David Pearson has grown cotton on his Missouri farm for more than 50 years. He started farming with his dad and now grows between 5,500 and 6,000 acres of cotton each year. Through the years, he’s experienced many changes, yet it’s relaxing to grow and harvest a good crop, he says.
“My son farms on his own. He enjoys it and has beautiful crops,” Pearson says. “He’ll farm mine when I get ready to retire. It’s important to me to be able to pass the farm on to him.”
Using minimum tillage practices, Pearson also irrigates his cotton and uses cover crops like rye and wheat for erosion control. He works hard to keep his fields weed-free. In 2018, Pearson turned to the Enlist™ weed control system to help control problem weeds, especially pigweed.
“Enlist One herbicide tank-mixed with glufosinate is mean on pigweed,” Pearson says. “It’s another tool, and I wanted to try it.”
Pearson also wanted cotton varieties that would help him manage some re-emerging diseases, such as bacterial blight and target leaf spot. He turned to PhytoGen® cottonseed and the PhytoGen Breeding Traits™ for help. Then he selected varieties with the Enlist cotton trait so he could use Enlist herbicides to control his toughest weeds.
When the cotton was about 8 to 10 inches tall, Pearson made his first postemergence herbicide application. He followed with an application of Enlist One™ herbicide plus a residual. Where weeds were particularly stubborn, he made one more application of Enlist One and glufosinate.
“The combination of Enlist One and glufosinate cleaned up the fields,” Pearson says. “We also have the flexibility to plant non-Enlist soybeans right next to Enlist cotton. We sprayed Enlist One herbicide right next to those soybeans, and it didn’t even wrinkle a leaf. Enlist One herbicide didn’t move.”
Although he has dedicated spray rigs for Enlist herbicides and dicamba, Pearson is diligent about equipment cleanout. He says Enlist One was easy to clean out of the tank using a triple-rinse. He also made sure to clean other parts of the sprayer.
PhytoGen cottonseed varieties with the Enlist trait give Pearson the best opportunity for an excellent harvest. He gets exceptional weed control with the Enlist weed control system as well as the quality, vigor and disease package of PhytoGen cottonseed.
“There’s no doubt the PhytoGen Enlist cotton comes up stronger, growing better. It has a lot of vigor to it,” Pearson says. “I’m going to plant quite a bit of it next year. This is about as good a crop as we’ve raised. I was satisfied with all of my varieties.”
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