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Effect of Cultivar Blends on Fiber Quality, Lint Yield, and Gross Return of Upland Cotton in West Texas
E. Bechere, A. Alexander, D.L. Auld, and C.P. Downer
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During the years 2001 and 2002, field trials were conducted to study the effect of blending different cotton cultivars on fiber quality, lint yield, and lint yield stability across environments. Four commercial cultivars were used. Two cultivars developed by Texas Tech University, ‘Raider 271’ and ‘Raider 202’, have excellent fiber quality but lower lint yield potential. Two other cultivars, Delta and Pine Land ‘DP 2379’ and Associated Farmers Delinting ‘AFD-Explorer’, have lint yield potential but lower fiber quality. The cultivars had similar seed sizes and were combined by volume (volumetric), pairing the high fiber quality cultivars with the high yielding cultivars in five different ratios, 0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25, and 100:0. In 2001, the blends were evaluated in Lubbock and New Deal, TX, under irrigated and dry land conditions, respectively, and in 2002 at Lubbock under irrigated conditions for HVI fiber quality, lint yield, and gross return. Each plot was replicated four times using a randomized complete block design. Under both irrigated and dry land conditions, the yields of the blends were intermediate between the low and high yielding cultivars. Blending had no effect on fiber strength, but uniformity was reduced by blending. In general, the blends improved fiber length, but they did not generate a significant economic gain as estimated by the gross return values of the blends. Some blends showed better stability and adaptation across environments compared with their components. This was more apparent under irrigated conditions.