Another cotton harvest is in the books. There’s no rest for the weary; planning for 2017 starts now. As growers begin to plan for next year, they factor in generations of experience in three areas of technology to maximize profit in fields across the Cotton Belt.
Seedling vigor is critical.
The first 40 days after planting are the most critical to setting the stage for high-quality, high-yielding plants. The better the seedling vigor, the lower the susceptibility to stress from inadequate moisture, cool temperatures, seedling diseases and nematodes, and the higher the chance of season-long success.
Bayer Regional Agronomist Craig Bednarz weighs in on the impact good seedling vigor can have on yield. “The faster a seed can germinate, emerge and grow, the better,” he says. “Keep that window of opportunity for disease narrow, and get an early, healthy, quick start for a good beginning to the season.”
“Lots of times at planting, the warm, moist conditions can turn cold and wet quickly, and that’s where you want to use those varieties with strong seedling vigor,” Bednarz says.
That vigor can be found in these high-yielding FiberMax® varieties, which also offer nematode and disease protection to help carry you through the season.
- FiberMax 1911GLT, a descendant of FM 2011GT, has excellent vigor and also offers excellent storm tolerance, resistance to bacterial blight, and very good tolerance to root-knot nematodes and Verticillium
- Growers also will find strong Verticillium wilt tolerance in FM 2322GL, a variety well-adapted to the southern High Plains and Rolling Plains.
- An excellent choice for fields with root knot nematodes is Stoneville® 4946GLB2, another variety with very good seedling vigor.
Protect your investment with a seed treatment.
To finish strong, a cotton crop needs a vigorous start. Some of the biggest influences on yield and quality potential are the management decisions made now. Choosing the right seed treatment to protect from nematodes, diseases and pests is essential.
A good seed treatment provides immediate protection to developing roots. That root system helps the plant withstand stress later in the season, so the early time period is key. Some highly effective options in the Bayer seed treatment arsenal are COPeO™ Prime, Aeris®, Trilex® Advanced, and EverGol® Prime, all of which consistently control diseases or pests and optimize profit potential.
The National Cotton Council estimates farmers lose 870,000 bales of cotton per year to nematodes. The gradual yield decline that frequently occurs under increasing nematode pressure can be difficult to diagnose – making it the most costly scenario.
The goal of a good nematode management program is to keep the population densities low during the critical early development phase of the plant, again contributing to a healthy root system. Bayer Senior Technical Service Representative Russ Perkins says Bayer offers effective solutions for nematode management.
“COPeO Prime paired with Aeris and Trilex Advanced is a package offering for Stoneville and FiberMax cottonseed,” Perkins says. “This combination presents the best the industry has to offer from a seed treatment for thrips and nematode management.”
Overall, pick a solid variety, match it with the right seed treatment, and proactively manage nematodes right away. Use your experience and innovative technology from Bayer to get the season started right, then apply your well-honed management skills to bring in a profitable harvest.