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PhytoGen® brand varieties highlight a shared relationship between yield potential and fiber quality. The goal of this prevailing pattern is a positive return on investment for cotton farmers.
PhytoGen breeders take pride in bringing top-of-the-line Pima, Acala and Upland cottonseeds to the marketplace. This thriving legacy continues to grow more robust from year to year.
Improved Yield Potential
“Yield is absolutely paramount at PhytoGen. It always has been and always will be,” says Joel Faircloth, U.S. portfolio manager for PhytoGen. “We know this is what makes cotton growers thrive. Over time, we have also incorporated many traits that will allow farmers to protect that yield.”
Some of these traits include herbicide technology, such as resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate and Enlist™ herbicides in the Enlist weed control system.
“We also have a suite of native PhytoGen Breeding Traits,” Faircloth says. “These include bacterial blight resistance, root-knot-nematode resistance, verticillium wilt tolerance and — in 2020 — reniform nematode resistance.”
Why Is Quality Important?
But to make the most of every acre, cotton farmers should also consider fiber quality. This piece of the equation influences loan value, which is driven by staple length — preferably 36 or greater.
Fiber properties matter because they affect textile manufacturing processes and both intermediate and end products. Therefore, mills have preferences for specific characteristics.
Staple refers to fiber length and is the average length of the longest 50% of the fibers in a sample — referred to as the upper half mean length. Longer fiber improves yarn strength, consistency, fineness and spinning efficiency.
“When making product choices for the upcoming season, remember that the PhytoGen brand varieties usually command a 36 or higher staple length,” Faircloth says.
To provide a consistent, quantifiable description of every bale of cotton grown in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture classes 12 million to 18 million bales annually across the Cotton Belt. In addition to staple, it analyzes color grade, micronaire, strength, uniformity, leaf grade and trash, using precision equipment known as high-volume instrumentation or HVI. Human classers also inspect for extraneous matter and other unwanted conditions.
For producers, the goal is to earn a premium price for above-average fiber quality or, at a minimum, avoid discounts.
Performs in a Challenging Year
Byler Engelking, who produces cotton around Robstown, Texas, says Skip Row Farms experienced extremely wet planting conditions this year and he had to replant most of his cotton several times.
“It was a very cool spring, so we got off to a hard start,” Engelking says. “Once the cotton came up, it got considerably drier, and we didn’t get the timely rains we needed on our dryland acres. But our PhytoGen 480 W3FE performed really well given the fact it was drier later in the season. Through the years, with high yields and good grades, we’ve been very successful with PhytoGen.”
The Texas farmer says 2019 was his first year to commercially spray Enlist One® herbicide.
“I planted PHY 480 W3FE and PHY 340 W3FE, and both of these varieties did well under extreme conditions,” Engelking says. “Enlist One plus glufosinate also did a good job of controlling resistant pigweed, which is our biggest problem. I highly recommend the Enlist weed control system.”
As you plan for the upcoming growing season, PhytoGen cotton development specialists and territory managers are available to review your gin report and help evaluate where you would like to improve. For more information about PhytoGen® brand varieties to help you thrive, go to PhytoGen.com.
It’s important to choose varieties known for high yield and excellent fiber quality and manage them for optimum return on investment. University Extension variety testing data are a good source for evaluating these criteria as well.
™ ® PhytoGen, PhytoGen Breeding Traits and the PhytoGen Logo are trademarks of PhytoGen Seed Company, LLC. ™ ®Enlist, Enlist Duo and Enlist One are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. The Enlist weed control system is owned and developed by Dow AgroSciences LLC. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions. PhytoGen Seed Company is a joint venture between Mycogen Corporation, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC, and the J.G. Boswell Company.