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Time to Pick Your 2018 Cotton Varieties

By Robert Cossar, Technical Seed Manager and Cotton Product Manager, CROPLAN Seed

If you are a cotton farmer, you are probably starting to analyze this year’s yield data and turning your thoughts toward what varieties to plant in 2018. While yield and quality are always top considerations, here are some additional factors you and your agronomist will want to review during the selection process.If you are a cotton farmer, you are probably starting to analyze this year’s yield data and turning your thoughts toward what varieties to plant in 2018. While yield and quality are always top considerations, here are some additional factors you and your agronomist will want to review during the selection process.

Insect control
A number of cotton growers in the mid-South saw a good number of worm escapes in 2017 — so much so that it seems like some tolerance and possibly resistance to current traits on the market may be building up. This is a big concern, making the selection of appropriate varieties all the more vital. Fortunately, many of today’s cotton varieties assist with delivering insect control.

For example, Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton uses advanced technology to help provide protection from lepidopterous pests, including cotton bollworm. Bollgard® 3 cotton adds another protein — Vip3A — to the Cry1AC and Cry2AB Bt proteins found in Genuity Bollgard II® cotton varieties, helping to create a triple-mode-of-action scenario. Though only commercially available in limited quantities for planting in 2018, this wider spectrum of worm control could translate into fewer sprays and less potential damage to your cotton all season long.

Weed control
Developing and implementing a good weed-management program is crucial to helping your crop achieve its yield and quality potential. Both Bollgard® 3 and Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton offer varieties with XtendFlex® Technology, which is the first cotton technology that provides tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. In addition to choosing the right traits for weed management, be sure to scout when plants begin putting on fruit or squares, as well as bolls, to stay ahead of any pressures.

Geography
Because we handpick seed from the industry’s top genetics, we can offer a broad selection of varieties specially adapted to local conditions. Selecting the right cotton variety for a specific geography is important to help ensure optimal performance.

For example, the CROPLAN® brand brings five transgenic cotton varieties to the market:

  •  3475B2XF (early) is a broad fit across the upper Southeast, upper mid-South and upper High Plains.
  • 3527B2XF is an early-mid type that is best positioned on highly managed acres.
  • 3226B2XF is a great option for the Texas panhandle market.
  • 3885B2XF and 3787B2RF (mid-maturities) have great adaptability across the Cotton Belt and excellent performance potential in the lower Southeast, lower mid-South and irrigated southeast Texas.

Your agronomist can help you choose the genetics that help deliver the quality and yield potential that meet the demands of your specific region.

WinField United does a great deal of on-farm testing of new cotton varieties, measuring how they performed on different soil types and under various management practices. We also have access to data on university cotton trials. Talk with your WinField representative about what cotton varieties you should consider for the 2018 growing season. You can also visit find out more about CROPLAN® cotton varieties here.