Former professional baseball catcher, outfielder and manager Yogi Berra once said of baseball, “Ninety percent of this game is half mental.”

As cotton producers know all too well, the cotton planting decision can create a similar brand of battiness. Where do I plant cotton and how much? Will corn and soybean prices hold? Will cotton prices rally at some point? Will weather change my entire plan? And last but not least, what cotton varieties do I plant this spring?

U.S. cotton seed companies have once again released new cotton varieties, many with out-of-the-park yield potential and fiber quality, descriptions of which are listed below.

Maybe looking over these rookie descriptions will help. Note that some are in their second year of release. Descriptions are provided by seed companies.

All-Tex Seed brand

All-Tex Seed, Levelland, Texas, will offer nine new cotton varieties in 2013, including five conventional offerings, one of which is a new Pima cotton variety.

Rapid (2359) B2RF is an early maturing, semi-hairy picker variety with staple averaging from 1.14 to 1.17, strength at 29 to 31 and micronaire running from 3.8 to 4.8. It offers excellent yield potential and premium fiber from Lubbock north.

Edge (81227) B2RF is an early-late, semi-smooth picker variety with premium quality characteristics and high yield potential for Texas producers. Strength ranges from 28 to 32, Micronaire is 3.7 to 4.8, and staple runs 1.10 to 1.20.

Dinero (81220) B2RF is a medium, semi-smooth leaf picker-type cotton with exceptional fiber qualities and high yield potential for Texas. Strength ranges from 29 to 33, micronaire is 3.6 to 4.5, and staple is 1.14 to 1.23.

Nitro-44 (81144) B2RF is a medium, semi-smooth leaf, picker cotton with a 3.5 to 4.4 micronaire range, 1.17 to 1.26 staple and strength range from 29 to 37.  It is adapted to both irrigated and dryland conditions and offers a superior fiber and yield package.

A102 is a medium-early conventional cotton variety with micronaire ranging from 3.5 to 4.9, staple, 1.07 to 1.19, and strength at 25 to 31. A102 is a semi-smooth leaf variety adapted to irrigated and dryland production in the Texas Gulf Coast, Texas High Plains and Oklahoma. It is semi-storm tolerant and similar in maturity to FM 958.

OL220 is a semi-smooth, okra leaf, medium-maturity variety with a high turnout. It is adapted to dryland or irrigated conditions over a wide geographical area. Quality characteristics include micronaire, 3.5 to 4.8, staple, 1.10 to 1.17, and strength, 28 to 31.

LA122 is a medium-maturing, smooth leaf picker cotton with excellent yield potential and good fiber characteristics. It is storm tolerant and widely adapted to Texas, Mississippi (Delta and Hills) and Georgia. Micronaire is 3.5 to 4.9, staple, 1.08 to 1.20, and strength 26 to 31.

7A21 is a new medium-maturity, semi-smooth picker variety with excellent fiber quality and storm tolerance as well as good tolerance to Fusarium and Verticillium wilt and is widely adapted to Texas, Mississippi Delta and irrigated acreage in Georgia. Characteristics include a 3.5 to 4.8 micronaire, 1.11 to 1.21 staple and strength from 29 to 32.

P-203 is a new Pima cotton with medium maturity, semi-smooth leaf, exceptional length, strength and yield potential. Characteristics include: 44 to 46 strength, 4.0 to 4.44 micronaire and 1.42 to 1.48 staple.

For more information, see www.alltexseed.com.

Americot, Inc./NexGen and Americot brands

Americot, Inc., is introducing three new varieties for 2013. The Lubbock, Texas, based company offers two brands of cottonseed, NexGen and Americot, available with single gene Roundup Ready Flex, and stacked Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex technologies, as well as a conventional variety.

NG 5315 B2RF is a full-season variety with an excellent yield potential and fiber package. This Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton features a staple range of 36 to 37, strength 28 to 30 and micronaire 4.4 to 4.8. The smooth leaf variety also has excellent resistance to bronze wilt and very good seedling vigor. NG 5315 B2RF is well suited for irrigated and productive soils in the full-season markets of the Delta and the Southeast.

