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Strong seedling emergence helps South Texas endure extreme weather

In the Texas Coastal Bend region, the Marek family ended 2015 with a respectable cotton crop after enduring relentless spring rains and scorching summer heat that stressed their county.

Cousins Philip and Josh Marek, along with Josh’s dad, Terrance (Terry) Marek, collectively farm more than 4,600 acres of cotton, corn and sorghum near Pierce in the center of Wharton County, Texas. The spring drenching squeezed an already short planting window, but previous seasons of experimenting with PhytoGen® brand varieties in test lots helped them settle on PHY 333 WRF, PHY 444 WRF and PHY 495 W3RF for 2015. The results took Philip Marek by surprise.

“Remarkably, the PhytoGen varieties jumped out of the ground in just five days,” Philip Marek says. “In a spring like we had in 2015, seedling emergence makes all the difference.”

The sizzling South Texas heat that followed the spring rains quickly depleted moisture surpluses, and cotton crops began to stress. But the Mareks were thankful for what they were able to harvest with the resiliency of PhytoGen cottonseed.

“We had PHY 444 WRF in a module test plot against five to six competitive varieties, and it beat out the others by 40 to 50 pounds per acre,” Philip Marek says. “It had great fiber quality (56.5-cent loan value), which was the highest lint value and best yielder we had.

“Our 2015 county yield average will be less than 690 pounds per acre, but ours will be a little more than 800.”

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