performance trials are conducted annually by LSU AgCenter scientists to evaluate lint yield, fiber quality and agronomic performance of cotton varieties and strains. The Cotton Variety Tests
are conducted at four locations that represent the major cotton regions of Louisiana. These locations are: Dean Lee Research Station
, Alexandria; Northeast Research Station
, St. Joseph; Northeast Research (Macon Ridge Branch
), Winnsboro; and Red River Research Station, Bossier City.
Each test was planted in a randomized complete-block design with four replications. Plots are planted with a four-row cone planter at the rate of 4.0 seed per linear foot of row. Varieties submitted for testing were divided into two groups based on maturity classification. Yield and earliness are determined after defoliation by harvesting the center two of each plot with a two-row mechanical harvester. Boll samples of 50 randomly selected bolls are hand harvested from the border rows of three replications to determine boll size. Boll samples are ginned on a laboratory gin to determine lint percentage and to provide line samples for fiber quality analysis. Lint yield per acre of each variety is calculated by multiplying yield of unclean seed cotton from each plot by its mean lint percentage. Using lint percent instead of gin turnout results in a somewhat inflated but relative estimate of yield.
Fiber quality (micronaire, length, uniformity, strength and elongation) is determined by the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Cotton Fiber Testing Laboratory, using HVI (High Volume Instrumentation) equipment. HVI testing provides the cotton researcher, grower and textile manufacturer valuable information to use in improving cotton quality and has allowed more efficient grading of cotton bales.
Data from these trials are used by scientists of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Stations to develop a list of recommended and promising cotton varieties for the state. Selection of a cotton variety or varieties for maximum economic return is one of the first management decisions a cotton producer makes each season. A list of recommended varieties can be obtained from the local county agent. Results from the variety trials are available through this site. Additional data can be obtained by contacting David Caldwell or Jim Hayes
at the Red River Research Station
at (318) 741-7430.