When cotton grower William Dunlow makes yearly plans for his farming operation, he steps back to consider the big picture and get a bird’s-eye view. That’s going to be a little easier now that Dunlow won an unmanned aerial vehicle as the grand-prize winner in the 2016 PhytoGen Best Yielder Club sweepstakes.
In addition to the UAV, the grand prize includes UAV operation training and a professional photo shoot at Dunlow’s farm in Gaston, North Carolina. The photos will be used to create a one-of-a-kind, personal coffee table book featuring his operation. Dunlow says he is surprised to win the Best Yielder Club sweepstakes and excited about the prizes.
“I was at a meeting where they were talking about the PhytoGen Best Yielder Club so I pulled out my phone and signed up,” Dunlow says. “I can’t believe I actually won. I am really excited to use the UAV on the farm. I think it could be a good tool to get an overview of a field and check things you can’t see from the end row.”
Dunlow, who farms with his father, David, said they’ve planted PhytoGen cottonseed for the past eight years with great success. Dunlow said PhytoGen brand varieties were his top yielders in 2015, when he planted PHY 499 WRF and PHY 333 WRF. In 2016, he added two more PhytoGen brand varieties to the mix: PHY 444 WRF and PHY 490 W3FE.
“PhytoGen cottonseed was the highest yielder on the farm last year. It’s always at the top, if not the best on the farm,” Dunlow says. “I love the vigor of PhytoGen cottonseed coming out of the ground. It handles environmental stress well, and it is very uniform across the different soil types on our farm. We plant it because it is consistent cotton, year after year.”
Dunlow also plants PhytoGen cottonseed because of the potential for excellent fiber quality and high grades. That’s one of the reasons he was interested in PHY 444 WRF for 2016.
“Fiber quality is a big topic of conversation in our area,” Dunlow says. “These yields are high, and now the conversation is turning to grades because of the benefits. In this part of the world, we are used to a little premium in our lint grades, and we want to stretch for even higher quality. That’s what sets U.S. cotton apart from the rest of the world.”
Best Yielder Club sweepstakes regional winners
The Best Yielder Club sweepstakes also awarded UAVs and operation training to three regional winners in the Southwest, Midsouth and Southeast. The regional winners are Brady Weishuhn, Vancourt, Texas, Nathan Lee, Tallulah, Louisiana, and James Johnson, Mayesville, South Carolina