Ken Lege talks PhytoGen Cotton Varieties at Schantz Farms Field DayFri, 16 Sep 2022 11:37:35 CDT
Associate Farm Editor, Reagan Calk, visited with PhytoGen Cotton Development Specialist, Ken Lege, during the Schantz Farms Field Day in Hydro, Okla. on September 15. Lege talks about different PhytoGen cotton varieties showcased at Schantz farms during the field day and the traits that make them unique.
“This year was so challenging starting out,” Lege said. “We had hot and dry conditions throughout the season, and I am surprised at how well all cotton is looking right now under pivots. Dry land is a different situation. If you had dry land left, it may not be there very long, as we know with the hot and dry conditions.”
Irritated cotton, Lege said, has surprisingly rebounded thanks to August rains.
“Successful yields are made with August rains, so the timing was great on those,” Lege said. “It is not going to be the yields that we have come to expect from previous years. My guidance to a lot of people is, if you have a four or five-bale yield field, three-plus would be realistic expectations this year.
From a seed company perspective, Lege said this year’s conditions provide them with the opportunity to look at the survival of the fittest among different cotton varieties. In a really tough year, Lege said the variety that rises to the top may not be the same one that flourishes in a year with more wet and milder temperatures.
“We still collect that data and compare it to other environments in other geographies where maybe that was the case, and we have a little bit better comfort level as to how to position these varieties in the future,” Lege said.
Around Hydro, Lege said it is important to get a good start to the growing season with a good stand.
“Replanting cotton, you can be successful at it, but it is just not the way to start the season typically,” Lege said. “So, good early season vigor where that plant has established the stand that you want in the range that you want- number of plants per acre.”
Second of importance, Lege said, is maturity.
“While we get started on time, sometimes in this part of the world, we can have early falls,” Lege said. “So far, it looks like September has been very kind to us with head units continuing. Hopefully, that included October. We say that every year, but it is true- we need heat units not only in September, but a few in October to make that full crop. So, I would say second of importance, of course, to yield potential, is maturity and the ability of that variety to finish the season strong.”
PhytoGen, Lege said, has a wide range of varieties in terms of maturities and what goes on dryland, irrigated and in between.
We offer the growers in this part of the world a lot of options in terms of knowing varieties, but also trait packages,” Lege said. “What we are known for at PhytoGen- usually the first thing people notice when they haven’t grown PhytoGen before and they grow us is that it comes up and it comes up fast and even.”
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