More growers chose Deltapine brand cottonseed than any other brand, according to a USDA survey by the Agricultural Marketing Service's cotton program.

“We've got new varieties that are performing very well, and we couldn't be more tickled about how they are doing,” says Tom Kerby, vice president of technical services for Delta and Pine Land Company in Scott, Miss.

The USDA report, “Cotton Varieties Planted across the United States,” says roughly one-third of the country's 2003 cotton acreage was planted to Deltapine cotton varieties.

Deltapine brand cottonseed accounted for 69.8 percent of the acreage planted in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. It accounted for 29.6 percent of all cotton acreage planted in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. In the southwestern states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, Deltapine cottonseed was planted on 16.6 percent of the acreage. Almost 28 percent of cotton acreage in Arizona, New Mexico and California was planted to Deltapine varieties, the USDA report says.

The company's most popular varieties were DP555BG/RR, DP 451B/RR, DP 458 B/RR, DP 5415RR, and DP 436RR, accounting respectively for 8.7, 6.5, 4.6, 3, and 1.9 percent of the overall cotton acreage.

Second most popular with cotton growers, according to USDA, was Paymaster cottonseed, which captured 21.3 percent of U.S. acreage, followed by Bayer Crop Science's Fibermax with 15.6 percent, Stoneville with 13.6 percent, and Sure-Grow with 5.4 percent of the total cotton acreage.

Delta and Pine Land Company of Scott, Miss., owns the Deltapine brand, as well as the Paymaster and Sure-Grow cottonseed labels.

Phytogen was the most popular pima variety, the report says, capturing 56.4 percent of all U.S. pima acreage.

It was also the most popular variety planted in California, accounting for 67.5 percent of California pima acreage. Deltapine's DP 744 Pima was the second most-planted American pima variety, and was planted on 15.4 percent of U.S. pima acreage. Another Deltapine variety, DP 340 Pima, was the third most popular variety, with 11.8 percent of the U.S. pima acreage.

In Arizona, 90.1 percent of that state's pima acreage was planted to Deltapine DP HTO.

Kerby says, “Delta and Pine Land Company has made the commitment in our infrastructure and has the infrastructure needed to improve genetics and produce varieties with new germplasm. We have 10 conventional breeding programs that are wholly focused on developing germplasm and are making wide crosses, including using germplasm from around the world with unique traits.”

“In my 10 years with this company, I've never been more pleased with what I see in our pipeline. It's also clear we haven't rested on our laurels. We're continuing to make sizable investments in research and technical services, and we believe it's paying off,” he says. “We've made the investment, and now we've got the pipeline to show we're getting a return on that investment.

“What's more, we're here to stay because we've made the commitment to do so, and we certainly believe that Delta and Pine Land coming in first place will be a continuing theme.”

Because more and more of the U.S. cotton business is export, Kerby says, today's higher-yielding varieties will help growers while also giving the textile mills the cotton fiber characteristics they need.


e-mail: dmuzzi@deltaland.net