Grower Perspective

Texas producers see proof of higher yields, better weed control

Cotton producers and ginners, like Barry Street, are winning the fight in Texas for higher yields against tough early season conditions and resistant weeds.

High-yielding cottonseed that bursts out of the ground, takes off growing, and has the right technologies to conquer resistant weeds is a tall order. Some producers in West Texas searched for — and found — better options.

Barry Street and his son Chase Street farm in the area outside of Kress, Texas. Their farming operation is based at the Street Gin in the community of Claytonville, Texas.

“A lot of this country has gotten infested with bind weed and white weed, or nightshade, so weed control is a long-term problem for us,” Barry said. “We’re also battling pigweed, or careless weed, resistant to Roundup.”

“Enlist is working best on all of that,” he said.

Chase explained they chose PhytoGen® brand W3FE varieties for the Enlist® weed control system. But Barry, a ginner, also likes the yield and quality proven as good or better, he admits, than some of his longtime-favorite competitive varieties.

So why did a ginner with a community of grower-customers switch to PhytoGen cottonseed?

“PhytoGen delivers quality and yield, combined with the technology to kill these resistant weeds,” Barry explained.

“Enlist also has drift control, and we have a lot of wind here,” Chase said, adding they chose the Enlist weed control system because “It works!”

Strictly running a no-till operation, the Streets only use Enlist One® and Enlist Duo® herbicides. Chase has found Enlist Duo — glyphosate and 2,4-D choline mixed into one product — is simpler to use. He says it’s a matter of efficiency and ease of use.

“It’s less time-consuming, so we can get more applied and cover a lot of acres. We may only get a few hours in the morning for ideal conditions to apply the herbicide. We can’t be wasting time mixing chemicals and going back to the water tank,” Chase explained.

Perhaps it’s not always top of mind, but Chase says saving time with good weed control extends into harvest. It provides the proof he needs that his weed control is working.

“It’s how many times you have to get off the stripper to pull weeds out of the header,” he explained. “We don’t have to do that with this system.”

As a farmer and the ginner at Street Gin, Barry sees lots of cotton.

“We sell cotton for us and our community. When customers ask about varieties, I take it seriously because they’re our neighbors and live here with us. I’m not going to recommend anything that I haven’t tried and had a good experience with,” he said.

“We use Enlist One and Enlist Duo on the farm because it works for us. And the vigor of PhytoGen cottonseed coming up is one of the most remarkable things about PhytoGen,” Chase added.

The combination of strong vigor, high yields and the effectiveness of the Enlist weed control system has been proven across the greater Lubbock area.

A different solution

“I chose Enlist because I knew the other system was not the answer,” said Ian McIntosh, who grows cotton and wheat near Floydada, Texas.

McIntosh admits he was a little hesitant about adopting a new technology, but he realized he had to try something different for his no-till operation. The other systems he was using were simply not eliminating weeds from the wheat stubble.

“Initially, it was the Enlist weed control system that drew me to PhytoGen. Then it was the varieties that really pulled me in. The vigor of the seed has me staying with them,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh may be a self-professed gambler at heart, but he says he no longer bets on cotton coming up nor keeping weeds under control.

“When I tried PhytoGen, I realized I didn’t have to worry as much with the vigor of its varieties,” he said. “When you stick that seed in the ground, it comes up, takes what little moisture you’ve got and it keeps coming!

“That takes concerns about emergence out of the equation. The most critical point in your cotton production is getting the seed out of the ground.”

McIntosh enjoys the challenge of learning about new technologies and encourages others to try PhytoGen W3FE varieties and the Enlist weed control system. He says PhytoGen cottonseed has everything growers in the area need to grow a crop from full-season to short-season varieties.

“The vigor of PhytoGen stays all year long, but the real proof is the yield,” McIntosh said. He’s “very pleased” with this year’s crop and plans to make the same easy bet next year.