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.)
Mino Raiola reportedly told a French radio station they had been given Martinez’s blessing for Lukaku to leave at the right price amid rumours of interest from Paris St Germain. But the Spaniard was unwilling to go into the issue, saying: ” I’m not here to try to do the job of agent. “I’m not going to entertain any sort of rumours and speculation. I have to do that during the transfer window, against my wishes, so as you can understand I’m quite happy now not to go into any comments.” Club-record signing Lukaku, 22, has made a good start to the season after an up-and-down first campaign as a permanent Everton player, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances. Martinez said: “With Romelu, it has been a joy to see him growing and developing from a very young age. “He’s had a very important role with us and now I feel he’s in the perfect moment to kick on and even take more responsibility on the pitch. “All that matters to everyone at Everton is Romelu can keep fulfilling that role, keep enjoying his football and being very important for the team.” Martinez was speaking at his pre-match press conference, the day after Everton bade an emotional farewell to Howard Kendall. Thousands of fans and Everton figures past and present attended Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral and Goodison Park to pay tribute to the 69-year-old, who died earlier this month. Martinez hopes the memories of Kendall’s glory years can inspire his players as they look to get back to winning ways in the Premier League against Sunderland on Sunday. Press Association The Everton boss said: “I thought it was an incredible event. We were all so proud and touched by the incredible reaction and the support that everyone showed around Howard’s career, Howard’s footprint at our football club, and then obviously to pay the respects to an incredible legend and an Everton giant. “There are great moments to sit back a little bit as a player, and everyone who has the privilege to represent Everton at this time has a unique source of inspiration. “You’re looking back at those big seasons, big moments full of emotion. Clearly for the players and everyone it’s the perfect inspiration to go forward.” Seamus Coleman is a major doubt for the match because of a stomach bug but his fellow full-back Leighton Baines is nearing a return after almost six months out. The 30-year-old has undergone two ankle operations but was set to return to full training on Friday along with midfielder Muhamed Besic, who has made only one Premier League appearance this season. Gareth Barry is back in contention following suspension, with Martinez set to revert to a more familiar line-up after ringing the changes for the Capital One Cup win over Norwich in midweek. Roberto Martinez talked up Romelu Lukaku’s importance to Everton following claims from his agent that the Toffees would sell if the right offer came in.