Variety selection is a key decision for cotton producers each year. Variety performance is heavily dependent on environmental conditions and geography. Therefore, it is important for growers to select varieties based on multi-year research data from a similar location, as well as local field experience.
Extension agents and faculty at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center have been conducting Official Variety Trials (OVTs) for several years for cotton and other crops. The OVTs are small plot, replicated variety trials composed of experimental and commercial varieties. In 2017, separate OVT trials were conducted for early maturing, and mid-to full-season maturing cotton varieties. Results reported from these trials include yield, fiber quality data, and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) loan values.
Two and three-year average lint yields are listed in Tables 1 and 2 below. For the early-maturing trial, 13 varieties were evaluated for one year, seven for two years, and five for three years. In the mid-to full-maturing trial, 42 varieties were evaluated for one year, 14 for two years, and 11 for three years. The complete 2017 trial reports for cotton, along with those for corn, soybeans, and wheat are available on the UF/IFAS WREC Variety Testing webpage.
For more variety comparison information, use the following links to extension reports from Alabama and Georgia:
If you are not familiar with the testing locations in these states, the trials in Fairhope, AL, Headland, AL, Bainbridge, GA, and Tifton, GA are the most southern testing sites, with similar climate conditions to North Florida.
Yield summary sheets for easier comparison on a single page:
Burlin and Levi Findley Families, 2017 Santa Rosa County Farm Families of the Year
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the Burlin and Levi Findley families, of Wild Boar Farms were honored as the 2017 Santa Rosa County Farm Families of the Year, during the 51st Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour. The Findleys received the award from Santa Rosa County Commissioners Don Salter, Bob Cole and Sam Parker, along with a special Congressional Record citation from Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office.
Wild Boar Farms is comprised of father, Burlin (7th generation farmer) and son, Levi Findley, (8th generation farmer). Farming history in the Findley family runs deep and can be traced all the way back to the 1750’s, starting in South Carolina and moving through Georgia and Alabama before finally settling in the Mt. Carmel Community in Santa Rosa County, in 1922. In 1972, Burlin began farming on his own and Levi joined the operation while still in high school. Since 2005, Levi has managed the day to day operations with Burlin right there beside him every step of the way.
Wild Boar Farms was the first National Association of Conservation Districts Soil Health Champion for the state of Florida, and has been recognized as a “This Farm CARES” recipient by Florida Farm Bureau. Wild Boar Farms currently produces cotton, peanuts, corn, and produce on 650 acres. The Findleys have been utilizing conservation tillage on their farm for over 15 years.
Burlin has served the community in many capacities. His many accomplishments include serving on the Blackwater Soil & Water Board for 22 years, Vice Chair for the Escambia/Santa Rosa USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee, State President for the Association of Florida Conservation Districts, Vice President for Three Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Council, and Vice President for the Florida Peanut Producers Association. Burlin is also known for being an expert grill master, and has won multiple wild game cook-offs.
Burlin’s wife Ann is a retired school teacher. The couple has been married for 44 years and have three children, Nikki (deceased), Kelly and her husband Kevin Mitchem, and Levi and his wife Kaylen. All three children attended Jay High School with Kelly going on to FSU, and Levi attending Pensacola State College. Like most, their grandchildren are their pride and joy; Chance (deceased), Avery, Caroline, Mason, and Keith Levi.
Levi also serves his community well. He is an active member of the Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, the Assistant Chief at Station 27 of the Jay Volunteer Fire Department, and is an active member of the Jay Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni.
Levi’s wife, Kaylen is the Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor at Jay High School. They have been married for almost two years and recently welcomed Keith Levi into their growing family.
Burlin and Levi’s vision is to diversify their operation, and help sustain farming for the future so the newest Finley (Keith Levi) can continue the Findley farming tradition.
Burlin, Ann, Kaylen, Keith Levi and Levi Findley receive Congressional Record citation from Dawn McArdle, District Director for Congressman Matt Gaetz
Snails on cotton. Photo credit Sam Lincoln
Snails on corn.
Snails have invaded some local areas throughout northern Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties this summer. The snails are tan colored, high and conical, with mature snails about ¾ to 1-inch long. They have been found in extremely high numbers in some crop fields, including corn, cotton, and peanuts, in home gardens, and around farm buildings adjacent to fields. We first started seeing large numbers of these snails two years ago and they were identified as Bulimulus sporadicus, an introduced species from the West Indies. These snails were first reported in Florida in the Jacksonville area in 2009, mainly around railroad tracks. Since then populations have been reported in other parts of the state including Hillsborough, Nassau, Putnam, Clay, Bay, Polk, and Seminole Counties. Other southeastern states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi have reported similar snail infestations in recent years. Pictures from a soybean field last year posted on the Lowndes County, Georgia, Extension blog appear to show the same species.
As far as we can tell, they are not chewing plant parts or causing damage like slugs. However, a heavy infestation found recently on volunteer corn appears to be sucking plant juices causing the plants to decline. In many cases it appears they are feeding on decaying vegetation, especially in minimum tillage situations.
