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Cotton Producers Have Access to Upland Varieties With Acala-like Quality

PhytoGen® cottonseed offers superior turnout and high yields for improved profitability

INDIANAPOLIS — As U.S. cotton producers continue to look for ways to increase profits, PhytoGen offers several Upland cotton varieties that can yield Acala-like fiber quality for added premiums and higher profitability.

With PhytoGen® brand varieties such as PhytoGen brand PHY 444 WRF, PHY 333 WRF and PHY 312 WRF, many growers across the Cotton Belt have gained significant premiums, including Bill Gibson and Greg Gibson, brothers from Rayville, Louisiana.

“When I sold the cotton from PHY 444 WRF, I received a 5-cent premium,” says Bill Gibson. “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen grades that good. The color was excellent, 11s and 21s. The staple length was long and the mic was perfect with no highs and no lows.”

Steve Brown, Ph.D., PhytoGen cotton development specialist, explains the company has a long-term breeding goal of bringing Acala-like quality to the Upland cotton market.

“PhytoGen 444 is certainly leading that charge with unmatched staple, micronaire and strength,” Brown says. “By earning premiums of 3 to 5 cents per pound, producers across the Cotton Belt could see a significant difference to their bottom line.”

University Extension Official Variety Trials (OVTs) verify this combination of high fiber quality and yields. PHY 444 WRF had the highest staple length in several OVTs, with a 40 staple and better. It also ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for yield in those same trials.*

Quality that’s off the charts
“The fiber length of PHY 444 WRF is literally off the USDA loan charts,” Brown says. “The chart stops at a staple of 38-plus, and PhytoGen 444 consistently delivers staple length of 39 to 40.”

The USDA annually classes 12 million to 18 million bales of cotton to provide a consistent, quantifiable description of every bale of cotton grown in the United States. As long as other factors, such as color, micronaire and strength, are acceptable, producers can expect premium returns from this variety. Proof of the PhytoGen goal of increasing quality can be seen in the USDA’s 2016 Upland Cotton Schedule of Premiums and Discounts.

“In the USDA report, the fiber quality of PHY 444 WRF is a notch above anything else in the marketplace. It really is one of the best varieties in terms of staple length, micronaire and fiber strength,” Brown says.

A mid-to-full-season variety, PHY 444 WRF fits well in the Cotton Belt’s southern regions including the South Delta, South Texas, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. PHY 444 WRF also is highly competitive — a stable yielder in both dryland and irrigated production. A smooth-leaf cotton, the variety also offers an advantage of less leaf trash.

An earlier cottonseed option
Producers looking for high-quality fiber in shorter-season varieties should consider PHY 333 WRF and PHY 312 WRF. Along with superior yields and seedling vigor, PHY 312 WRF has shown excellent fiber quality, long staple length and low micronaire.

PHY 333 WRF broadly fits many geographic locations from Texas to Virginia, but has found particular success in Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. Also, given its early maturity, this variety can make a crop more quickly than mid- and full-season varieties and fits well for producers who run a double-crop system.

“I would also give PHY 333 WRF an advantage in seedling vigor over competitors. It’s at the top of the list among anything available in the marketplace,” Brown says.

In 23 head-to-head trials with these exact varieties, PhytoGen® brand varieties PHY 333 WRF and PHY 444 WRF delivered an outstanding package of both quality and yield. A larger scope of Extension data shows PhytoGen leading fiber quality against various competitors in more than 350 trials across the Cotton Belt.

*Source: 2015 Mississippi State University, University of Georgia, and University of Tennessee Official Variety Trials.

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