Grower Perspective

Cotton grower credits improved management to W3FE trait package

Rich Kitchin, from Scotland Neck, North Carolina, planted PhytoGen® brand varieties in 2017 and produced an excellent yield despite “very high” insect pressure.

Southeast cotton grower Rich Kitchin says PhytoGen® brand varieties with WideStrike® 3 Insect Protection and the Enlist® cotton trait save him insecticide applications and improve his weed resistance management strategy.

Kitchin, from Scotland Neck, North Carolina, planted PhytoGen brand PHY 333 WRF, PHY 495 WRF, PHY 490 W3FE, PHY 330 W3FE and PHY 450 W3FE in 2017. He says it was an excellent-yielding year despite “very high” bollworm and stink bug pressure.

“Our cotton with the older technology was sprayed three times for insects. In comparison, the WideStrike 3 cotton was sprayed only once, and that was for stink bugs. We are not having to spray the WideStrike 3 cotton for bollworms,” he says. “It’s cutting our insecticide applications by at least a third. That’s a big deal.”

Kitchin also reports success with the Enlist weed control system, controlling substantial pigweed and marestail pressure.

“Being able to spray Enlist One and glufosinate over the top is definitely a benefit from a resistance management standpoint,” he says. “We were satisfied with the control we achieved both on pigweed and marestail.”

While his ideal planting window is late April into the middle of May, planting was delayed in 2017 because of adverse early season weather conditions. As a result, his cotton was harvested between mid-October and the end of November. “It was a very slow, wet, cold start with a very good finish,” Kitchin says.

Despite the adverse planting conditions, PhytoGen brand varieties had excellent seedling vigor. In comparison, a competitor’s variety had germination issues. “The germ was so bad on a competitor’s varieties that we didn’t plant it until the temps were in the upper 80s,” he says.

Kitchin’s cotton yielded more than 1,300 pounds per acre across his acres planted to PhytoGen, and he received premiums ranging from 3 to 4 cents. “The quality was excellent, and the strength was especially great,” he says. “In fact, the gin said it was some of the best cotton they ran in 2017.”

Because of the traits, yield and fiber quality, Kitchin plans to plant more PhytoGen W3FE varieties in 2018 to help him thrive.

“Cotton is our primary crop. My passion is cotton,” says Kitchin, who farms cotton, peanuts and soybeans with his father, Jim. “In 2018, more of our cotton acreage is going into the WideStrike 3 technology to eliminate those extra worm sprays. We want to capture the costs savings we receive.”

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