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Yield Potential Drives Herbicide Decisions in Tennessee Valley
On June 19, Lee Lasater was in a self-propelled sprayer, making herbicide applications to his northeast Alabama cotton fields. Along with his cousin, who helped haul water, that’s all it took.
“I basically spray the fields by myself with one sprayer,” Lasater said. “That’s how easy weed control has become for us since we adopted the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System.”
Lasater is part of a family farm near Hazel Green, Alabama, just two miles south of the Tennessee state line in what’s known as the Tennessee Valley. Like many areas in the South, this row-crop region of northeast Alabama has been hit hard by resistant Palmer amaranth. Before he began planting Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton, weed management was expensive and time-consuming, even requiring handpulling weeds at times. After planting cotton with XtendFlex Technology in 2016, Lasater’s family farm has seen clear benefits.
“The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System has helped us become much more efficient at controlling weeds,” he said. “Before we could spray dicamba herbicides in cotton, weed control was tough.”
Along with effective weed control, Lasater believes there must be results in terms of yield potential and fiber quality in the varieties he plants. When he selects varieties to plant, he looks for strong vigor for no-till fields, the ability to handle drought stress during the summer and consistent yield potential and fiber quality. He has found all of these things in the two Deltapine® varieties he plants.
“We’re growing DP 1646 B2XF and DP 1725 B2XF because of their consistency, fiber grades
and the ability to control weed breakthroughs with dicamba. The yields have been phenomenal. Consistency is very important these days.”
DP 1725 B2XF has an earlier maturity than DP 1646 B2XF, allowing Lasater to start harvest on fields planted to DP 1725 B2XF while he waits on DP 1646 B2XF to mature.
“We are consistently making three-bale cotton around here, and it goes back to the genetics of cotton with XtendFlex Technology,” said Lasater. “We plant DP 1725 B2XF, which we like for its early maturity on dryland fields, and DP 1646 B2XF, which has performed very well under our center pivots.”
The 2019 season, for Lasater, featured very light insect pressure and plenty of rainfall early before the typically dry, hot summer set in. Weed pressure wasn’t bad, and XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology (Restricted Use Pesticide) took care of the weeds he
had. Perfect harvest conditions greeted him in October.
His early-harvested dryland field planted to DP 1725 B2XF averaged 1,500 pounds per acre, according to gin receipts. His later-harvested fields of irrigated DP 1646 B2XF pushed 1,700 pounds per acre.
“Deltapine cotton with XtendFlex Technology has held up well in the conditions we face in the Tennessee Valley,” said Lasater. “We like the cotton varieties we’re currently planting.”