Advertise With Us

Texas Cotton Growers Gain Root Rot Control

Texas Cotton Growers Gain Root Rot Control

By Florrie Kohn

 

 

 

Research Triangle Park, N.C.—Danny Parker believes. One season of using TOPGUARD Fungicide to control cotton root rot has convinced the Batesville, Texas, grower that he can grow cotton without cotton root rot taking a huge bite out of yields.   Parker tried TOPGUARD in 2012 under a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Section 18 Emergency Exemption. This spring, he’ll apply TOPGUARD again at planting, under a second Section 18 exemption.   “I’d rather not plant cotton without TOPGUARD,” Parker says. “I’m sold on it.” In one field, where historical cotton root rot yield losses have run as high as 45%, with TOPGUARD in place, Parker saw yields increase from about 900 lbs. to 1,500 lbs. per acre. {{more}}   “We learned a lot about TOPGUARD last year,” says Parker. He left an untreated plot in one field to test TOPGUARD’s performance and there was a big difference in control after a midseason rain sparked disease development. In the untreated plot, cotton stalks turned black, he relates.   “There was a black spot in the middle of this white cotton field. I knew the root rot would be in that spot because I had it there a few years ago. What I didn’t know was that TOPGUARD would take care of all of the root rot in the rest of the field,” he attests.    “I plan to use TOPGUARD on everything. I wouldn’t plant any cotton if I didn’t use it. That’s how big of a difference in made in my fields,” he notes.   He cautions that while all of his irrigated fields responded to TOPGUARD, he achieved his best results on center pivot irrigated ground, using a T-band application at planting.   “TOPGUARD is helping in a lot of ways,” says Rick Minzenmayer, Texas A&M University AgriLIFE Extension Service agent for Runnels, Tom Green and Concho Counties.   “I have not talked to a grower that was dissatisfied with TOPGUARD,” he says. “There were some growers who were a little disappointed. In all the cases where they were somewhat disappointed, it was in dryland situations.”   There are new recommendations for applying TOPGUARD, he notes.   As part of the 2013 emergency exemption, EPA approved two application methods, the T-band—first introduced in 2012—and new this year, modified in-furrow.  With a T-band, TOPGUARD is sprayed in a three- to five-inch band after the seed is dropped and before the furrow is closed. With modified in-furrow, a seed firmer with a Y-split tube applies TOPGUARD to the furrow walls. In both cases, direct contact with the seed is minimized.   For more information on TOPGUARD, cotton growers are encouraged to talk to their local dealer or visit www.cheminova-us.com.