US Cotton Growers Expand Acres Planted With New Herbicide Traits
In 2019, US cotton growers intend to plant the new herbicide traits (Enlist or Xtend) on 69% of total cotton acres; up from 61% last year.
During the late winter of 2019, Stratus interviewed 350 cotton growers to ask about their experiences in 2018, their views about the performance of each cotton seed brand and trait, and their planting intentions for 2019.
The study found that Enlist or Xtend varieties will be planted on 76% of cotton acres in Eastern regions; 65% in Texas.
Glyphosate Resistant Weeds
In cotton growing areas, 60% to 80% of crop land is infested with glyphosate resistant weeds, most commonly Palmer amaranth.1 So for most cotton growers, the shift to Enlist or Xtend has been driven by the need to control glyphosate resistant weeds with new herbicide modes of action.
In 2018, by far the majority of growers who planted these traits were satisfied with the weed control that they achieved. The Enlist and Xtend traits were rated the best traits for reliable, effective weed control including the control of glyphosate resistant weeds. These traits also get high marks for yields, agronomics and insect control. And the Enlist and Xtend traits hold the strongest value position considering the combination of yield and cost.
Impact on Seed Brand Decisions
Availability of these new traits impacted the choice of seed brands for 2019. When cotton growers considered but rejected a seed brand, the top reason was that the traits they wanted were not available in the varieties from that seed brand. Other common reasons were lower yields and price too high. There were big differences in these factors from one seed brand to another.
The rapid and extensive adoption of the new herbicide traits in cotton was driven by the urgent need to control resistant weeds. Based on grower experience to date, the Enlist and Xtend traits will be critical to successful cotton production in the foreseeable future.
1 Stratus – Weed Resistance Tracking Study – USA 2018
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