Twenty years ago, Milton Prince wouldn’t have imagined spraying 2,4-D herbicides over his cotton — much less his cotton and soybeans.
But the North Carolina Blacklands farmer did just that in 2019 after planting PhytoGen® W3FE varieties and Enlist E3™ soybeans. The results?
“There is a great benefit having all of my cotton in the Enlist system — simplicity and convenience,” Prince said. “I don’t have to switch back and forth between herbicide systems. Plus, I don’t have to clean the tank out when moving between my Enlist cotton and Enlist soybeans. I can go right on to the next field.”
Prince first planted PhytoGen W3FE varieties in 2017 after the combination of high yields and Enlist weed control system sparked his interest. He increased acres the following year and then planted 100% of his cotton acres to PhytoGen brand varieties in 2019. With several years’ experience, Prince has seen the benefits of the Enlist® system firsthand.
“In today’s environment, when people give you a sales pitch, you have to take it with a grain of salt. But the Enlist system works just like it is advertised,” Prince said. “When we picked our crop, it was clean. We didn’t pull any pigweed out of there.”
Prince farms with his son, Ruffin, who makes most of the herbicide applications on their operation. In addition to excellent weed control, Ruffin said, Enlist herbicides were easy to manage and stayed where applied.
“Enlist herbicides are really good on weed control — they are effective and simple to use. I have been really impressed,” Ruffin said. “You don’t have drift when you use them like you’re supposed to — we’ve had a great experience for the last two years.”
Reliable Vigor and Yield in Tough Environments
In 2018, PhytoGen brand PHY 340 W3FE was the highest yielder for the Princes, averaging more than 1,200 pounds per acre on a farm. Given the difficult year, Milton said, it was an excellent yield.
In 2019, the Princes planted more than 2,000 acres of cotton in Beaufort and Hyde counties to five PhytoGen brand varieties. They had less-than-average rain throughout the summer, but the PhytoGen® brand varieties held tough, averaging 2 to 3 bales to the acre across the farm.
“We didn’t have much rain in the summer, but all of our PhytoGen varieties held up well. They were all good varieties,” Milton said.
Milton said the key to producing cotton, especially in uncertain environments, is timeliness in everything. With that philosophy, the early season vigor of PhytoGen W3FE varieties helps the Princes get ahead and stay ahead throughout the season.
“Earliness in whatever you do is important,” Milton said. “Some years you can plant the latter part of May, but the majority of the time, you need to plant in early May. Two weeks can be really critical — it matters.”
Ruffin said they continue that approach all season long, especially with weed control. That’s one reason they’ve found great success with the Enlist weed control system.
“With cotton, it’s so important to be timely,” Ruffin said. “Whether it’s planting or weed control or PGR applications, timeliness is one of the most important things with cotton.”