How to Get Cotton Back on Track this Season
Cotton farmers in the Southeast have dealt with challenging weather from day one this season. After delays in planting due to cool soil temperatures, cotton farmers are now dealing with the aftermath of extended periods of rainfall. In a recent episode of Helena’s FieldLink Podcast, Sales Representative Garrett Brewer and Product Specialist Brian Carroll from Georgia explore product options that can help farmers put their cotton crop back on track for a successful harvest.
“What you worry about with any kind of stressful cotton situation is shedding fruit or lack of fruit retention,” says Brewer. “You’re starting to leach out a lot of your nutrients. You don’t have a lot of sunlight. The plant can’t go through it’s mechanism of photosynthesis, so we’re really in a stressful environment for every age of cotton.”
In this situation, Carroll recommends Utilize, a foliar nutritional specifically designed to enhance cotton reproduction. By improving pollination, strengthening fruit set, and increasing boll retention, Utilize helps cotton plants reach their full reproductive potential. It also helps increase chlorophyll content to improve photosynthesis.
“It really helps to set fruit as the plant goes into that peak demand period for blooming and drawing up nutrients to help make the crop,” says Carroll.
What makes Utilize unique are oligosaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates found in plants. They help Utilize target reproductive functions of cotton plants such as fruit set, retention and maturity. Other products rely on synthetic plant hormones that can disrupt the delicate balance between vegetative and reproductive growth. Unlike Utilize, they have the potential to produce excess vegetation, which counters the activity of plant growth regulators designed to slow growth and push cotton toward reproduction.
“Utilize increases the polyamine production in that cotton plant, which will allow it to focus its energy on flowering and reproduction,” says Carroll.
This activity is why Utilize is proven to impact yield with significant increases in lint production. In independent, third-party research conducted over a six-year period, cotton treated with Utilize showed an average yield advantage of 155 pounds per acre. For more information on what Utilize can do for your cotton crop, contact your local Helena representative. To hear more from Helena’s cotton experts, tune in to Episode 37 of the FieldLink Podcast wherever you listen.