NG 1511 B2RF is a highly-adaptable Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton that can be planted from Arizona through the Carolinas. This medium-maturity variety provides excellent yield potential and an excellent fiber package. NG 1511 B2RF has a staple range of 36 to 37, strength 29 to 30, and micronaire 4.4 to 4.8.

“NG 1511 B2RF is widely adapted and performs well where medium-maturity varieties are preferred across the Cotton Belt,” says Americot marketing manager Julie Dingus. “NG 1511 B2RF has become known for its high yield potential. In 2011, NG 1511 B2RF was the top performing B2RF variety in university official variety trials across the Cotton Belt. Growers experienced this same performance in their irrigated and dryland fields this past season.”  Supplies are readily available for 2013.

AM UA48 is a conventional variety developed by the University of Arkansas that offers outstanding fiber quality and excellent yield potential. This early maturity variety has a staple range of 39 to 41, strength 34 to 35, and micronaire 4.4 to 4.8. Dingus says, “AM UA48 is a high yielder that is well suited for the northern cotton growing areas of the Mid-South and Southeast and is known for its outstanding fiber properties.

Americot, Inc. also provides several programs to help cotton growers, including a finance program, a replant program and a drought program in the Southwest. “We at Americot work with growers daily and understand how demanding their jobs are,” Dingus says.

For more information on NexGen brand and Americot brand cotton products, call 888-678-7333 or go to www.americot.com.

Bayer CropScience/FiberMax and Stoneville brands

Bayer CropScience is offering two new Stoneville cotton varieties for 2013. They are the first of the Stoneville brands to contain both LibertyLink and GlyTol traits. Four FiberMax brands currently contain the two herbicide traits.

ST 4946GLB2 is an early, semi-smooth leaf, Bollgard II variety with medium/moderate plant height and is broadly adapted across the Cotton Belt. It has a storm tolerance rating of 5, with a fiber length of 1.17, length uniformity, 83.8, strength, 30.5 and micronaire, 4.6. It has very good seedling vigor, high lint percent turnout and root-knot nematode tolerance. It has both LibertyLink and GlyTol traits. It is easy to manage with moderately aggressive growth habits.

The variety was tested in Bayer CropScience’s cotton agronomic performance trials as BX1346 GLB2, according to Andy White, the company’s cotton agronomist for the Mid-South. “It was one of our highest yielders in trials across the Cotton Belt, from the High Plains of Texas to the Mid-Atlantic.”

White said the variety “performed as well as ST 5458B2RF, which has been a workhorse for us across the Belt. I’ll have to look at it a couple of more years to see if it has the same yield stability, but the stability it showed across the Belt tells me we have a good variety.”

ST 6448GLB2 is a full-maturity, smooth-leaf, Bollgard II variety with tall/vigorous growth adapted for the south Delta, Southeast and South Carolina. It has a storm tolerance rating of 4, a fiber length of 1.23, length uniformity, 83.3, strength, 29.2 and micronaire, 4.5. It has excellent seedling vigor, resulting in consistent stand establishment. This variety has outstanding yield potential, very good fiber quality and is well-suited for irrigated and dryland environments. It has both LibertyLink and GlyTol traits. It is easy to manage with moderately aggressive growth habits.

ST 6448GLB2 was tested as BX1348GLB2. “Its performance was exceptional,” White said. “It’s a much more growthy variety than ST 4946GLB2.”

According to Jeff Brehmer, U.S. marketing manager for Bayer’s Stoneville and FiberMax cotton brands, the variety “sets the new benchmark for Stoneville fiber quality.”

Both varieties will offer introductory quantities. For more information, see www.bayercropscience.us.

Crop Production Services/Dyna-Gro brand

Dyna-Gro is offering two new cotton varieties for the 2013 growing season.

DG 2610 B2RF is a mid-full season variety with excellent seedling vigor. It is smooth leaf cotton with an open architecture and bushy plant growth. DG 2610 B2RF has shown excellent storm resistance. It has also shown good tolerance to Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt diseases. Fiber uniformity, 82 to 86, micronaire, 4.4 to 4.6, staple, 1.14 to 1.18 inches, and strength 28 to 32.