To our knowledge there is not an economical chemical control for use in row crops. In 2005, Extension specialists in Mississippi conducted several studies looking at control options for snails and slugs with limited success. Insecticides simply did not work.
Snails and slugs are favored by high humidity and wet conditions, which we have certainly had this year. In a home landscape situation, the elimination of mulch, ground cover, or other areas that hold moisture may provide cultural control. Specially formulated molluscicide baits are available, but we do not know of research showing their effectiveness on this species. Metaldehyde-containing baits have long been available. However, they are quite toxic to pets and wildlife, so care must be exercised if this toxicant is applied. Alternatives to metaldehyde include products containing iron phosphate or boric acid. Iron phosphate is much safer than metaldehyde for use around pets and vertebrate wildlife. Boric acid, while also safer than metaldehyde, seems to be much less effective than iron phosphate.
Snails on a picnic table.
Snails on fence post
Snails on a farm building,
Variety selection is one of the most important decisions a cotton grower makes each season. Choosing a variety based on yield potential, for a particular environment, is usually the first selection criteria. However, genetic performance relating to fiber quality and pest management traits, or technology packages are also major considerations. The selection process has become more complicated in recent years with the rapid introduction of new varieties, and the phasing out of older ones. Variety performance is heavily dependent on environmental conditions and geography. Therefore, it is important for growers to select varieties based on multi-year research data, as well as local field experience. Performance data are available from a number of sources including university research and county demonstration plots, seed company trials, and consultant trials.
For a number of years, faculty have been conducting small plot replicated trials using the University Official Variety Trial (OVT) program, and large strip demonstration trials at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center. The OVT trials typically include varieties a year prior to their release. Separate OVT trials are conducted for early maturing varieties, and mid- to full-season maturing cotton varieties.
Two- and three-year lint yield averages are listed in Tables 1 and 2 below. For the early-maturing trial, nine varieties were evaluated over two years, and four were evaluated over three years. In the mid- to full-maturing trial, nineteen varieties were evaluated over two years, and seven were evaluated over three years. The complete trial reports for cotton, along with those for corn, grain sorghum, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, and specialty crops are available on the UF/IFAS WFREC Variety Testing web-page. Utilize the follwing link to view the 2016 Cotton Variety Demonstration Trial – Jay, FL, large plot report.
Extension reports from Alabama and Georgia are also available on-line by selecting the following links:
Glen and Janet Strange and John and Sara Davy accept 2016 Santa Rosa County Farm Families Awards from County Commissioner Don Salter
On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, the John Davy and Glen Strange families of Panhandle Growers, Inc. were honored as the 2016 Santa Rosa County Farm Families of the Year during the 50th Annual Santa Rosa County Farm Tour. The daylong tour stopped at Panhandle Growers where John and Glen and their wives received the award from Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter, along with citations from state and U.S. Congressional representatives. The purpose of the award is to annually recognize outstanding farm families in the county who exhibit innovation, creativity, environmental stewardship, service to agriculture, and are active in their local community.
Panhandle Growers, Inc. wholesale nursery was established in 1987 by partners John Davy and Glen Strange in the Allentown Community. Beginning with twenty acres of in-ground production, their objective was to supply the central Gulf Coast with quality 2” – 4” caliper (trunk diameter) specimen trees. From this humble beginning they have grown to 350 acres of field production, remaining focused on producing quality landscaping trees. With their increase in production, they are now capable of supplying business needs throughout the Southeast.
John Davy and Glen Strange Families, 2016 Santa Rosa County Farm Families of the Year
John’s interest, besides managing production at the nursery, is in the selection and development of new plants for production and introduction into the trade. Many of the plant varieties in production at the nursery are from selections John has made out of their seedling stock, or from seedlings grown for the sole purpose of developing new varieties. His current focus is in the development of understory trees for the Gulf Coast region.
John’s wife Sara is a pharmacist. The couple have two children, Elizabeth and Emmett. Elizabeth graduated from Auburn University in 2015. Emmett, 16, is a junior at Pace High School.
The Davies are active members of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola and are parent volunteers with World Race (Adventures in Missions). John has been very active in the Pensacola Camellia Society, serving three terms as president.
Glen is Panhandle Growers’ business manager. Like his father before him, Glen’s career began with Bellsouth and transitioned to a second career in farming.
Glen and his wife Janet have two daughters and a son: Ali Ohler, Nicole, and Thomas. Ali and husband Ben Ohler have two children, Bram, age 5 and Bayne, 18 months. Nicole is a senior at Troy University School of Nursing, and Thomas is a sophomore at Pensacola State School of Business.
The Stranges are active members of First Baptist Church of Pensacola where they participate in local and international missions, and Glen serves on the missions board. Glen is also a director with Farm Credit of Northwest Florida.
When asked about their future plans John says to “keep planting” and Glen shares “it is our hope that one day our children and grandchildren can carry on our family farming tradition in some way”.
The annual Santa Rosa Farm Family of the Year is selected by the Santa Rosa County Agricultural Committee comprised of a group agricultural industry and agency representatives.