Mid-South Growers Take Top Prizes in Bayer CropScience 2013 Cotton Belt Challenge
Two Mid-South cotton growers are the grand prize winners in the 2013 Bayer CropScience Cotton Belt Challenge.
Gene Adams of Manila, AR, and Johnny Watkins of Wardell, MO, each received a customized 4WD Bad Boy Buggies Ambush vehicle from Bayer CropScience. Both growers were entered into the grand prize drawing after each won their region for highest yield and quality.
Adams won the irrigated yield and loan value awards for Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas with a yield of 1,425 pounds and a loan value of 54.89 with Stoneville ST 5458B2RF. Watkins won the dryland yield and loan value awards for Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas with a yield of 1,126 pounds and a loan value of 53.81 with Stoneville ST 4946GLB2.
In the Cotton Belt Challenge, growers in 12 regions submitted yield and loan value entries in two categories – irrigated or dryland cotton. Regional winners received $500 worth of Innovation Plus points and an entry into the grand prize drawing. Grand prizes were awarded in both irrigated and dryland categories.
Watkins planted ST 4946GLB2 because of the increasing difficulties of glyphosate-resistant pigweeds in his area. He wanted a variety with LibertyLink technology that would give him another option and mode of action to manage problem weeds.
“I have always liked Stoneville cotton, and I wanted to try a variety that would allow me to spray Liberty or glyphosate,” Watkins said. “The Liberty herbicide worked really well, and I was very pleased with the yield and quality. Last year was my best cotton crop – the highest average yields I have ever had.”
Like Watkins, Adams had excellent yields on his farm in 2013 due to seasonal, timely rains. He said the Stoneville varieties continue to improve and provide opportunities for growers to achieve better production.
“I have always liked Stoneville cotton, and the varieties keep getting better and better,” Adams said. “These newer varieties are real race horses, so you can manage them for high yields and good grades.”
Adams said fiber quality is more important than ever before, and he pays more attention to loan values because higher quality means better marketability and more profitable cotton production.
“The gins and cotton buyers want better quality, and we can get a premium for it,” Adams said. “With production costs and cotton prices where they are, we need a 3 to 5 cent premium, or whatever we can get.”
Additional information on the Bayer CropScience Cotton Belt Challenge is available online.
Source – Bayer CropScience