Adding a few pennies for premium on top of standard price can quickly turn a break-even crop into a profitable season. Earning a 5-cent premium on top of a 62-cent-per-pound price is like adding 8 percent to yield per acre — without adding any cost for harvest or ginning.

So how does a Mid-Atlantic cotton grower get there? It frequently means waiting to harvest on time.

“Watch the weather,” says PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist Joel Faircloth, Ph.D. “If a freeze is coming, we need to do what we’ve got to do. But if the weather holds, we need to hold. We have a tendency to hurry to harvest, and when we do that, we can lose yield.”

For most varieties in the Mid-Atlantic, Faircloth says defoliation is best started at about 75 percent open boll. For PhytoGen® brand variety PHY 499 WRF, Faircloth recommends defoliating at the traditional 60 percent opne or three nodes above cracked boll.

Never lose sight of your opportunities for profit, he says. The old mantra of “Yield, yield, yield” doesn’t help with maximizing profit. Now it’s more like “Yield, yield, fiber quality,” Faircloth says.

“We have to get the most possible out of our cotton acres,” Faircloth says. “Planting PhytoGen brand PHY 444 WRF is one of the ways we can maximize our profit. PHY 444 WRF brings a new level of fiber quality to the Upland market with improved staple and consistent low micronaire.”