Growers Must Make Every Drop Count

Make Every Drop Count

Bayer Stoneville® and FiberMax® cotton seed brands offer varieties bred to yield under drought conditions

Regardless of where a grower farms in the Cotton Belt, water questions float to the surface of the cottonseed decision.

  • How much water is available?
  • Which cotton varieties minimize drought risk and maximize yield potential when planted to a given field?

The second question frequently is answered with Bayer cotton varieties, says Kenny Melton, Western regional manager for the Bayer Agronomic Services Team (AST). Melton says Bayer leads the cottonseed industry with best-in-class genetics and variety evaluation for water-use efficiency.

To help growers maximize water-use efficiency on their farms, Bayer has a team available in each region to offer management and variety recommendations based on how much water is available to a specific field. 

“Since 1998, FiberMax has provided the grower with varieties that make the most of limited water resources and produce the most quality pounds per inch of water,” Melton says. “Stoneville offers several excellent complementary varieties, especially for dryland or limited irrigation scenarios.”

Southwest: FiberMax® and Stoneville® hold up under heat and drought

Stoneville Field

Bob Glodt, president of Agri-Search Inc. in Plainview, Texas, says: “All growers need to consider a variety’s yield potential based on its ability to respond to water.”

Rick Minzenmayer, Bayer regional agronomist, says West Texas cotton revolves around how much rain growers get.

“Our biggest challenges are drought and heat,” Minzenmayer says. In that environment, growers with limited irrigation look for varieties that can make it through the drought until harvest.”

Several Stoneville varieties excel in those limited-water scenarios.

“ST 4946GLB2 has looked really good over a large acreage of dryland,” Minzenmayer says. “ST 4747GLB2 also has shown its heat and drought tolerance throughout the Rolling Plains.”

Mid-South: Adaptability of Stoneville ST 4946GLB2 is key asset

In testing and in the field, ST 4946GLB2 remains one of the most consistent performers of the Stoneville varieties – as well as being the top planted cotton variety across the U.S. in 2015, according to USDA.

Andy White, Bayer regional agronomist for the Mid-South, says: “Right now, I compare everything else to ST 4946GLB2. You can spray Liberty and glyphosate over the top to address the issue of weed resistance and set the stage for top yields. It’s the leader by far, and it has excellent nematode resistance.”

Southeast: Stoneville varieties survive drought and drenching

For growers in Georgia and the Southeast, where rainfall tips from drought to flood with few moisture periods in the middle, ST 6182GLT is a full-season variety that handles drought stress while producing high-quality cotton with good turnout over a wide range of soil types within one field.

“ST 6182GLT could be our real bread and butter variety for 2016,” says Josh Mayfield, Bayer regional agronomist for the Southeast. “Growers in the Southeast want a go-to variety that works across different situations. ST 6182GLT has been in Agronomic Performance Trials and on Georgia farms for three years, and it has a good following for reliability and top-end yields.” The variety also works well in irrigated situations.

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