Start Now for Profitable Cotton Production

Start Now for Profitable Cotton Production

Cotton is more than a crop. It’s a way of life. You grow cotton because you love it – you might say it’s what you were born to do. But ultimately, you grow cotton to build a business, build a farm and build a home. In 2014, we began a partnership with Cotton Grower magazine that became the Raising More Profit series. Over the course of the year, we offered events, news articles and videos to provide information to help you increase profitability on your farm. In this issue, we’ll look at one of the early season topics we covered and provide you with links to additional online information.


For cotton growers farming in areas with historic nematode infestations, the profitability equation begins before planting. At the Tifton, Ga., Raising More Profit, event in 2014, Dr. Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension pathologist, said growers need to do three things:

  1. Know what type of nematode is on your farm and where those populations are found
  2. Reduce nematode populations to take pressure off your cotton crop
  3. Pick a nematicide appropriate for nematode populations for greatest ROI

Kemerait pointed out that there are several possible investments that growers can consider to successfully battle nematode problems – choosing a nematode-resistant cotton variety, using nematicide seed treatments and, if needed, adding other nematicide treatments in areas of high nematode populations.

Growers have options for nematode management. One is the Crop Science package of nematode-resistant cotton varieties, Aeris® insecticide/nematicide seed treatment and the newly registered in-furrow product, Velum® Total, for one of the most complete programs on the market.

Aeris provides improved seedling health, increased grower production flexibility and the broadest spectrum protection available against early season insects, including thrips, aphids and moderate populations of nematodes. Aeris provides up to 28 days of thrips protection; up to 42 days of aphid protection; suppression of early season fleahoppers and plant bugs; and up to 28 days of protection against low-to-moderate nematode populations.

Velum Total is a new insecticide/nematicide from  Crop Science for use in cotton and peanuts in the 2015 season. It is available only in the Southeast for the 2015 season, with a full product launch expected in 2016 throughout the South from Texas to Virginia.

Velum Total promotes early season crop establishment by preventing nematode and insect damage and enhancing root health. The product has demonstrated strong residual performance on early season insects, such as thrips, and can help reduce the need for additional foliar sprays.

In university trials over multiple years, Velum Total provided greater yield response than the historical standard Temik® in both cotton and peanuts.

2012-2014 / Cotton / Average yield across all conditions

2012-2014 / Cotton / root knot and reniform nematode fields

Varieties Offer Profit Saving Option

Growers can raise yield and profits on nematode-infested fields by planting a nematode-resistant cotton variety.  Crop Science offers three nematode -resistant varieties  — Stoneville® ST 4946GLB2, FiberMax® FM 1320GL and FM 2011GT — for excellent yield potential under heavy nematode pressure.

In fact, in a 2013 Texas AgriLife Research nematode variety trial conducted by Dr. Terry Wheeler, ST 4946GLB2 had the lowest number of nematodes at the end of the season.

ST 4946GLB2 is well adapted across the Cotton Belt and offers great nematode resistance from Georgia to West Texas. For more information about cottonseed varieties from Crop Science, visit the Stoneville variety overview page.

Despite the loss of Temik, Bob Kemerait explains how effective nematode control is still possible by using multiple tools. Listen to Kemerait’s nematode control tips now.

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