If you want to know what Southeast growers are planting, look no further than USDA Cotton Varieties Planted Report 2012, which says PhytoGen brand PHY 499 WRF, PHY 375 WRF and PHY 367 WRF were planted on 42 percent of Southeast cotton acres.

PhytoGen development specialists Steve Brown, Russell Nuti and Joel Faircloth say the varieties “jump, shoot and leap” out of the ground. As Alabama grower Jason Pate says, seedling vigor matters. “I don’t have time for a re-do,” Pate says.

According to PhytoGen, growers also can look for PhytoGen varieties to manage weather risk and take advantage of late planting opportunities behind other crops such as wheat. Here’s more on these varieties. Each includes WideStrike, a two- gene Bt insect protection trait from Dow AgroSciences that delivers control of key worm pests, such as tobacco budworm, corn earworm/cotton bollworm, fall armyworm, cabbage looper, and soybean looper. They also contain Roundup Ready Flex technology. The information was provided by the seed company.

PHY 499 WRF is a mid-maturing variety that’s broadly adapted across the Cotton Belt, regularly tops yield trials year-in, year-out and produces very good to excellent fiber quality with high gin turnout. It is adapted to the Southeast, Mid-South and Southwest. It is selected for very broad adaptation, superior yield potential, stability of yield and very good to excellent fiber quality.

Primera, Texas, cotton grower Levi Burns has been growing PhytoGenbrand cotton seed for a few years. “PhytoGen varieties are tremendous when it comes to seedling vigor. These varieties come busting out of the ground screaming. PHY 499 WRF had a stand within five days. Every seed came up while some of my other varieties took up to two weeks to get a stand. PHY 499 WRF yielded four bales per acre on my irrigated and over two-and-a-half bales on my dryland.”

In 2012, PhytoGen brand PHY 375 WRF was the No. 3 most planted upland cotton variety according to the USDA. It was planted in the Southwest, Southeast and Mid-South in 2012.

The popularity of PHY 375 WRF is a testament to the variety’s broad adaptation and stress tolerance, the company says. PHY 375 WRF is a standard in the university official variety trials. “It is a very stable, early maturity variety with an indeterminate growth habit. This variety is selected for its broad adaptation, excellent early season vigor, high yield potential and very good to excellent fiber quality.”

Jack Kent of McCrory, Ark., planted PHY 375 WRF last year and he wasn’t used to indeterminate varieties. “PHY 375 WRF has a lot of yield potential and it is easy to manage,” he says. “I had one irrigated field of PHY 375 WRF that picked 1,400 pounds per acre.”

The variety is well known for “come back ability” under extreme weather conditions. “PHY 375 WRF has an uncanny ability to handle stress, and then load a bunch of fruit in a very short time period,” says Robert Lemon, PhytoGen cotton development specialist. “Though we are heading into our sixth year with PHY 375 WRF, it remains a great choice for Texas farming operations and the perfect complement to PHY 499 WRF.”

PHY 367 WRF is a classic early variety that provides exceptional tolerance to root-knot nematodes, and adapted for the Southeast, Southwest and Mid-South, the company says.

It is an early maturity variety with excellent yield, excellent early season vigor, high yield potential and excellent quality. It has been a choice of many producers, especially after the loss of aldicarb for control of root-knot nematodes. Not only does PHY 367 WRF produce well in root-knot nematode fields, it also performs well in Verticillium wilt environments. 

Lubbock, Texas, cotton grower Casey Jones has seen the benefits of planting PHY 367 WRF where nematode populations are the highest. “PHY 367 WRF made the best plant population we have ever had on this particular ground,” says Jones. “The seedling vigor was excellent because the variety came out of the ground running and never stopped. Once you get your fertilizer applied, this variety is ready to rock. It’s also easy to manage.”

For more information, see www.dowagro.com/Phytogen.