Americot’s ACE Trial Program Underway

July 1, 2019

Cotton Farming Magazine

From Arizona to the Carolinas, Americot now employs nine research and germplasm specialists. Across the Cotton Belt, this group has planted over 150 Americot Cotton Evaluation (ACE) Trials in 2019 to better understand pre-commercial variety performance within given regions. In addition, these specialists have partnered with academics and private consultants to further increase our knowledge with our experimental germplasm regarding seed treatments, water efficiency, heat tolerance, and Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) management. 

“At the end of the day, our goal is to partner with the breeding team to develop a data package that not only supports advancement of our new germplasm but provides our sales team and growers with knowledge and confidence in management and performance of our new NexGen varieties,” says Dr. Doug Jost, Director of Research and Cotton Germplasm. 

TODD SPIVEY, PH.D. Carolinas & Virginia 

“We are excited about the opportunity to gain invaluable data and experience from many of our new and upcoming NexGen varieties through 23 ACE Trials. These trials range from Blackville, South Carolina up through Suffolk, Virginia. The Carolinas experienced great planting conditions beginning in late April through the second week of May. During this period, most cotton was planted into excellent soil temperatures and ample moisture. Although the lack of rain allowed planters to stay in the field, we soon ran out of moisture and most growers stopped planting activity to wait for rain. 

“This dry spell slowed the growth of emerged cotton, as shown by reduced internode lengths in many fields across the region. This is something to keep in mind as we begin to prepare for PGR applications. We received some much-needed moisture mid-June, but it is still important to keep the weather forecast under consideration as these PGR decisions are made. This will become even more significant as we make our way into bloom and beyond, especially with many of the aggressive varieties currently on the market. Ensuring that we protect against rank growth is vital for many decisions that will be made later in the growing season, ranging from pest control to harvestability. 

“Although we are still early in the growing season, early growth and vigor of several varieties have really stood out across all our regional locations including our anchors, NG 3522 B2XF and NG 5007 B2XF, and two of our 2019 additions, NG 3930 B3XF and NG 4936 B3XF.” 

KAREN GELDMACHER Arizona 

“Arizona growers hit the wet, cold and windy trifecta at planting and the machine didn’t pay out too well as many faced replant decisions into early June. Research trial maturities across the state range from first flower and 1” bolls in Yuma to pin-head square and first flower in the central regions. Showing early-season vigor characteristics including quick emergence throughout Arizona are NG 3729 B2XF, NG 3930 B3XF & 2020 candidate AMX 19A006 B3XF. These varieties, planted in adverse weather conditions combined with early-season pest issues, started the season with optimal, consistent stands. Arizona is the location for NexGen varietal heat tolerance research and our data collection started late June to earlier this month (at the onset of Level 1 and Level 2 heat stress) and will continue throughout the growing season.” 

SHANE HALFMANN Central & South Texas 

“Our planting season was defined by the weather. I have never seen such difficult conditions across such a large area for so long. Blowing sand, cold fronts, or being too wet or too dry were some of the issues South and Central Texas growers faced. Most of our crop is around a month late in every growing region. The cotton does finally look good. Everything started blooming early June and timely rains have sustained the potential for a successful year. We’ve been watching for fleahoppers in areas and have been applying PGRs from mid-to-late May till now. We were able to plant 20 ACE Trials from Ennis to Raymondville. Data collected from these trials will allow us to select new varieties specifically for my region and solidify varietal management programs. I’m especially interested in NG 3994 B3XF and NG 3930 B3XF. I’ll be watching these two mid-season, Bollgard 3 XtendFlex varieties with good heat tolerance, strong yield and high quality. They show excellent promise early this season!” 

LEVI SCHAEFER South & High Plains of Texas 

“I currently have 16 ACE Trials covering parts of the South Plains and High Plains of Texas, located between Lamesa and Plainview and covering the width of the Panhandle. The early-season moisture and rainfall has been exceptional for this area. However, it has come with some hardships – cool weather, occasional high winds and hail storms have challenged the growers of the area. The cotton that has avoided the storms has gotten off to a strong start and is set to perform well, if favorable weather continues. A few of the newer varieties including NG 2982 B3XF, NG 3930 B3XF and NG 3956 B3XF have shown to have great vigor and have come up great, even through the rain-packed ground! I’m excited to see how things progress throughout this growing season.” 

From Cotton Farming Magazine – July 2019

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