Three steps to a profitable cottonseed selection

Three steps to a profitable cottonseed selection

Agronomists offer tips on choosing varieties to maximize quality, yield and profit.

Know your field, know your variety, make a match. Your experience added to today’s cotton technology maximizes opportunity for profit.

As you evaluate what worked and what didn’t work, the first impression is that last picture of the field: the one from the cab of your picker. Because we know our eyes can deceive us, the next three steps to a profitable 2017 are essential:

  • Read your gin report
  • Evaluate disease pressure
  • Map out a weed-control plan

What does the gin report show?

The difference between what you saw from the cab and what came out in bales can be significant. Did the variety have a high gin turnout? Is the variety a one-season wonder or has it performed well year after year?

“One thing that growers need to consider is a long-term average of how a variety has performed on their farm,” Bayer Agronomist Andy White says. “For instance, Stoneville 4946GLB2 has been a very consistent performer across all soil types in Mississippi.”

What does each field need?

Southeast and Delta cotton growers know one of the most important characteristics is strong seedling vigor.

“Stoneville is known for its early-season vigor, comes up out of the ground great, comes up strong,” Bayer Agronomist Josh Mayfield says. “Growers know that if the plants don’t come out of the ground, they don’t have that good start on high yield.”

Beyond vigor, growers consider water availability, disease, nematode pressure and maturity.

Under root-knot nematode pressure, growers across the Cotton Belt turn to Stoneville® 4946GLB2, the most planted variety in 2015.

For growers looking to optimize profit potential on dryland, White suggests ST 6182GLT. “A grower has a dryland field, highly sandy soil. In that situation I would go with a fuller season variety like ST 6182GLT. That variety has performed extremely well in dry situations,” White says.

Growers also do well to spread their weather risk by planting varieties with varying maturities.

For early maturity, White suggests ST 4747GLB2. Early maturity is a game leader in the North Delta where Bayer Agronomist Steve Lee works with growers. Lee expects a lot of interest in ST 4848GLT and ST 4949GLT.

“ST 4949GLT is a perfect fit for our area in a lot of ways,” Lee says. “It has some Verticillium wilt tolerance, which is going to be a big plus for us in our area. It has exceptional yield potential and just the way it grows off—I really like it.”

Which traits does each field need?

Pressure from glyphosate-resistant weeds demands the flexible herbicide options offered by varieties with both GlyTol® and LibertyLink® traits, which offer full in-season tolerance to both Liberty® herbicide and glyphosate, essential tools to controlling weeds and rotating herbicide sites of action.

For maximum pest-management efficiency, Bayer added broad-spectrum lepidopteran insect protection with TwinLink® and TwinLink Plus in its exclusive trait packages.

“When growers select trait packages they can now select GlyTol LibertyLink TwinLink® varieties that will give them unmatched protection against hard-to-manage weed species and worm pests that will be all Bayer traits in that bag of cottonseed. From the time they buy that seed, they put it in the hopper, they plant it, they harvest it, they’ll have the Bayer Agronomic Services Team and the Bayer technical sales team servicing those traits and those varieties the entire season,” Mayfield says. “When a grower buys cottonseed from Bayer he’s getting, in my opinion, the best service team in the marketplace today.”

Visit Stoneville.com to learn more about maximizing profit in each of your fields.

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