There are numerous production decisions Southwest growers will carry out before harvest. Variety selection is one of the most important and sets the tone for the entire season.
As producers gear up for 2024, it’s paramount to ensure they have the knowledge to select the best-fitting varieties for their operations. Consider these four factors when finalizing seed choices for the upcoming year.
High yield potential for your fields
No field is the same. With different soil profiles and water availability to varying levels of pest, weed and disease pressure, every acre needs a management program that maximizes yield potential. It all starts with placing the right varieties on the right acres. That means you need high-yielding varieties suited for specific situations and expert advice to help you match them to the right fields.
Scott Fuchs, PhytoGen product agronomist, says the deep portfolio from PhytoGen® cottonseed has varieties with a wide range of maturities that are well-suited to different soil types and irrigation regimes. And the local PhytoGen field team can help you get those varieties on the right fields.
“Our breeders have done a tremendous job of providing the genetic potential and germplasm to deliver high yield potential on the farm,” Fuchs said. “That, combined with our Southwest field expertise, ensures we help producers select varieties that will maximize productivity in their unique growing conditions.”
Field-proven fiber quality
In today’s cotton market, both yield and quality play a part in profitability — even for Upland varieties. Not only do growers want high yield potential but they also need their cotton acres to deliver superior fiber quality to increase their per-acre value.
The genetics bred into the seed influence the fiber’s staple length and micronaire. PhytoGen® brand varieties provide exceptional staple and optimum micronaire for maximum profitability. Through testing and trials, PhytoGen brand varieties are proving their consistency — giving growers higher profit potential by maximizing fiber quality and the PhytoGen team more confidence when placing products.
“We are actively testing products on farms in replicated field testing,” Fuchs said. “We have a very solid testing program. When we get the fiber quality data back, it gives us even more confidence in our varieties and their ability to deliver profitability. It makes our team that much more confident in placing products on the Southwest acre.”
Seedling vigor you can see on Day 1
The first 40 days are crucial to cotton production, which is why seedling vigor is of utmost importance. A robust start is essential to hitting planting windows the first time around. Likewise, it promotes strong standability and helps the crop overcome early season challenges.
Growers who plant PhytoGen brand varieties get industry-leading early season vigor that saves on time and inputs while improving the crop’s value. Fuchs says producers can see the difference before even planting a seed.
“When a customer opens a bag of PhytoGen cottonseed, they can already see the competitive difference,” Fuchs said. “PhytoGen brand varieties have a large seed and superior germ ratings that promote a strong stand. In the tough planting conditions Southwest producers often face, PhytoGen cottonseed helps them get their cotton crop off to a strong start.”
Loaded with built-in protection
Finally, native pest-protection traits are fundamental in defending fields against seasonal threats that can negatively impact yield and quality. With inherent resistance to bacterial blight and tolerance to verticillium wilt, PhytoGen® W3FE varieties are built to deliver protection from diseases. Similarly, some newer PhytoGen brand varieties are equipped with genetic resistance to root-knot and reniform nematodes.
These native traits — known as PhytoGen Breeding Traits™ — help mitigate the spread and proliferation of pests and diseases. The built-in protection from PhytoGen Breeding Traits allows producers to make easier management decisions and have a better plan for the future.
“PhytoGen Breeding Traits are there to protect fields for the current season and those yet to come,” Fuchs said. “It’s important that we provide the next generation of producers the products and the tools necessary to succeed.”
With the upcoming season approaching, Fuchs recommends growers work with their local PhytoGen team to determine which varieties are the best fit for their operations. Whatever the goals for 2024, the team at PhytoGen has the knowledge to support the farm along the way.“The members of our team are truly experts when it comes to placing products on unique acres,” Fuchs said. “They are well-versed in knowing where to place varieties for the ultimate benefit for the producer. At the end of the day, it’s all about meeting the needs of our customers and supporting them all season long.”