Mid-Atlantic growers are advised not to count any profits before the cotton is ginned. 

Growers who once worried about the downside of cotton quality, creating a focus on avoiding deductions, now may increase the price paid for their cotton by focusing on premium opportunities. 

“How does a grower earn a premium? By growing premium cotton,” says PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist Joel Faircloth, Ph.D. “That starts with choosing varieties that offer the greatest opportunity for premium quality. PhytoGen brings that opportunity to the market better than any other cottonseed company, particularly with PhytoGen brand varieties PHY 333 WRF and PHY 444 WRF.”

The steps between harvest and pocketing the check — or checks — represent where potential upside is realized. Post-picking profit points are: turnout, premium payments and seed rebates from the gin.

“Lint turnout is critical,” Faircloth says. “Growers often judge yield by the amount of seed cotton coming out of a field in a module with a set turnout. PhytoGen, however, has several varieties that have a very high turnout and stand out once that is factored.”

Today’s cotton grower mantra in the Mid-Atlantic should be, “Yield, premium, yield,” Faircloth adds.

“If cotton is $1 a pound, a 5-cent premium is 5 percent more revenue,” he says. “If cotton is 50 cents a pound, a 5-cent premium is 10 percent more revenue. Because premiums and discounts are fairly static relative to price, quality is increasingly important as price lowers.”