DP 555 BG/RR, the stacked-gene cotton variety from Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL) continued to demonstrate high yield and good fiber-quality potential in many cotton growing areas of the United States in 2003.

A mid- to full-season, Bollgard/Roundup Ready variety, DP 555 BG/RR has exhibited outstanding yield potential and high lint turnout in testing over the past three years. 2003 was the product's first, full-commercial launch and it was one of the top-three varieties in terms of acres planted in the United States.

“Many U.S. cotton producers have now seen the extremely high-yield potential DP 555 BG/RR offers,” says Jim Willeke, vice president of sales and marketing for D&PL.

Mississippi

In Grace, Miss., the father-son farming team of Jim and Jason Wade planted 360 acres of DP 555 BG/RR last season. The Wades followed an aggressive Pix program until half of the 360 acres had received a total of 24 ounces.

The balance of the DP 555 BG/RR acreage received a total of just 16 ounces of Pix.

The half that received 24 ounces was ready to harvest two weeks earlier and picked 1,440 pounds per acre.

“The entire 360 acres of DP 555 BG/RR averaged 1,556 pounds per acre, so obviously, some of it yielded more than 1,550 pounds per acre to get to that average,” said Jim. “We have never made that kind of cotton yield.”

The Wades thought they had stunted the cotton that got 24 ounces of Pix.

“But after we got into the field to pick it, I thought that we might pick two bales per acre and grew excited,” said Jim. “I don't know where the other bale came from.”

The entire 360 acres was what Jim's son Jason calls “buckshot” ground.

“We ended up ginning out on 360 acres of buckshot, 1,556 pounds per acre,” he said. “That's pretty good yields. I'd like to plant some more and put it under water this coming year.”

Texas

In Seminole, Texas, John Loepky planted 125 of his 500 total 2003 cotton acres to DP 555 BG/RR. The D&PL variety was planted under pivots and made 5-plus bales per acre.

“The only water the crop received after June 14 was from the irrigation system,” said Loepky. “On the 125 acres of DP 555 BG/RR, I had some 5-bale cotton, and some 5-plus-bale cotton. That is way above the average yield of my farm.”

DP 555 BG/RR was the best-performing variety on the farm. Loepky says the variety held up well through intense heat during the months of July, August and September, when there was no rainfall.

“I will grow DP 555 BG/RR again because I like to make that much cotton, sell it and count my money,” said Loepky. “That's the best way I know to put it. The grades were good and it went into the loan above 55 cents.”

Loepky said he did a better job of controlling the growth of DP 555 BG/RR in 2003. “In 2002, I let it get out of hand a little bit until it grew too tall,” he said. “I studied up on my growth regulator use and this year, I applied more growth regulator earlier and did a better job of controlling growth.”

In 2002, he began applying growth regulator in July. In 2003, he started in June and had a total of 24 ounces of Pix on his crop (3 applications of 8 ounces).

Georgia

Eddie Miller Jr., who farms cotton in Iron City, Ga., sets an annual average yield goal for his farm of 1,100 pounds per acre. He employs an aggressive fertility program to push for higher yields. He learned in 2003 that planting DP 555 BG/RR is the first step in reaching his yield objectives.

“On 370 irrigated acres of DP 555 BG/RR I averaged 1,626 pounds per acre,” said Miller. “I had one 56-acre field that made 1,805 pounds per acre.

Miller's standard fertility program begins with the application of 10-20-30 spiked with 5 pounds of manganese. Then, 10 gallons of pop-up fertilizer mix spiked heavily with manganese is applied. On his conventional-till ground, he plants 8 pounds of seed per acre and applies 5 to 7 pounds of Temik, with Abound at 6 ounces in-furrow.

At the seven- to eight-leaf stage, he makes a side-dress application of 150 pounds of muriate of potash, 125 pounds of K-Mag, 100 pounds of ammonium nitrate (N34), and 100 pounds of ammonium sulfate. At the first- to second-week of bloom, he makes a lay-by application of 1 quart MSMA and 30 gallons of 28-0-0-5 nitrogen.

The fields of DP 555 BG/RR picked clean and the grades were good, said Miller. “We saw 40 and 41 percent gin turnout and we have never had a variety do that,” he said. “We are planning to reduce our wheat acres next year so we can plant our DP 555 BG/RR earlier, and plant more of it.”

D&PL has documented a number of producers who set new yield records on their farms with DP 555 BG/RR in 2003.

“In Texas, Louisiana and southern Arkansas, we have a growing list of producers who made the three-bale-or-better club with DP 555 BG/RR,” says Willeke.” We strongly encourage producers in mid- to full-season markets to try this product with high-yield potential in 2004.”

DP 555 BG/RR, as well as all other D&PL Upland cotton varieties, will be packaged in new seed-count units. Bags will contain a minimum of 250,000 seeds, and Boll Box bulk delivery systems will contain a minimum of 8 million seeds to simplify pricing and production planning. D&PL expects to have a seed supply of DP 555 BG/RR for 2004. To place seed orders for 2004, call Customer Service at 888-511-7333.