Among traits seed companies are working on that may be incorporated in future varieties, Dodds says, is drought tolerance — “I think we’ll see this first in corn varieties, but cotton probably will benefit from this research at some point in the future.

“There is also work going on developing transgenic lygus control in cotton; Bollgard III, the next generation of that technology, is also on the way; and we starting to see some work on dicamba/glufosinate-tolerant cotton.

“Research is also under way on nematode-resistant cotton. About 35 percent of our cotton ground has reniform nematodes; 10 percent to 15 percent has root knot nematodes, and where these problems exist, that technology would be useful.”

Closer on the horizon, Dodds says, are Glytol cotton and Glytol plus LibertyLink varieties from Bayer.

“Glytol plus LibertyLink was scheduled to become available last year in west Texas, but they had to pull back, and it’s my understanding it will be available this year.

“In the pipeline from Dow are varieties with additional nematode resistance and VipCot with the Syngenta developed Bt protein.

“The issue with many of the herbicide traits is that we’re recycling modes of action we’ve had for years. With dicamba cotton, for example, we’re recycling herbicide chemistry we’ve had for 30 or 40 years; with 2,4-D cotton, we’re recycling a chemistry we’ve had for 60 or 70 years.

“New modes of action coming into the market are virtually nonexistent right now. Industry is working on new chemistries, but it’s a very complex, very expensive, very time-consuming process — which makes it all the more important that we protect the modes of action we have, particularly the PPOs for soybeans.

“We really need to work hard not only to rotate modes of action, but to rotate crops in order protect these key chemistries as long as we can.”