Meherrin Chemical introduces area growers to innovative techniques for cotton planting

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 20, 2004

Mother Nature hasn’t been too warmly maternal toward Suffolk’s cotton crop lately, said David Bosselman.

&uot;Cotton is a tropical plant, and it likes heat and moisture,&uot; said Bosselman, who has a farm on Old Myrtle Road. &uot;But the root has to breathe, and it can drown.&uot; Considering that last weekend’s weather blasted the plants with several inches of water, the filaments might have been gasping for air.

But that’s what the second annual Meherrin Chemical field day was for; Thursday afternoon, the company took growers from the area around the Bracey Farm in Holland to show them some new possibilities for their cotton planting.

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&uot;It’s good for farmers to see all these varieties,&uot; said Meherrin’s Bryan Holland. &uot;Out on a thousand-acre farm, they might only have space to plant three or four crops. This lets them see how everything grows.&uot; Samples from such companies as Bayer, Dow, Fibermax and Syngenta were displayed to visitors.

&uot;It’s not too tall or aggressive,&uot; Stoneville representative Mike Webb said of his product, a new and innovative addition to cotton farming, &uot;and it gives farmers the growing pattern they want. The thing we hang out hat on is stability. We don’t want something that’s a one-hit wonder; we want something that a lot of farmers can use on a lot of soils.&uot;

Over the next few months, passersby on Deer Path Road might see some of the new crops on Linwood Faulk’s farm.

&uot;I see some here that I’ve already planted, and some that I’d like to try,&uot; said Faulk, a seven-year veteran of farming. &uot;It looks like the peanut market around here has gone down, so I’m hoping for a great yield in cotton this year.&uot;

&uot;I see some that I haven’t planted yet,&uot; said Bosselman. &uot;I want to see a fair amount of growth, with quality fiber.&uot;

Bracey farmer Mike Griffin watched the crowd move up and down his 209-acre area. &uot;We’re hoping to help them decide which variety to try,&uot; he said. &uot;There are things here that some of them have never planted, and we hope that they might pick some of them up and take them into the future.&uot;