Cotton agronomic performance trials add value for growers

Cotton growers who use university official variety trials to review local performance data on new varieties have another source of information. Bayer CropScience allows growers to tap into additional research through cotton agronomic performance (CAP) trials across the Cotton Belt.

“Bayer CropScience has a broad and proven germplasm pool for advancing varieties,” said Steve Nichols, Bayer CropScience U.S. agronomic manager.

“The challenge is determining which variety has the best fit on a particular acre. CAP trials provide on-farm experience so growers and consultants can evaluate how our varieties perform across different soil types, geographical regions, farming practices and water-management techniques.”

Bayer CropScience agronomists work with growers and consultants to oversee the CAP trials, Nichols said. With this combined effort, everyone works together to determine the best agronomic practices for each variety.

Mississippi consultant Chris Adams assisted with the Lodi, Miss., CAP trial in 2007.

He said the hands-on experience with new varieties was extremely helpful.

“As fast as new varieties are coming on the market, there is no doubt this was a valuable experience,” Adams said. “It's helpful to manage varieties in the field before my farmers ask for recommendations. Now I know which varieties will work best in our area.”

Adams saw two standouts in his CAP trial: ST 5458B2RF and ST 4498B2RF. Both varieties yielded more than 4 bales per acre — all the more impressive because his grower managed the trial exactly like he manages the rest of his cotton acres.

“It was a real world trial that did not require any special production practices,” Adams said.

Nichols said Bayer CropScience will continue to place a high priority on research and development efforts such as the CAP trials.

“As we continue to invest in research, we will continue to set benchmarks on high-quality, high-yielding varieties,” he said. “We're expanding the scope of our research. We're effectively doubling the amount of CAP trial data because we now include both Stoneville and FiberMax cotton seed varieties. This year, we'll collect data from more than 100 trial locations.”

For more information on the CAP trials or the full lineup of 2008 Stoneville and FiberMax cotton seed varieties, contact your local Bayer CropScience representative or visit

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