From its research at cotton seed breeding stations in Leland, Miss., Sellers, S.C., and Lubbock, Texas, FiberMax will offer new cottonseed varieties in 2007 that have the potential for high yields and high lint quality.

“These three breeding stations allow us to select, develop and evaluate new varieties for optimal performance in widely variable soil types and environmental conditions,” said Steve P. Nichols, U.S. agronomic manager for FiberMax. “In the Mid-South, we have a number of new varieties for 2007 that have been developed specifically for the environmental and growing conditions of that area.”

Prior to working at FiberMax, Nichols conducted cotton research and training at the Delta Research and Extension Center for Mississippi State University. “I really enjoyed my work in the Mid-South,” he said. “That region has a rich history in cotton production, not to mention some of the best farmland in the United States. We are pleased to be involved with such a successful area of cotton production.”

FiberMax provided the following information for its new varieties adapted for areas in the Mid-South in 2007:

  • FM 955LLB2 is an early-maturing variety with LibertyLink and Bollgard II technology. It does not require large amounts of growth regulators. It produces very large bolls and excellent fiber quality, and it performs best on sandy and silty loam soils with irrigation.

  • FM 965LLB2 sets many bolls quickly later in the season. It produces a higher-than-average percentage of total yield on the second- and third-position bolls. It has a semi-tight boll and above-average fiber length, excellent fiber strength and premium to high-base micronaire that is rarely discounted.

  • FM 1800LL is a medium to full-season variety that produces large bolls. Plants are tall and vigorous, and bolls produce a long, strong fiber that has high length uniformity.

  • FM 9063B2F is an early-medium maturing variety Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technology. It is easy to manage with low amounts of plant regulators and has a large boll type with excellent fiber quality. It performs consistently across sandy and silt loams with irrigation.

  • FM 1880B2F is a full-maturing variety with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technology. Management will require plant regulators early in growthy soil types. It produces medium-open bolls and has a good fiber quality package.

Nichols noted that new varieties that will be released in limited testing quantities include FM 1735LLB2, FM 1835LLB2, FM 1740B2F and FM 1840B2F. “Watch for them in 2007 and beyond,” he said.

“The profit equation for cotton growers includes yield and quality,” Nichols said. “Yield generates revenue, and fiber quality pays a premium. A new variety needs to meet these standards before we put it in a FiberMax bag.”

Nichols also noted that the market share for FiberMax has increased for eight consecutive years. According to a newly issued U.S. Department of Agriculture acreage report, FiberMax varieties accounted for 26.7 percent of all U.S. cotton acreage in 2006. The report was issued in September by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service Cotton Program.