PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist Robert Lemon, Ph.D., has been working in the cotton fields since 1992. Yet never has he experienced anything like the Mother Nature roller coaster of 2015. His observations on the unusual season are below.
The Texas coastal regions received record spring rainfall, which delayed planting in most areas. The soggy spring conditions also prevented planting in other isolated regions, resulting in the fewest number of planted cotton acres in many years. In mid-June, the pendulum swung the opposite direction. Most areas received little if any rainfall the remainder of the growing season.
Yet, despite the early season flooding, cloudy days, absence of bottom bolls and late-season drought, the cotton crop was better than expected in many areas. PhytoGen® brand variety PHY 333 WRF again lived up to expectations and performed extremely well, consistently yielding better than the best competing variety, while also supporting excellent fiber quality — despite heavy stress. PHY 333 WRF is unique in combining high yield potential and excellent fiber quality in a fast-fruiting package that’s well-adapted to most environments and soils.
We also had the opportunity to observe the performance of PhytoGen brand variety PHY 444 WRF on a limited basis. The midmaturing variety performed very well with documented yields of more than 2,000 pounds per acre on some irrigated fields. Sporting staple lengths from 37 to 41 and loan values consistently in the 57-plus-cent range, PhytoGen brand variety PHY 499 WRF continues to be the workhorse. It simply yields under any conditions.