Chris Porter has planted crops on the family farm for 20 years. He says he has dirt in his veins. Keeping his 4,000 acres of cotton, corn, soybeans and rice in the Missouri Bootheel weed-free gives him a sense of pride. That’s one reason he likes what he sees with the Enlist™ weed control system.
Minimum tillage, irrigated
When it’s crunch time, you see who’s up to the task. Take Chris Porter of Southeastern Missouri. Bad weather followed by heavy pigweed pressure couldn’t faze Porter’s weed control program this summer. He used a program approach including Enlist One® herbicide to overcome the challenges and produce some of the cleanest cotton fields he’s ever had.
The year started out rough.
“We were all mud at the beginning of the year,” Porter says. “Then it quit raining, and the pigweed came on strong. We had heavy pigweed pressure.”
It was a challenge to get preemergence herbicides out. Porter stuck with his program approach and saw things turn in his favor.
“We applied preemergence herbicides as best as we could,” he said. He used Brake® herbicide on about half his cotton acres this year.
“It works better over time, though it may help to add something a little faster-acting for your preemergence application. Brake did help lengthen the effectiveness of the preemergence pass. It offers residual activity and provided a good benefit,” he says.
When he needed to tackle the pigweeds, he took advantage of the tank-mix flexibility of Enlist One® herbicide and added Liberty for his first postemergence application. He generally prefers to use Enlist One® herbicide first and follow with an application of Liberty to clean the field up, ideally within 21 days of the application of Enlist One.
“We’ll look at wind direction and chances for rain to determine if we’ll spray Enlist or Liberty,” he says. “If possible, we will start with Enlist One. It provides that initial control.”
This year, the combination of Enlist One and Liberty in the first pass did the trick.
“We have one of the cleanest crops this year that I’ve ever had,” Porter reports. “This is the least amount of chopping money we’ve ever spent to clean up pigweed.”
He’s set up for potentially great yield.
“We have a chance to have a better crop than last year,” he says. “Part of that is because of weed control and part of that is because of the performance of PhytoGen cotton.”
Porter emphasizes the need to control weeds before they get out of hand.
“It’s like an obsession to get the weeds when they are small,” he says. “We must stop what we’re doing and go spray them. We know what happens when they get more than 6 inches. Being on top of them at the beginning of the year is of utmost importance.”
Porter says he’s anticipating harvest results.
“Our cotton crop looks great right now,” he says. “The scout, the sales rep and I have all walked the fields. I think it will match last year’s crop, which was excellent. We’ll match it or be about 50 pounds more per acre. That would be a win.”
Porter says he needs the performance he’s getting from PhytoGen® cottonseed.
“I had thought about not planting PhytoGen W3FE varieties next to some neighbors with non-Enlist cotton to make it easier on them when spraying,” he says. “But with the results we are seeing, we can’t afford to do that. We love seeing these results, and we will be able to coexist with our neighbors.
“Or maybe I’ll convince them to be on our team with Enlist,” he adds. “I’ve even offered to spray Enlist herbicide for my neighbors if they want to plant PhytoGen varieties next to mine. That way they don’t have to deal with sprayer cleanout. It’s that good that I’d do that so we can work together.”