Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bayer CropScience Recognizes Cotton Growers for High Yields at 10th Annual FiberMax One Ton Club Banquet

183 growers from Texas, Ariz., Calif., Okla., N.C. produced at least 2,000 pounds of FiberMax cotton per acre during 2014
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Bayer CropScience
LUBBOCK, Texas (April 16, 2015) –  Bayer CropScience and FiberMax® cotton seed celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the FiberMax One Ton Club™ and honored 183 growers for producing one ton yields in 2014 at the annual banquet on April 9 in Lubbock.

During its first decade, the FiberMax One Ton Club has recognized 806 cotton growers who produced 2,000 pounds or more of lint cotton per acre on at least 20 acres using FiberMax cotton seed. . In 2014, a grower from North Carolina became the first One Ton Club member from east of Texas. Growers have used 37 different FiberMax varieties to produce One Ton Club yields.

Bayer CropScience brought FiberMax cotton seed to the West Texas market in 1998 and revolutionized cotton production on the High Plains. The region once known for producing lower yields and quality began producing some of the highest yields and best quality in the United States.

Lee Rivenbark, head of Seeds North America for Bayer CropScience, remembers those early days when growers first started achieving yields that were previously unknown in West Texas.

“By elevating the use of water management, equipment and technology, these innovative growers showed they could successfully manage for high yields and high quality with FiberMax cotton,” Rivenbark said. “We began to hear stories about 2,000-pound cotton yields, and we needed to come up with a way to recognize producers who grew four-bale cotton. Then a grower told us, ‘It’s not just four-bale cotton. It’s a ton of cotton.’”  
With that, the FiberMax One Ton Club was born. Through the last decade, FiberMax growers across the Southwest have refined agronomic practices and brought new innovations to continue producing high yields and excellent quality, even during a three-year drought and other challenges. At last year’s banquet, one Texas grower was recognized for producing 6.9 bales to the acre with FiberMax cotton.

“The piece we can’t forget is the expertise these growers bring in this harsh and difficult environment,” Rivenbark said. “I don’t know where the top end is. But wherever it is, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the growers who make the One Ton Club.”

One Ton Truck Winner

This year, FiberMax One Ton Club members from Texas, Arizona, California and Oklahoma qualified for a chance to win a Ford® F-350 Super Duty® King Ranch® truck in the FiberMax One Ton Club Sweepstakes. Willem and Ruth Hartman, first-year One Ton Club members from Pampa, Texas, won the One Ton Club truck. The Hartmans averaged 2,321 pounds per acre on 54 acres, using FM 2011GT, with a USDA loan value of 57.23 cents.

The 2014 season was the third year the Hartmans grew cotton, and it was the first year they planted cotton on an irrigated circle that didn’t share water with another crop. Willem said the key to One Ton Club success was high-yielding FiberMax varieties and good management.

“We started growing cotton three years ago, and we tried to grow dryland cotton during a drought,” Hartman said. “It was a really tough year, but we stayed with it. Last year, I went all out in cotton and focused on irrigated cotton where we could get plenty of water on it. We had more rain, and it turned out a lot better.”

Soon after the crop emerged, several of Willem’s friends told him that his stand looked really good. As the season progressed, Willem knew he was on track to have his best cotton crop yet, but he couldn’t imagine that he would break the one ton barrier.

“Once I defoliated it, you could see that the rows were full,” Hartman said. “They had filled out, the bolls opened up, and you couldn’t see the rows. When we started stripping, we knew it was good cotton. We would go a little way down the rows, and then we had to dump again. The boll buggy and module builder couldn’t keep up. It was great fun.”

By module count, the Hartmans knew they had a yield close to the One Ton Club mark, and that was confirmed when they received their receipts from the gin. Willem said he was not only amazed at the pounds, but the quality of the cotton was excellent, too. He sold his One Ton Club cotton for a 3-cent premium because of the great fiber quality.

On the way to the One Ton Club banquet, Ruth asked Willem what he would do if they won the One Ton Club truck. Willem didn’t think much about it, because it didn’t seem possible.

“I didn’t think I was going to win – I never win anything,” Willem said. “But if you are going to win something, you might as well win something good.”

Best of the Best
Individual awards presented during the banquet included highest yield, highest gross value, highest loan value, most acres and most varieties:

Highest Yield and Highest Gross Value Per Acre:
Larry Hancock, with 3,260 pounds and $1,854.94 per acre with FM 2334GLT

Highest Loan Value:
Mark Pratt, 58.17 cents with FM 2322GL and FM 1830GLT

Most One Ton Club Acres:
Chris Matschek and Doyle Schaefer, 425 acres with FM 1944GLB2 and FM 2484B2F

Most Varieties Achieving One Ton Club Yields
Eleven farming operations made One Ton Club yields last season with two varieties.

Willem and Ruth Harmon

One Ton Club members, Willem and Ruth Hartman, won a Ford Super Duty F-350 King Ranch truck.

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Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9,494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

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