Seedling vigour research a focus for CSD

12 May, 2017

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The operational and plant stand establishment challenges encountered with low density, high yield potential cultivars has continued to be a priority for CSD this season.

Varieties with low density seed have lower stored energy than other cotton varieties, which means that when conditions are less than ideal, the variety will have lower seedling vigour and in turn, establishment.

Seedling vigour is described as a seed’s ability to germinate, emerge and produce healthy, rapidly growing seedlings. The ability of a seedling to overcome stresses (such as cool temperatures or poor field conditions) is strongly influenced by its vigour.

CSD has a long term goal to develop a reliable, robust and repeatable ‘seedling vigour test’ to help provide growers and agronomists with useful and relevant data to make informed decisions at planting time.

CSD Scientific Officer, Hannah Hartnett has recently harvested seedling vigour field trials on all five of the commercially released B3F varieties this season.

The field trials, which were conducted on CSD Farms, enabled a direct comparison of the B3F varieties. The inclusion of multiple seedlots for each variety allowed for a comparison of multiple production years and a range of physiological seed qualities, as well as variety.

“We used three different planting dates to represent optimal and suboptimal planting conditions, and conducted extensive early season assessments to investigate the early season vigour of each variety,” explained Hannah.

Yield results for each variety were measured at harvest, with final results still to come.

Numerous laboratory-based tests were also conducted on the same seedlots at the beginning of the season.

“This enables comparisons to be made with the field results, with the aim of identifying a lab based test to help better predict field establishment in a range of conditions,” said Hannah.

CSD are continuing to place strong emphasis in understanding how we can better manage the establishment of these low density varieties under all environmental conditions. The results from this season’s trials will be used to identify the most promising tests, which will then be repeated in the coming seasons to validate the results.