483…629…524…221.

574…886…646…716.

No, those are not lucky winning lottery numbers, unless those are lint yield increases you can expect from a new cotton variety.

They are!

Honest.

Hazera Seeds F1 hybrid cotton, HA-195, in fact yielded 886 pounds more cotton per acre than Pima S-7, the valley's San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board Pima variety standard, in one variety trial at Corcoran, Calif., last season.

That may be phenomenal, but it was no fluke because all eight of those numbers represent lint yield increases for HA-195 over either other Pimas or S-7.

The first set of numbers represents the yield increases for HA-195 over the second place varieties in four trials conducted by University of California cotton specialist Shane Ball at Corcoran (two trials), Taft and Tulare. Phytogen 76 was the second place finisher in three of the trials and E-601 was the second place finisher in the other trial.

The second set of numbers represent HA-195's yield increase over S-7 in all four trials.

Yes, HA-195 yielded 1,689 pounds in a trial near Corcoran where S-7 yielded 806 pounds.

Little wonder Hazera's hybrid cotton is the talk of the town.

That is why it will be a major element of the program for the of the 5th annual Pima Production Summit May 14 at the Visalia Convention Center, Visalia, Calif.

The summit, sponsored by Western Farm Press, University of California, Supima Association of America and California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, will feature reports from the Hazera Seeds agronomist Meir Gadisman, who is developing production information for the cotton in the San Joaquin Valley; from University of California trials and a panel of growers who grew the unusual, rangy growing cotton last season.

The Hazera presentations will be just one element of an information-packed May 14 program. (The full program is on this page.). There also is a registration form here. Sign-in and a free continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m. with the first speaker at 9 a.m.

HA-195 is a true F1 hybrid cotton. It is called an “inter-specific variety,” a cross between upland and Pima. It was initially tested as an Acala type, but after it was roller ginned and found to have qualities close to Pima, the company asked that it be switched to the Pima trials.

For growers, hybrid cotton offers hybrid vigor like hybrid corn. It offers exceptional yield potential on “marginal soils.” It makes Hazera Pima an option on less than ideal soil conditions.

Because of its hybrid vigor, it also uses less water. It yielded 3.6 bales on 20 to 22 inches of water for one grower last season. Another picked 2.7 bales on just 15 inches of water.

However, other producers did not fare as well. Of the 22 commercial fields monitored by Hazera last year, only about half of them did what Gadisman did well — recording yield increases of 15 to 30 percent.

There were about 1,000 acres of Hazera produced in the valley last season and only that much was expected to go into the ground in 2002. One reason is because it is a hybrid cotton and therefore must be hand pollinated for seed production, making seed production tricky at best.

Because of that hand labor, seed is also very expensive; almost $7 per pound resulting in a planting cost of about $70 per acre vs. $10 to $12 for non-hybrid cotton.

While this hybrid cotton's yields are the talk of the ginyards and coffee shops, there is controversy surrounding its fiber properties. It is not a true Pima, yet it has been accepted into the government loan program and is being classed as a Pima.

Its length, micronaire and uniformity are comparable to S-7, but in last year's test strength was well off S-7.

Ball will make comments on his observations of HA-195 when he presents data from last year's SJVCB variety and screening trials.

One of the questions the Pima industry and the San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board faces is what to do with the cotton if it continues to offer phenomenal yields.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com

Co-sponsors also exhibitors

The following companies are financial co-sponsors of this year's Pima Production Summit and most will be exhibitors during the day-long conference:

AGRI Crop Insurance
AMVAC
Aventis CropScience
BASF Corp. Agricultural Products
Bayer Crop Protection
California Planting Cotton Seed Distributors (CPCSD)
Dunavant of California
Delta and Pine Land Co.
Gustafson LLC
Monsanto
Micro Flo Co.
Queenlands Cotton/Anderson Clayton
Wilbur-Ellis Co.
Western Cotton Shippers Association