Another cotton harvest is in the books. Yet there’s no rest for the weary; planning for 2017 starts now. As growers begin to plan for next year, they factor in generations of experience in three areas of technology – seedling vigor, seed treatment, and controlling nematodes – to maximize profit in fields across the Cotton Belt.
Seedling vigor is critical.
The first 40 days after planting are the most critical to setting the stage for high-quality, high-yielding plants. The better the seedling vigor, the lower the susceptibility to stress from inadequate moisture, cool temperatures, seedling diseases and nematodes, and the higher the chance of season-long success.
“Just as starting with a field clean and free of weeds, choosing a variety with excellent seedling vigor gives your cotton crop the best opportunity to start off with the most potential to succeed,” says Jenny Cahoon, Bayer regional agronomist.
Cahoon says starting the year with a strong seedling can translate into setting your crop up for success all season long. “The Stoneville brand is known for strong, early season vigor with the majority of the varieties in the lineup living up to that trusted name,” she said.
- Stoneville® 5115GLT has both excellent seedling vigor and the added benefits of bacterial blight resistance, intermediate Verticillium wilt tolerance and exceptional yield potential.
- Another variety known for seedling vigor is ST 4946GLB2, which also is tolerant to root-knot nematodes.
- ST 4848GLT has good seedling vigor as well as excellent yield potential.
Protect your investment with a seed treatment.
To finish strong, a cotton crop needs a vigorous start. Some of the biggest influences on yield and quality potential are the management decisions made now, and choosing a seed treatment to protect the crop from nematodes, disease and insects is essential.
A good seed treatment provides immediate protection to developing roots, which helps the plant withstand stress later in the season. Because treated seeds also are more likely to emerge evenly, Cahoon explains the impact stand establishment can have on the season. “Uneven stands can result in bigger, more lush plants that can be more attractive to some insects. Skips in the stand also can cause issues with defoliation and harvest.”
Some excellent options in the Bayer seed treatment arsenal are COPeO™ Prime, Aeris®, Trilex® Advanced, and EverGol® Prime, all of which consistently control pests and optimize profit potential.
Bayer Technical Service Representative Keith Rucker says Bayer offers a couple of great options for nematode control:
- Velum® Total, an in-furrow nematicide, works best in fields with moderate to high nematode pressure. “Velum Total kills nematodes, offering protection for up to 45 days,” says Rucker. “It not only targets all nematode species, but also protects from fusarium wilt, leading to boosted yields.”
- COPeO Prime nematicide seed treatment consistently shows yield increases in fields with low to moderate nematode pressure.
Incorporating a good nematicide rounds out a comprehensive early-season management program. When you can pick a solid variety, match it with the right seed treatment, and keep an eye on nematodes, you’re off to a great start to the cotton growing season.