The view from the cab of a cotton stripper can mesmerize a fellow. Fat white bolls are the cotton grower’s equivalent of a ticker tape loaded with dollar signs. The question is whether those bolls weigh out and quality up at the gin.
“Before choosing a variety, look at gin sheets and Extension data. Consider each field,” Bayer Western Region Agronomic Manager Kenny Melton says. “Data from the Official Variety Trials might not be available in time for you to make your decision, but the RACE [Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation] trial data offers valuable, local information.”
Speaking of local, Melton also urges growers to talk to their neighbors and their FiberMax® sales representative or agronomist. Anyone who didn’t participate in a side-by-side RACE trial on their farm should consider planting one next season. Cotton growers also can use Agronomic Performance Trial (APT) data to evaluate the performance of FiberMax cotton varieties across soil types, irrigation regimes and farm management practices. Early results from these trials can indicate potential yield and fiber quality.
“Side-by-sides and APTs are very useful tools,” Melton says. “If a grower or a neighbor has done those, they have a much better idea of how that variety is going to perform on their soils in their environment. You can’t get more local than that.”
Extension and research data, which can include distributor trials, offer not only yield results but also information on quality and disease and nematode resistance. Texas A&M AgriLife rates varieties on tolerance or resistance to Verticillium wilt, bacterial blight and nematodes.
“That’s third-party evaluation,” Melton says. “It’s consistent and it’s reliable.”
Beyond Yield: Maximize Profit with Quality
Bayer Regional Agronomist Craig Bednarz notes FiberMax® varieties have been widely planted in the Southwest because their high fiber quality enhances a grower’s potential for profit.
“Growers are really under pressure to maximize yield and fiber quality as well,” Bednarz says. “FiberMax cotton seed varieties are known not only for their very high yield potential but also their exceptional fiber quality and that allows a grower to maximize profit potential not only on the yield per acre basis but also the price per pound. In many instances FiberMax growers can receive a price premium for their fiber quality over, above and beyond what the loan value offers.”
Growers in the Southwest who are choosing varieties for 2018 should take a look at:
- FM 1830GLT. Growers recognize FM 1830GLT for consistently high performance in the High and Rolling Plains of the Southwest. An excellent disease package delivers very good Verticillium wilt tolerance and resistance to bacterial blight. Look to FM 1830GLT for excellent yield potential, high gin turnout and an outstanding fiber package.
- “FiberMax 1830GLT has probably some of the best fiber quality that’s on the market today,” Melton says. “It has wonderful length and strength. It’s micronaire is good. We typically don’t ever worry about a low mic discount with FM 1830GLT. Not only that, it has great tolerance to Verticillium wilt and it is resistant to bacterial blight. We typically think of the FM 1830GLT as an irrigated variety because it does have such wonderful yield potential and good fiber quality. A grower wants to put something like that on his ground that’s got the best water so he can take advantage of that – get his best return for his investment.”
- FM 1911GLT. Looking for the next big thing? One of the newest varieties in the Bayer lineup has all the expectations of an Olympic hopeful. With FM 2011GT in the background, FM 1911GLT is surpassing its parent with a broad-spectrum disease package – resistance to bacterial blight and very good tolerance to root-knot nematode, Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt, topped off with flexible in-season weed control and worm protection.
- “FM 1911GLT builds on what we already see in FM 2011GT,” says Bayer Regional Agronomist Tim Culpepper. “This variety has better fiber, the yields are comparable to what we have seen in FM 2011GT. I’m really excited about the disease package. We get the Verticillium wilt tolerance, root-knot nematode tolerance and resistance to bacterial blight. So this is the first in our FiberMax arsenal that has all three of those disease tolerances.”
- FM 2334GLT. Dryland growers who need a high-performing variety that performs under disease pressure can look to FM 2334GLT. With a pedigree similar to FM 1830GLT, this variety has slightly longer maturity, is resistant to bacterial blight and has very good tolerance to Verticillium wilt.
- “FM 2334GLT likes to be planted early, especially on irrigated ground,” says Bayer Regional Agronomist Rick Minzenmayer. “It has an excellent fiber package, a good disease package and we’re excited to get that cotton out of the field as quickly as possible.”