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Grower Harvests One Ton Despite Early Weather Woes

Cotton growers on the Texas High Plains are accustomed to wind and sand, but 2008 created spring weather that was extreme, even by their standards. In spite of the adverse conditions, many High Plains growers, including Joel Drake, produced a profitable crop with FiberMax cotton varieties from Bayer CropScience.



“We had a hot, windy spring after the cotton came up. The wind just kept blowing and blowing,” said Drake, who farms about 2,500 acres near Meadow and Ropesville. “When the early frost came, it set us back again, and I would say it was one of the roughest years that I remember.”

With FM 9180B2F and FM 9063B2F, Drake produced 2,112 pounds per acre and 1,960 on his two irrigated plots. He joined the FiberMax One Ton Club for the third year in a row. Drake credits his drip irrigation, consultants and intensive management techniques with the success, but he said he couldn’t have done it without the two FiberMax cotton varieties.

“FiberMax is a go-getter — the varieties on my farm kept producing when everything else had hit a stopping point,” Drake said. “FiberMax varieties just keep on loading up. With the weather last year, I didn’t think my cotton was going to do anything — didn’t think it had time to make anything — but it never quit.”

Steve Nichols, Bayer CropScience U.S. agronomic manager, agreed with Drake that FiberMax varieties reach their maximum potential when growers implement best management techniques and incorporate technologies such as drip irrigation. Nichols said FiberMax varieties continued to outperform other varieties in both yield and quality in 2008 Texas Cotton Agronomic Performance (CAP) trials, which are managed by growers in conjunction with Bayer CropScience.

“This year’s CAP trials in Texas proved what 66% of cotton growers in the Southwest already believe — FiberMax provides top yield and fiber quality for successful farming operations,” Nichols said. “And when managed aggressively in a high-input scenario, 17 of our FiberMax varieties have produced more than 2,000 pounds of lint per acre.”

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