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Andy Shelton grows PhytoGen® brand varieties on most of his cotton acres in West Tennessee. He recounts his experience with the vigor, yield and quality of PHY 444 WRF, PHY 330 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE. Shelton says the Enlist™ weed control system performs well on glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed, and WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection controls bollworms and saves him $14 per acre on insecticides.
“We are 100 percent dryland. In 2018, we grew PHY 330 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE on about 85 percent of our cotton acres. The PhytoGen varieties have excellent vigor, good germ and are always consistent.
“We chose Enlist varieties because glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed is such a problem. This past season, we tankmixed Enlist One with other herbicide modes of action listed on the label and saved a trip across the field. When spraying Enlist, we go straight by the book. It’s important to be good stewards of this technology.
“When it comes to insect protection, WideStrike 3 is amazing. In our area, late-season bollworms can be a pest. Because the PhytoGen varieties we planted had WideStrike 3, we did not have to make a $14-per-acre insecticide overspray for worms.
“On Aug. 1, I was expecting the same excellent yields we had in 2016 and 2017 with PHY 444 WRF — 1,298 and 1,200 pounds per acre, respectively. Unfortunately, we got 10 inches of rain the last week of September. We ended up averaging a little more than 2 bales per acre, which is not bad. PhytoGen varieties stay in the bur, and in a year with more normal weather, they consistently grade out well. For example, we got 2- to 3-cent premiums on PHY 444 WRF because it had such long staple. We don’t have trouble with mic issues on PhytoGen cotton either.
“This year, I intend to plant 100 percent PhytoGen varieties, including PHY 340 W3FE, which is our best yielder. I’m also excited about trying PHY 320 W3FE and PHY 350 W3FE. Both of these have bacterial blight and root-knot-nematode resistance. Cotton will always be near and dear to my heart because it is my living.”
“Availability of the W3FE varieties was limited in 2018, but we were able to plant about 30 percent of our acres to PHY 440 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE. If you follow the label and catch pigweeds when they are small, the Enlist weed control system annihilates them.
“It’s also important to pay attention to the wind speed and which direction it is blowing, especially where you have a susceptible crop downwind. Where we had WideStrike 3, there were no worms, so it’s very important to us.
“Last year, the PhytoGen varieties were tops in almost every test that was run in this area, and they do well on my farm in these arid conditions. Next year, we intend to plant PHY 440 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE. If it works, we go with it.”