Planning Ahead for Cotton Planting


Many growers remember a time when the number of cotton varieties were limited and choosing traits wasn’t an issue. Those days are gone, but the fundamentals of choosing varieties are the same: look for proven varieties that offer consistent performance in your area.

“Some varieties may be more ‘showy’ than others. This may not, however, translate into high yields,” Debbie Brown – Bayer Regional Agronomist

The view from the cab of the tractor can steer us in the right direction – or take us down a disappointing path, points out Bayer Regional Agronomist Debbie Brown.

“Some varieties may be more ‘showy’ than others. This may not, however, translate into high yields,” Brown says. “Often the less showy, i.e. the less ‘fluffy’ varieties, are better suited to withstand late-season storms, resulting in more cotton in the picker and less on the ground.”

That’s just one reason why reviewing gin reports is important. Quality data is another profit-enhancing opportunity.

“Fiber micronaire, staple and strength are just three of the factors that can take your earnings report from ‘woe’ to ‘WOW’,” Brown says. “Growers who select a variety with consistent fiber quality will add peace of mind against a disappointing gin ticket.”

Vigor, expected turn-out and yield results also are important characteristics to consider.

“Growers should familiarize themselves with seed size and expected turnouts when selecting a variety,” Brown says. “Large seeds often give outstanding early-season vigor and more uniformed and predictable stands. While larger-seeded cotton varieties often have slightly lower turn-outs, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have lower yields and your profit opportunity may be higher.”

Growers in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic who are choosing varieties for 2018 should take a look at:

  • ST 4949GLT
  • Growers looking for strong disease management characteristics in a variety with exceptional yield potential should consider ST 4949GLT. Whether planted to dryland or under irrigation, this early/medium variety offers exceptional yield potential, good fiber quality and very high lint turnout. Growers familiar with ST 4946GLB2 can step into ST 4949GLT, which thrives under similar management.

  • ST 5020GLT
  • Growers can add income without increasing production cost by planting a variety known for high quality. ST 5020GLT is one of those varieties, offering premium fiber quality and strong yield to finish a season that starts with early-season vigor, standability and bacterial blight resistance.

    “ST 5020GLT has shown consistent, strong yield in the Mid-Atlantic and has one of the best fiber packages of all of the Stoneville lines,” says Jenny Cahoon, Bayer regional agronomist.

  • ST 5517GLTP
  • ST 5517GLTP increases your opportunity for exceptional yield and decreases the chance that you’ll have to overspray for worms. ST 5517GLTP starts strong with early-season vigor and doesn’t let bacterial blight or worms interfere with its high-yield potential.

    Growers who saw heavy worm pressure in recent years should take a close look at ST 5517GLTP, Cahoon says. “ST 5517GLTP has our latest insect trait package, TwinLink Plus, which has three genes providing resistance to lepidopteran pests to help growers protect bolls mid-season to get them to harvest.”
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