Grower Spotlight

You’ve probably heard the old expression “Tried and true,” which usually refers to a product or a process that has worked well in the past, and therefore continues to be trusted. For some growers, that same attitude can apply to cotton seed varieties.

Trey Ziegler of Silverton, Texas, is a good example. He and his father, Brad, are partners on their Circle Z Farms, a sprawling operation that produces both dryland cotton and irrigated cotton.

As for the tried-and-true aspect of their cotton growing, the Zieglers are big fans of established NexGen® XtendFlex® varieties. Those include Americot’s popular seed choices which have proven to perform without containing the well-known Bollgard® trait in them.

Specifically, Trey said they’ve had great results from NG 4792 XF and NG 3500 XF, both of which have high yield potential and superior Verticillium wilt tolerance.

Cotton with disease tolerance is an important factor in Trey’s decision-making, along with the XtendFlex Technology to help them deal with glyphosate resistant weeds. But otherwise, he’s not that concerned about including additional insect-protection traits.

“We didn’t have to spray for worms this year,” Trey said, when discussing Bollgard technologies, “but I know worms can be real bad for some people. We have a consultant who comes out and checks our fields for eggs, but it wasn’t a problem for us.”

The Zieglers are getting very good yields and fiber quality from the NexGen varieties they planted, so for the time being, Trey said he doesn’t feel the need to include other traits. “The NG 3500 variety was awesome,” he said, “and the NG 4792 was just as good. It’s a longer maturity and gave us good staple.”

NG 3500 XF is an early-medium maturity variety with an excellent fiber package, and NG 4792 XF is known for its exceptional disease tolerance, especially on wilt and blight pathogens. Both varieties are ideally suited for the high plains of Texas and southwestern Oklahoma, with reliable performance on either dryland or irrigated acres.

The Zieglers have been farming their land for at least five generations, and the next one is already in place — Trey and his wife Brandi have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. The future has a lot of exciting potential for them.

As for future cotton plans, Trey admitted that he’ll probably be willing to try the new Bollgard varieties at some point. For now, though, he’s happy with his current choices, and the proof is there at harvest time.

“The NG 3500 and NG 4792 really worked for us,” he said. “We’ll definitely plant them again next year.”

“Trey and Dane have a great work ethic,” added Derrel, their Americot sales representative. “They’re good young farmers, and we need more of them.”

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