DG 2610 B2RF is adapted to Southeast and Deep South regions and is most stable in irrigated environments, although dryland production has provided very acceptable yield results. No-till production practices also complement this variety. Best performance is achieved if planted early. DG 2610 responds very well to irrigation for enhanced yields in other cotton growing regions. 

DG 2285 B2RF is an early-maturity variety with very good seedling vigor. It is a semi-smooth leaf cotton with an open architecture and bushy plant growth. DG 2285 has shown very good storm resistance. It has also shown good tolerance to Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt diseases. Fiber uniformity, 82 to 85, micronaire, 4.2 to 4.6, staple, 1.14 to 1.18 inches, and fiber strength 28 to 32.

DG 2285 B2RF is adaptable to all cotton growing regions, especiallyon sand to silt loam soils under well managed production systems. Limited yield data indicate very good adaptability for specific clay soil series. Best lint yield responses occur in the Southwest region and is most stable when grown under irrigation.  Dryland production has provided very acceptable yield results. No-till production practices also complement this variety. Best performance is achieved if planted early.  DG 2285 B2RF responds well to irrigation for enhanced yields in most cotton growing regions. 
For more information, see www.dyna-gro.com.

Winfield/Croplan Genetics brand

According to Robert Cossar, regional agronomist for Croplan Genetics, two new varieties will be available for 2013.

CG 3428B2RF is a new variety that fits on the heavier soil types in the Mississippi Delta. “It’s a very easy to manage variety,” Cossar said. “The fiber matches CG 3787 B2RF. We just don’t have a lot of data on it right now because we had a limited supply for 2012.

CG 3156B2RF is a West Texas, High Plains fit “which has done well in limited water to dryland sites,” Cossar said. “But we don’t have much hard data to look at yet.”

Meanwhile CG 3787 B2RF is getting a lot of looks for its adaptability, according to Cossar. “It’s a true mid-maturity variety. Farmers are growing it from south of Lubbock across the Cotton Belt into south Alabama and South Georgia.”

Stauber says the variety “responds to management. A couple of applications of plant growth regulator, and it will respond very well. It has some storm tolerance, so growers don’t have to worry about late-season storms as much. But it’s not a showy variety.”

For more information, see www.croplangenetics.com.

Dow AgroSciences/PhytoGen brand

PhytoGen is introducing two new cotton varieties to meet the needs of growers throughout the Cotton Belt. Each includes WideStrike insect protection, a two-gene Bt insect protection trait from Dow AgroSciences that delivers control of key worm pests such as tobacco budworm, corn earworm/cotton bollworm, fall armyworm, cabbage looper, and soybean looper. They also contain Roundup Ready Flex technology.

PHY 339 WRF is the earliest variety in the PhytoGen lineup. The semi-smooth leaf variety is stable and broadly adapted, with a strong fit in the north Delta and Mid-Atlantic regions. Great color, micronaire, length and strength. 

PHY 575 WRF is a full-season variety similar to PHY 565 WRF with extreme yield potential and excellent fiber quality. This is an excellent addition to the PhytoGen lineup for Georgia, Florida and Alabama. It is a smooth-leaf, tall plant with great fiber package.

Other varieties in PhytoGen’s portfolio include PHY 499 WRF, a mid-maturing variety broadly adapted across the Cotton Belt, which produces very good to excellent fiber quality with high gin turnout; PHY 375 WRF, an early-maturing variety that consistently yields high and is well known for its “come back ability” under extreme weather conditions; and PHY 367 WRF, a classic early variety that provides exceptional tolerance to root-knot nematodes, boosting yields in fields under nematode pressure.

For more information, see www.dowagro.com/Phytogen.

Monsanto/Deltapine brands

Monsanto announced three new cotton varieties being commercialized for the Deltapine Class of 13. The varieties were evaluated by nearly 200 cotton farmers in the Deltapine new product evaluator program this season.

