Expert Insight

Ask these 3 questions when evaluating new varieties

Answering these questions will help determine the best varieties for your farm next season.



News travels fast, so you’ve likely heard about the performance of newer PhytoGen® W3FE varieties. Because of tenacious vigor, OVT-winning yields, and industry-first breeding traits, producers across the Cotton Belt are talking about the profit potential of these varieties.  

But new varieties and technologies always bring questions, and PhytoGen cotton development specialists have the answers farmers need to make the switch to PhytoGen cottonseed. Here are the top three questions producers have for the 2022 season.

How do PhytoGen® W3FE varieties yield?

Newer PhytoGen® brand varieties offer exceptional yield potential across the Cotton Belt, according to third-party and Extension data. These trials show consistent top-end yield potential. In fact, a deep portfolio of high-performing varieties has led to PhytoGen cottonseed now being the second most planted cottonseed brand across the United States.1

Midsouth Cotton Development Specialist Tom Eubank, Ph.D., said performance in the 2020 Mississippi State On-Farm Cotton Demonstration Trials is one example of superior yield gains. For example, PhytoGen varieties were the top 3 yielders across all Delta locations. And PhytoGen brand PHY 443 W3FE was the No. 1 yielder, beating the top Deltapine variety by 206 pounds per acre.2

Producers and agronomists have seen similar high yields throughout the cotton states, especially in West Texas. PhytoGen brand varieties consistently outyielded irrigated and dryland competitors with 7 of the top 10 varieties in the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Performance Tests, including first and second place.3

Cotton Development Specialist Ken Lege, Ph.D., noted the yield advantage PhytoGen W3FE varieties showed over competitors in these High Plains trials.

“The No. 1 PhytoGen variety outyielded the top NexGen variety by 246 pounds per acre in the Lubbock irrigated plots. And our best variety yielded 411 pounds per acre higher than the top FiberMax variety,” Lege said. “In the limited water Lubbock trial, we outyielded the top NexGen and FiberMax varieties by 98 pounds per acre and 36 pounds per acre, respectively.”

Lege said this third-party yield data gained the attention of High Plains cotton producers, and his customers have validated this TAMU performance on their farms.

“We're excited about the trial results, but what we care most about is the performance on our customers' farms,” Lege said. “When producers call to say they're consistently yielding more than ever before — that's what it's all about!”

Can the Enlist® weed control system work on my farm?

Once cotton producers hear about the yield advantage, the next question is around weed control, specifically, “Will the Enlist® system work on my farm?” Southeast Cotton Development Specialist Russell Nuti, Ph.D., said the answer is a resounding yes, from two distinct perspectives: weed control and compatibility with other crops.

“From the standpoint of weed control, the Enlist weed control system is second to none in terms of efficacy and flexibility,” Nuti said. “Producers have more options for powerful tank mixes, such as Enlist One and Liberty (glufosinate) herbicides, that tackle the toughest weeds they encounter.

“On top of that, you get a wider application window compared with the competition, for better-timed applications or improved late-season weed control. And with the inherent near-zero volatility of 2,4-D choline, Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides provide effective weed control that stays where it’s sprayed.”

Plus, Nuti said the Enlistsystem is more compatible with other crops. Soybeans, peanuts, corn and wheat can be planted adjacent to PhytoGen W3FE varieties, and you may apply an Enlist herbicide when the wind is blowing within the labeled wind speed range toward those crops. And producers can plant Enlist E3® soybeans for even more synergies in cotton-and-soybean management.

The Enlist system also is the best choice for a cotton-peanut rotation. Farmers can use Enlist herbicides over PhytoGen® W3FE varieties and apply 2,4-Db over adjacent peanut fields without drift concern to either crop.  By eliminating dicamba applications in cotton, producers can use the same sprayer across both cotton and peanuts without fear of dicamba residue in the sprayer.4  PhytoGen W3FE varieties solve the age-old problem of 2,4-Db drift from peanuts into cotton.

“PhytoGen W3FE varieties and the Enlist weed control system offers the best option for cotton producers in terms of weed control and compatibility with the major crops grown in the Cotton Belt,” Nuti said. “When producers make the transition to the Enlist weed control system, they quickly see the benefits of a more flexible, compatible system.”

Are PhytoGen® W3FE varieties consistent?

PhytoGen® brand varieties provide exceptional yield stability — resilient, consistent yields season after season — due to the yield protection in these newer varieties. WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection offers three-gene Bt protection — superior to two-gene Bt traits — for improved control of lepidopteran pests such as cotton bollworm.

In addition to worm control, PhytoGen Breeding Traitsprovide protection against common pests that lower yields and decrease profits. All PhytoGen W3FE varieties are resistant to bacterial blight, and many have resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKNs). The newest varieties offer resistance to RKN and reniform nematodes. Producers can also choose from varieties with tolerance to verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt.

These breeding traits protect the genetic yield potential of PhytoGen W3FE varieties to provide more consistent yields, even during seasons with increased pressure from these yield-robbing pests.

Are PhytoGen brand varieties right for your operation? Ask yourself these three questions and think about how you can improve yield, weed control and consistency on your farm. With these in mind, U.S. Cotton Portfolio Manager Joel Faircloth, Ph.D., said there are PhytoGen W3FE varieties to fit every cotton acre in the United States.

“Our breeding and variety advancement programs have one goal in mind: to help U.S. cotton producers thrive,” Faircloth said. “This is a new era for PhytoGen cottonseed. We have the data and performance on our side, and we're excited to share this with the U.S. cotton market.”

2021 Kynetec US FarmTrak Seed Study.
2020 Mississippi State On-Farm Cotton Demonstration Trials.
3 Cotton Performance Tests in the Texas High Plains 2020.
4 Always read and follow label and sprayer cleanout guidelines.