Grower Spotlight

When it comes to making good choices about growing cotton, West Tennessee grower Drew Bailey is a perfect example.

Actually, the positive results of Drew’s effective decision-making go back even further in his life.

“I’m the fourth generation of my family here on the farm, so I grew up around agriculture,” he said, “but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do with my life.” After graduating from high school, Drew left home to attend Middle Tennessee State University, where he majored in History and Geography. “My Mom really wanted me to get a college degree,” he added.

But eventually, Drew realized he wanted to get back to farming: good decision. While at MTSU, he also met his future wife, Misty, but she was a “city girl” from Nashville, and Drew wasn’t sure how she’d adjust to farm life. (“We’ve only got 14,000 people in our whole county,” he said with a laugh.)

Lucky for him, Misty adapted to country living. She and Drew were married in 2008, and they’re now the proud parents of three children, Lola, Evan and Ty.

Drew’s smart decisions about his farming have been extremely rewarding for him, too.

“We stopped planting cotton back in 2007, and went without it for ten years,” he said, “but we wanted the benefits of having it in our rotational mix. We like planting cotton behind corn.”

Drew explained that their operation prefers a three-way rotation of corn, cotton and soybeans to take advantage of organic matter in the soil and as a strategy against worms. The Baileys’ farm encompasses about 3800 acres, with roughly a third of it – 1200 acres – in cotton last year.

“In 2017, we were ready to plant cotton again, then in 2019, we heard about NexGen®, which was a new name to us,” Drew said. “We planted a little of it that year, and we were pleasantly surprised.”

Drew chose NG 4936 B3XF – another good decision – on the advice of his Americot sales representative Andy Rowsey. The NG 4936 has really impressed the Baileys with its performance and its versatility.

“Andy is a great resource for us, and he gave us confidence about planting NexGen,” Drew said. “We’ve had two years with it now, and we couldn’t be happier.”

After their outstanding results with NG 4936 that first season, the Baileys have continually increased the number of acres planted with it since.

“We’ve got wild variations in our soil types here,” Drew said, “and the NexGen 4936 works anywhere – from hills to creek bottoms, on clay or sandier soils – we can just put it in the planter and go. Even with our four or five different soil types, we’ve had great success with it.”

In addition to NG 4936 on the bulk of their acres, the Baileys planted other varieties, including NexGen 3729 B2XF, which Drew said also produced excellent yield and quality.

“We’re extremely pleased with NexGen,” Drew concluded. “We’ve had yields that we thought we’d never reach.”

Isn’t it great when good decisions really pay off?

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