Numbers often speak louder than words, and when choosing cotton varieties, yield numbers speak the loudest.
But any variety can perform well in an isolated trial. Cotton producers need yield consistency demonstrated across many locations over several years. Yield data from third-party university trials can provide confidence when planning for another season, especially when planting new varieties on your farm.
Shawn Butler, Ph.D., is the PhytoGen cotton development specialist in Mississippi, where he reviews trial data and helps cotton producers select the best varieties for their acres. Butler says PhytoGen® brand varieties have been posting big results in university and Extension trials in recent years, and Mississippi is a good example of consistent trial performance.
In the 2023 Mississippi State University (MSU) Cotton Official Variety Trials (OVTs), PhytoGen® brand PHY 411 W3FE was the highest yielder across seven locations, averaging 1,764 lb./A. PHY 411 W3FE outyielded competitive varieties DP 2127 B3XF and NG 4190 B3XF by 90 lb./A and 115 lb./A respectively. Three of the top five yielding varieties came from PhytoGen, including PhytoGen® brand PHY 415 W3FE.1
“When you look at the Mississippi OVTs, not only did we have the winning variety with PHY 411 W3FE but we also had more varieties at the top than any other cottonseed brand,” Butler said. “We had seven varieties in the top 12, and our competitors only had one variety each. That says a lot about the consistency of PhytoGen brand varieties.”
MSU Extension also conducts annual on-farm trials, working with producers to plant and manage varieties according to their own management practices. In the 2023 MSU On-Farm Cotton Variety Trials, PHY 411 W3FE was the No. 1 yielder in that trial across all 16 locations. In the Mississippi Delta locations, PHY 411 W3FE yielded 1,726 lb./A and beat the next-best variety, DP 2127 B3XF, by 298 lb./A.2
This high-end performance in on-farm variety trials is nothing new for Mississippi producers. PhytoGen had the No. 1 variety in that trial three years in a row from 2019 to 2021. In addition to PHY 411 W3FE, big winners in those years included favorites such as PhytoGen® brand PHY 443 W3FE.
“The data tells a very compelling story — and the headline is this: PhytoGen brings consistent high yield potential to cotton farmers,” Butler said. “Our customers are saying the same thing. The word is out, and we’re very excited going into 2024 as more and more producers plant PhytoGen brand varieties.”
More than Mississippi
Throughout the Cotton Belt, PhytoGen continues to gain momentum as producers look to these third-party trials for evidence of consistent success. Russell Nuti, Ph.D., PhytoGen cotton development specialist in the Southeast, says PhytoGen brand varieties continue to have trial-winning yields in his region.
Combined results of the 2022-2023 Auburn University Cotton OVTs ranked new PhytoGen® brand PHY 475 W3FE as No. 1 in southern full-season locations. PhytoGen® brand PHY 400 W3FE was No. 1 in short-season trials across the state with PHY 411 W3FE finishing fourth statewide. PHY 400 W3FE, PhytoGen® brand PHY 360 W3FE and PHY 411 W3FE ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 in Tennessee Valley locations, demonstrating excellent yield potential and consistency.3
Combined 2022-2023 University of Georgia Statewide Cotton OVTs showed PHY 475 W3FE ranked in the top 5 varieties, within 38 lb./A of the top yielder. PHY 475 W3FE outyielded DP 2127 B3XF, ST 5091B3XF, NG 3195 B3XF, DP 2012 B3XF, ST 4990B3XF and DP 1646 B2XF.4
“There are a lot of reasons for our recent success in these trials, but it begins with a commitment in our breeding program to bring more to a farmer’s bottom line by improving yield potential,” Nuti said. “When you protect yield potential with innovative traits — such as our industry-leading resistance to root-knot nematode, reniform nematodes and bacterial blight — then you get more consistent top-end yield potential season after season.”
12023 Mississippi State University Cotton Official Variety Trials, preliminary data. https://www.mafes.msstate.edu/variety-trials/docs/cotton/2023-cotton.pdf
22023 Mississippi State University On-Farm Cotton Variety Trials, preliminary data. https://www.mississippi-crops.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Preliminary-On-Farm-Cotton-Trial.pdf
32022-23 Auburn University Cotton Official Variety Trials, 2023 preliminary data as of 11/29/23.
42022-23 University of Georgia Statewide Cotton Official Variety Trials, 2023 preliminary data as of 12/1/23.