Growers consider a number of factors when selecting a cotton variety – things such as variety performance, traits contained within that variety, and seed treatment package. But, as Mississippi State Extension Cotton Specialist Darrin Dodds points out, variety maturity generally doesn’t always get the necessary consideration because of the traditionally long growing season in Mississippi.
“There seems to have been a movement over the past two decades toward earlier maturing varieties in the Mid-South,” says Dodds. “The pro’s and con’s of varietal maturity could be argued considerably depending on your point of view. Previous research at Mississippi State University has demonstrated that planting an early maturing variety earlier in the growing season may slightly alleviate plant bug infestation and subsequent control. In addition, weather in the fall can be unpredictable, and we never know when rains will set in for the duration of the winter.”
A new guide to variety maturity that shows where popular cotton varieties fall on a maturity timeline is now available online to provide additional input to growers when making their variety decisions.
“When selecting a variety, performance and other factors should still be given strong consideration,” adds Dodds. “However, if all factors – not counting maturity – that are important to you are equal, selecting an earlier maturing variety may provide some benefit in terms of plant bug management or earlier harvest in the fall.”
Source – Mississippi State University