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Source: Bayer CropScience news release

Two Mid-South Stoneville® cotton growers are the grand prize winners in the 2013 Bayer CropScience Cotton Belt Challege™, and each received a customized 4WD Bad Boy® Buggies Ambush™ vehicle. Gene Adams of Manila, Ark., and Johnny Watkins of Wardell, Mo., were entered into the grand prize drawing after they won their region for highest yield and quality.

Gene Adams of Manila, AR, was the 2013 Cotton Belt Challenge grand prize winner for irrigated acres. Adams won the highest yield and fiber quality in his region with Stoneville ST 5458B2RF. Adams was selected in a drawing of all irrigated winners to receive the Bad Boy Buggies Ambush ATV.
• Gene Adams won the irrigated yield and loan value awards for Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas with a yield of 1,425 pounds and a loan value of 54.89 with Stoneville ST 5458B2RF.

• Johnny Watkins won the dryland yield and loan value awards for Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas with a yield of 1,126 pounds and a loan value of 53.81 with Stoneville ST 4946GLB2.

Growers in 12 regions submitted yield and loan value entries in two categories, irrigated and dryland cotton. Regional winners received $500 worth of Innovation Plus™ points and an entry into the grand prize drawing. Grand prizes were awarded in both irrigated and dryland categories.

Watkins planted a Stoneville variety that was new in 2013, ST 4946GLB2, because of the increasing difficulties of glyphosate-resistant pigweeds in his area. He wanted a variety with LibertyLink® technology that would give him another option and mode of action to manage problem weeds.

Johnny Watkins (r) of Wardell, MO, poses with Bayer CropScience sales representative Victor Sample and the dryland grand prize Bad Boy Buggie Ambush ATV. Watkins won the dryland category for highest yield and quality in his region with ST 4946GLB2.
"I have always liked Stoneville cotton, and I wanted to try a variety that would allow me to spray Liberty or glyphosate," Watkins said. "The Liberty herbicide worked really well, and I was very pleased with the yield and quality. Last year was my best cotton crop - the highest average yields I have ever had."

Like Watkins, Adams had excellent yields on his farm in 2013 due to seasonal, timely rains. He said the Stoneville varieties continue to improve and provide opportunities for growers to achieve better production.

"I have always liked Stoneville cotton, and the varieties keep getting better and better," Adams said. "These newer varieties are real race horses, so you can manage them for high yields and good grades."

Adams said fiber quality is more important than ever before, and he pays more attention to loan values because higher quality means better marketability and more profitable cotton production.

"The gins and cotton buyers want better quality, and we can get a premium for it," Adams said. "With production costs and cotton prices where they are, we need a 3 to 5 cent premium, or whatever we can get."

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