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Cotton Quality and Yields

Choosing a Cotton Variety for 2016

planting cotton

In recent years, the presence of glyphosate-resistant pigweed in Mid-South cotton has compelled producers to grow glufosinate (Liberty)-tolerant varieties. In 2015, more than 85 percent of cotton acreage in Arkansas was planted to varieties that are tolerant to glufosinate. This acreage included 11 percent planted to XtendFlex (resistant to dicamba) varieties. However, dicamba applications beyond the current burndown label were not allowed. Almost half of the transgenic entries in the 2015 Arkansas Cotton Variety Test were resistant to dicamba or 2,4-D (Enlist) – a clear indication of the direction of variety development. The Enlist trait is fully registered in the United States, and the herbicide is labeled in all Mid-South states except Tennessee. Import approvals for some Far East countries are still being pursued. We expect a limited release of Enlist cotton in 2016. It is expected, but at this point still uncertain whether labels will allow spraying of dicamba beyond burndown on XtendFlex cotton in 2016. Thus, producers should make their variety choices accordingly and follow all label requirements. Selection of varieties then returns to long-established principles of choosing varieties that are likely to produce stable, high yields of premium quality cotton – regardless of their transgene conf iguration. Read More »

Cotton Variety Selection ABCs

The ABCs of variety selection may start with letters behind a variety name denoting insect resistance or herbicide tolerance technology, but they certainly do not end there. Beyond the letters are complex characteristics controlled by multiple genes – yield, fiber quality, stress response, disease resistance, plant type and relative maturity. “A” stands for area-appropriate. Consider performance data generated from the same area as your farm. Know specific field production constraints and choose varieties with appropriate disease resistance, nematode tolerance and moisture stress response. “B” is for broadening risk with more than one variety in more than one maturity class so harvest on large farms can be staggered. Broadened risk improves the odds of catching beneficial rains and avoiding widespread hail damage. “C” is for control. Stay grounded with input capabilities. Highhorsepower varieties in low-input situations can lead to quality problems. “Control” reminds me of the first cotton farmer to ask my advice on variety selection – my father, who passed away in May. Professional presentation of yield data did not impress him. He told me, “I can make these varieties yield. Show me something with the potential for good fiber quality. I have less control over that.” Read More »

Surprisingly Good Harvest Overall

ARKANSAS The National Agricultural Statistics Service October Crop Production report kept the yield estimate for Arkansas cotton at 1,218 lbs lint/A. Last month, I felt this estimate was too high for a number of reasons. However, as our harvest is nearing completion, it is becoming obvious that a little BBQ sauce may be needed for my crow. We have experienced ... Read More »

Emphasis On Yield, Quality And Irrigation Response

Ken Legé PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist Lubbock, Texas   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, ... Read More »

Can Technology Help In War Against Pigweed?

Has this been an unusual year for cotton producers in many parts of the Belt? Most would agree with that assessment. First, there is the frustrating cotton price that has stayed in the 60-cent range for months. Then came the floods in Texas and the Mid- South and dry conditions in the Southeast and West. One theme, however, remained consistent – the need for an effective strategy that could deal with weed resistance, namely pigweed. While most producers understand the concept of “starting clean and staying clean,” technology is assisting in the quest to reduce production costs even more. You’d be hard pressed to find a more forward-thinking farmer than Jason Luckey of Humboldt, Tenn., in the western part of the state. He, father Rege, brother Ken and nephew Zac have consistently adhered to a diversified crop mix involving cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat. They rarely increase acreage for any one crop and have succeeded in their dryland operation by staying with this philosophy. Read More »

How Far Can Technology Take Ag?

Drones used in agriculture

BY GLEN HARRIS TIFTON, GA. The fertilizer spreader truck rolls across the field spitting out a custom blend of N-P-K, secondary and micronutrients based on grid soil sampling, followed later by the sidedress rig equipped with sensors to measure plant height and greenness and apply the exact amount of additional N (and other nutrients that may be needed). Just before ... Read More »

GMOs to Receive Big Boost

A new Farm Bureau advocacy website is giving farmers and ranchers a simple way to “Get a Move On” for GMOs. Launched recently, GetaMoveOn.fb.org allows producers to support a national, science-based labeling standard similar to the approach taken in the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599). “This website has a very specific function: To motivate farmers and ranchers to take action in support of important innovation in agriculture,” says Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation biotechnology specialist. “Whether you grow corn and soybeans in the Midwest, cotton in the South, dairy and potatoes in the Northeast or apples in the West, access to crop traits that resist pests, diseases Read More »