Variety selection is the most important decision growers can make. It cannot be easily changed and affects all other decision a grower makes in how he manages the crop through the growing season. Fertilizer, herbicide, and insecticide application decisions will be based on the variety planted in a given field.
Differences in variety performance can be significant. It is common to see yield differences between varieties as great as 25 percent in replicated trials. This can have a substantial impact on a grower’s bottom line.
With so much riding on variety selection, it is important that growers take advantage of all the tools available in making their variety selections.
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One of the best tools a grower can use is information from on-farm replicated variety trials conducted by AgriLife Extension personnel across the state. These trials are a collaborative effort between growers, Extension, and the seed industry.
In addition to yield data, information such as fiber quality and lint value for cotton or maturity and disease ratings for grain sorghum is also generally collected. This information, coupled with grower experience and data provided from the seed industry, make growers well equipped to make selections for the 2014 growing season.
Varity trial data can be accessed at http://varietytesting.tamu.edu. At this site growers can access information on both local variety trials and trials across the state for grain sorghum, cotton, wheat and corn. Growers also will find a three-year summary of each trial location and the current year’s results to assist in the selection process.
Growers may evaluate how a particular hybrid did in a given year, and gain insight into the consistency of that hybrid over time.
In addition to variety trial information this site is also an excellent resource for information on weed, disease, and insect management. For more information on variety selection you can contact the Nueces County Extension office at 361.767.5223.