PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist
Prior to joining PhytoGen, I had noticed that the germplasm coming out of PhytoGen’s robust West Texas breeding program that will serve the entire Southwest was producing high, consistent yields and was well suited to that area. In addition, the PhytoGen® brand varieties were exhibiting storm tolerance and tolerance to Verticillium, both of which are important to have in West Texas, particularly as you move north into the heavier ground. Another impressive consideration was PhytoGen brand PHY 417 WRF being the industry standard as far as nematode resistance. And after observing the common sense business strategy approach that PhytoGen exhibits and its reputation for yield stability in varieties, I knew this company was a good match for me.
Today, I am also seeing a step change in fiber quality in characteristics such as staple and strength that I believe will put us ahead of the game in cotton quality sooner rather than later. The breeders at PhytoGen have challenged themselves to bring the Pima and Acala quality that we lead the market with out West into the Upland market.
Looking forward, our trait pipeline with WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection and the Enlist™ cotton trait is very exciting. WideStrike 3 Insect Protection is our industry-leading three-gene Bt trait that offers superior protection throughout the cotton plant from a wide spectrum of damaging lepidopteran pests. The Enlist Weed Control System, which offers tolerance to a new 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate, fits the weed spectrum from Lubbock northward to Oklahoma and Kansas. Enlist will help address challenges related to glyphosate-resistant pigweed.
Because water will be THE issue in the region for the foreseeable future, we are evaluating our current and upcoming variety lineup with regard to irrigation response. The Ogallala Aquifer recharges very slowly, and wells that used to have high capacity now only have moderate to low capacity. All of these varieties respond differently to the various water levels. My career was based on cotton, and that’s what I think about every day when I wake up. Cotton is what I do, and my passion is to help cotton producers be more successful by providing them with effective solutions.