“The Deltapine NPE program has built a reputation as the industry’s premier variety evaluation and commercialization program,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton products manager at Monsanto. “These three new varieties – DP 1311 B2RF, DP 1321 B2RF and DP 1359 B2RF – demonstrated outstanding potential to improve yield and fiber quality performance in key markets. They will fit well with the existing Deltapine variety lineup that consists of industry-leading products such as DP 1044 B2RF, DP 1219 B2RF and DP 1252 B2RF.”

DP 1311 B2RF is an early-maturity variety for the upper and central Mid-South. Evaluated in the program as 11R124B2R2, it has shown very good storm resistance, outstanding yield potential and significantly better micronaire than DP 0912 B2RF.

“This was the best cotton I had in my 2012 NPE plot,” said Don Lynn of Kennett, Mo. “It’s a shorter variety, really compact. I like the stalk size, and it was easy to pick. It is a variety that stands up better and yields very well. It yielded over 1,500 pounds in my test plot. I think the combination of yield and earliness will make it an excellent fit for the upper Delta.”

DP 1321 B2RF is an early-mid maturity variety for the upper Mid-South, upper Southeast and Texas markets. Evaluated in the program as 11R112B2R2, it has shown exceptionally high yield potential and better stability, storm resistance and Verticillium wilt tolerance than DP 0912 B2RF.

“It reminded me a lot of DP 0912 B2RF, which has always done well here,” said Johnny Lindley of Memphis, Texas. “It was very vigorous, coming out of the ground quickly and growing off well. They said it had a light hairy leaf type, but that did not seem to be an issue for us. It defoliated well. It was planted on May 2 and on August 28 it appeared to be ready for harvest while other varieties were still making cotton. It was a tough year and this variety hung in and made a lot of cotton. It averaged 2,093 pounds, the highest yielder in my NPE plot.”

DP 1359 B2RF is a full-season variety for Arizona and West Texas. Evaluated in the program as 11R159B2R2, it has been very responsive to high-yield environments and outstanding high yield potential. This variety will need aggressive PGR management during the pre-bloom stage.

Jerry Rovey of Buckeye, Ariz., evaluated the product in his NPE plots two years in a row and has been impressed. It shined in 2011 and followed up with a great performance in 2012, (over 4 bales) even with a two-week stretch of extreme heat “that put a damper on our yield potential. Considering the conditions, I was very pleased with the production, especially when I looked back on 2011. In a slightly better year, it will really make cotton. It’s a variety that can get tall, but if you’re aggressive early in the season, it can be managed. Be aggressive with the plant growth regulator. It’s a clean-picking variety that I think will be a good fit for us.”

In West Texas, Blaine Nichols has also had two years of positive experience with DP 1359 B2RF.

“I wasn’t sure about this variety once it began to open up, but after it was stripped, you could see that it performed very well, and I was pleased with the results,” said Nichols. “I’m glad it will be commercialized. I think it can perform across good-irrigated fields and light-water situations. It can cover a lot of acres out here. We’re hitting three bales to the acre or better with it. I am excited about this variety and the DP 1321 B2RF, which really looked good on our farm, too. We’ll want to plant both these varieties in 2013 for sure.”

The NPE farmers “are helping Deltapine continue in its commitment to bringing better-performing, NPE-proven varieties to the market, improving the overall yield average and fiber quality for the entire industry,” Gholston added. Farmers growing for top-end yield potential in 2013 will plant the proven Deltapine varieties.”

To learn more about Deltapine cotton varieties, go to www.deltapine.com.

Seed Source Genetics brand

Seed Source Genetics is offering several conventional varieties for 2013. CT Linwood, a mid-early conventional with good fiber qualities grown in the Southeast region with high yield potential; UA 222, a mid-early, with staple length of 35 to 38, which has a fit in both the Southeast and Mid-South. Seed may be in short supply for 2013.

HQ210CT is a mid-early variety grown in the Mid-South and Southeast, while HQ110CT, an early variety, has primarily been planted in the Southeast.  Conventional varieties from Seed Source Genetics that fared well in the Southwest this season include HQ210CT, UA 222 and UA 103, an okra leaf line.

For more information, see www.seedsourcegenetics.com.