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Randy Rachal grows PhytoGen® brand varieties on mostly dryland acres in the Coastal Bend. Here, Rachal recounts his experience with the vigor, yield and quality of PhytoGen brand PHY 312 WRF, PHY 444 WRF, PHY 440 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE in tough growing conditions.He also depends on WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection to keep bollworms out of his fields and the Enlist™ weed control system to take out glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed.
“We like to start planting about Feb. 20. It’s typically cool that time of year, and the PhytoGen varieties have quick germination and strong emergence. The PhytoGen vigor is always good. It blows out of the ground. After we planted this year, we didn’t get a rain until June 26. We didn’t make a bumper crop, but I thought we did quite well with about 900 pounds per acre average overall after going four months with no rain. All of the PhytoGen varieties we plant have good quality, too.
“We did have to replant about 3,000 acres of PHY 312 WRF, PHY 340 W3FE and PHY 440 W3FE this spring following a storm that came in one night in April packing some hurricane-force 80 mph winds. The replanted cotton yields ranged from 2 ½ to 3 ¾ bales per acre, so this year later planting was better.
“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.”