Many growers will soon be making variety decisions for the 2013 season.

Yield data from The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program and Statewide Variety Testing (OVT) are still coming in, but preliminary data suggests some new varieties may be very competitive for Georgia growers.

When making variety decisions, it is very important to evaluate the stability characteristics of particular varieties of interest, especially brand new varieties.

A variety with a high degree of stability will likely yield within the highest yielding group across a number of yield environments. A yield environment (or the trial average of all varieties) encompasses factors such rainfall / irrigation, soil type and productivity, planting date, grower management, nematodes and diseases, and several other environmental factors.

In the past, we have observed that some varieties are competitive in most environments, and others are only competitive in a few environments that are similar to each other.

For varieties that are competitive in only a few similar environments, it will be very important to position those varieties into similar situations where they are likely to be competitive.

Nematodes may play a larger role in how varieties perform this year, as some varieties appear to convey some level of root-knot nematode tolerance. It is always advised to observe multi-year data whenever possible, as every year is different in some regard.

Multi-year data may have much more value for variety decisions this year, due to the relatively wet season that most of these on-farm trials experienced during 2012.

Multi-year data is generally more robust and provides growers with a clearer picture on how a variety might perform across environments and years.

The results from The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program and Statewide Variety Testing (OVT) will be available on www.ugacotton.com, by clicking on the “Cotton Variety Selection” listed under the “Cotton Resources” icon of the left side of the webpage. 

These results will also be discussed in-depth during the winter county meetings as well as the UGA Cotton Production Workshop at the Georgia Cotton Commission’s Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at the UGA Tifton Rural Development Center.