What is in this article?:
- Yield and traits top Texas cotton growers priority lists
- Traits reduce hassles
- Some still want conventional options
"It dictates the type of management system they will have in place for the coming crop season," he said. "Yield is a big incentive for a producer selecting a variety that's well adapted for their area, but input cost for growing a variety, conventional or GMO, is equally important."
Morgan said a tool is available for cotton farmers to compare costs and income for conventional and genetically modified cotton at http://agfacts.tamu.edu/~lfalcone/newweb/cropbudgets.htm. The site's budgets were developed by Dr. Larry Falconer, AgriLife Extension economist at Corpus Christi, to use in comparing yields and varieties.
"I recommend producers use these budget tools to determine if conventional or GMO varieties are for them," he said.
The upfront costs of genetically modified cotton is what many producers fret about, especially when you throw in drought conditions like those in 2009, Morgan said.
"You're looking at $50 more an acre upfront cost if you go with BG2 RoundupFlex variety for seed and technology fees," he said. "However, the budget estimates indicate about a $2-an-acre difference in season-long input cost between the conventional and BG2 RoundupFlex system. Another thing that plays into this is the logistics. The Roundup Ready Flex cotton system has simplified weed management and has allowed more farmers to cover more acres while maintaining excellent weed control. So, they may not want to go back to conventional cotton systems."