normal at planting, and subsoil moisture was short at all locations. The Stevens County irrigated plot yield of 1234 lb. lint/acre was a 3% increase from 2011, but still 39% less than the record yields of 2010. The Stevens County dryland plot averaged 384 lb. lint/acre in a plant two rows-skip one pattern compared to being abandoned in 2011. The Pratt County plots were highly variable, but the irrigated site yields were between three and four bales/acre, and averaged 1700 lb. lint/acre. The dryland site received timely precipitation resulting in average lint yields of 957 lb./acre, a dryland record in Pratt County. The plots in Cowley County did not receive timely amounts of precipitation in 2012, and the average yield was only 453 lb. lint/acre. In only one other year, 2000, were yields lower in Cowley County. Final results will be forwarded when ginning and fiber classing are complete. Precipitation received during the growing season ranged from 35% to 60% of normal, and GDD60s were from 7% to 10% greater than the long term average. Results reported are preliminary because the fiber quality results have not yet been completed.

Results of these studies are made known in a variety of ways: reports, bulletins, fields days, and grower meetings. In addition, one lecture period devoted to Cotton Growth and Development was prepared for the Crop Growth and Development undergraduate class AGRON 360. The class was 40+ undergraduates, many of whom are pursuing careers in crop consulting, Extension education and agricultural business, lending and finance.


Project Year: 2012

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