Growers sometimes explain why the First 40 Days is a priority by comparing managing a crop to building a house; when building a house, do you focus first on the second story?
Of course not. That’s also why the foundational decisions for your cotton crop are integral to building the harvest you need.
Pre-season decisions include choosing varieties that have strong seedling vigor and are bred from elite germplasm with the characteristics your field needs, including resistance to diseases, such as Verticillium wilt and bacterial blight.
“Growers really need to think about disease impacts going into the season. Growers have seen more Verticillium wilt and bacterial blight in recent years,” says Kenny Melton, Bayer agronomic service manager for the West region. “The most effective way to control these cotton diseases is by planting varieties that have very good tolerance to Verticillium wilt and/or resistance to bacterial blight, depending on what a field needs. A grower can look to the FiberMax lineup to find the right variety for those fields.”
At-plant, growers must protect the cotton crop from pest pressure.
“That First 40 Days is critical to a successful cotton season,” Bayer Senior Technical Representative Russ Perkins says. “What we do starting out makes a difference in how difficult – how expensive – a crop is to manage and it ultimately impacts yield potential. The First 40 Days really determines how successful that season is going to be.”
Growers who plant FiberMax® cotton seed can take advantage of Bayer premium seed treatments, COPeO® Prime, Aeris® and Trilex® Advanced. This three-layer protection adds multiple sites of action for nematode, early-season insect and disease protection.
“This combination presents the best the industry has to offer from a seed treatment for thrips and nematode management,” Perkins says. “Multiple sites of action manage economically damaging nematode species and control thrips and the fungicide protects young cotton from early-season disease.”
The healthy root system that this combination supports is essential throughout the season.
“We sometimes overlook that a healthy root system also helps a plant take up that insecticide that’s going to help protect the plant from thrips,” SeedGrowth Technical Representative Chip Graham notes. “The insecticide is taken up in a more meaningful way when you have a healthy root system.”
Growers who choose Aeris and Trilex Advanced add nematode and disease protection layers to the seed’s coat of armor.
“We have the potential with Aeris, Trilex Advanced and COPeO Prime to limit potential early-season robbers,” Bayer SeedGrowth™ Product Development Manager Jeremiah Mullock points out. “When we add Aeris we’re adding a second chemistry for nematodes and also adding dual protection, two sites of action, for thrips in Aeris.”
For Southwest growers, Graham notes an important advantage with Aeris: “Aeris outperforms other seed treatments on Western flower thrips.”
Trilex Advanced increases disease protection. “Trilex Advanced gives you protection not only from Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Fusarium spp,” Graham says, “but also suppresses black root rot, or Thielaviopsis basicola.”
For increased plant health and protection against all economically damaging nematode species, Perkins recommends Velum® Total.
“Velum Total has worked extremely well for our growers. We’ve had good success both in furrow and in the drip,” Perkins says. “I’ve got a number of growers who have said they won’t grow another cotton crop without it.”
Shortly after planting, the crop needs an additional layer of protection from weeds. Early-season weed competition dramatically decreases the crop’s yield potential; manage weeds before you see them.
“From what we’ve seen with the resistant population on the Texas High Plains these days, Liberty should be in that first application post-plant. You don’t want to try something else, then come in with Liberty to get the escapes,” Perkins says. “Our best management practice recommendation is to put Liberty in the tank that first time you’re going across with your early post application when those weeds are small. That gives you a good foundation to work off of for the rest of the season.”
©2018 Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Always read and follow label instructions. Bayer (reg’d), the Bayer Cross (reg’d), Aeris®, COPeO®, FiberMax®, Liberty®, SeedGrowth™, Trilex® and Velum® are trademarks of Bayer. Aeris is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Aeris, Liberty and Trilex Advanced are not registered in all states. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at www.CropScience.Bayer.us