With so many options on the market, growers have had to learn how to manage different varieties. In Terrell County, McGhee used different seed varieties from different companies, planted them in field trials and harvested the crops to see what variety worked best in his county. “We rely heavily on cooperation with our county agents to get these trials planted and harvested,” Whitaker said. “We use the information from these trials implemented by our agents to get an idea of how well varieties perform across the state.” Nick McGhee, Terrell County Extension coordinator, is one of those cooperating Extension agents.“This program is something that a lot of the growers in Terrell County can benefit from. Cotton variety selection is an important decision that they face every year,” he said. With cotton prices plummeting below 60 cents this winter, selecting a variety to plant for the upcoming season is a critical decision for Georgia farmers. The University of Georgia Cotton Variety Selection Program provides growers with the research-based information they need to produce the state’s No. 1 row crop.UGA Extension agronomist Jared Whitaker, who helped start the program, said he has seen the right variety choice add $100 an acre or more to a farmer’s bottom line. In 2014, DP 1252 B2RF, CG3783 B2RF and PHY 333 WRF were the varieties with statistically similar and highest average lint yield when averaged across all 20 trials. With regards to consistency across those trials, those same varieties had yields within the top three of 12 varieties evaluated in at least 45 percent of the 20 trials. For more information about variety performance from this program, contact your local county agent or visit the UGA Cotton Web page at ugacotton.com.The data produced from the cotton variety selection can be seen at ugacotton.com/cotton-variety-selection/.According to UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia produced more than $1.2 billion in cotton in 2013. “We started the program so that we could evaluate a small set of promising varieties across a large number of locations and environments to observe performance in various situations and get an idea of where varieties perform best and which are most consistent,” Whitaker said.Jeff Davis County cotton farmer Wayne Herndon has helped with the program since its inception. Whitaker uses Herndon’s land to plant and test different cotton varieties. “The program allows us to see what variety works best in different types of soil and environments,” Herndon said. “And it has helped me decide what varieties to plant.”Rather than growing cotton in just one part of the state for the UGA program, Whitaker aims to grow cotton in different counties across Georgia to see how the different varieties perform in various environments. Cotton seed can be expensive, and yields can be attributed to the variety that farmers choose. According to McGhee, cotton producers have the potential to increase their gross revenue by more than $3.5 million annually in Terrell County if they choose the right variety. “They were all planted in the same field and managed the same way, which determined what variety yielded the best,” McGhee said. (Jordan Hill is an intern with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
“There is incredible depth. We could put two first teams out with 11 internationals in each. It has been a phenomenal season. We are a long way ahead in the Premier League and whilst I wouldn’t describe the way we got knocked out of the Champions League as luck things could have gone differently in that game. “We have a young squad and each of those are a year older. We are very comfortable with the make up of team and squad.” Nevertheless, Ferguson will continue to be linked with a series of star players, most recently Robert Lewandowski and Ramadel Falcao, whilst newly crowned FWA Player of the Year Gareth Bale is another United admire. The Red Devils can certainly feel bullish about attracting the top talent when it is considered their year-on-year turnover for the first nine months has risen 13.1 per cent to £278.1million. Of that, commercial income is now £114.5million, an increase of 27.9 per cent. It underlines just how strong United have become in that area of their business, and it doesn’t include the new £120million, eight-year deal with AON, which includes naming rights to their Carrington training complex and sponsorship of their training kit and overseas tours. Broadcast and matchday sectors show a 21.7 per cent and 34 per cent increase on the corresponding three months, whilst gross debt stands at £367.6million, still a vast sum, a decrease of 15.9 per cent since June 30 last year. However, total operating expenses for the third quarter increased 18.6 per cent year-on-year to £79million. That has been put down partly to the arrival of new signings, including Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa, new contracts for the likes of Danny Welbeck and the growing commercial arm which means the club now have in excess of 800 staff. Press Association Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is not anticipating “a major retooling” of Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad this summer. Woodward was speaking to outline United’s third quarter results, which once again show an impressive rise in their commercial income. And with Ferguson admitting he was giving his squad rebuilding idea some thought, it has been anticipated further big name signings would be made. However, after winning the Premier League title this term with four games to spare, Woodward is not sure that is strictly necessary. “I wouldn’t expect there to be a major retooling of the squad,” said Woodward.