Growers evaluating new Deltapine cotton varieties

Nearly 150 farmers across the Cotton Belt are evaluating the performance of 13 new Deltapine Class of ’10 cotton variety candidates this season as part of the 2009 New Product Exposure (NPE) program.

The NPE program is in its second year and farmer feedback indicates a lot of value to participating. Mike Hughes of Lamesa, Texas, says “I am very happy to be involved in the NPE program again this year. There are a lot of variety choices for farmers to make and this program gives me the chance to evaluate some of those varieties on my farm in order to decide the best plan for my crops next season.

“Last season, I liked what I saw in DP 0912 B2RF test trials and that experience is the reason I planted a block of that variety this year.” Chuck Coley of Vienna, Ga., says farmers in his area have an eye on the future. “We must find a replacement variety for DP 555 BG/RR and I think the NPE program will help us accomplish that goal. The test program gives us first-hand experience with the new Deltapine varieties and lets us see how these new varieties will perform in our varying soil types and growing conditions. With the large-acre setting, we get a better idea how they perform on our farm. Our Deltapine representative made it possible for us to access these new varieties sooner through the NPE program, helping us every step of the way.”

Dave Albers, U.S. Cotton Germplasm Manager for Monsanto, says the season has started on a strong note. “We are already hearing excitement from growers about the Deltapine Class of ’10 due to the early season start it got and we expect the excitement to grow as fruiting ramps up,” Albers said. “The Class of ’10 is expected to raise the bar for cotton yields and provide excellent quality potential when the best performers are made commercial. The 140-plus NPE growers we are working with across the Cotton Belt play a valuable role in determining the performance potential of these new lines as they evaluate how these products perform on their own farms.”

The Deltapine Class of ’10 varieties, which include genetic advancements and the best traits available in cotton, Genuity Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex, showed outstanding potential in breeder trials for significant yield increases over existing popular commercial cotton lines such as DP 555 BGRR. The new Deltapine Class of ’10 variety candidates have shown high gin turnout without sacrificing desirable medium-to-large seed size — two characteristics that truly impact the bottom line for farmers.

Albers continues, “Many of the farmers who participated in the Class of ’09 trials were so impressed with the results, they planted those varieties on their farms this year. We anticipate the same response to the ‘10 choices. Several Class of ’10 candidates showed above base grade to premium fiber qualities and a range of maturities and plant types in our tests last year. We anticipate promising results in this year’s test plots to show the ability to contribute to on-farm profitability. Understandably, excitement is brewing across the industry for the official launch in December 2009.”

Participating farmers were given three to four new varieties to plant for evaluation on their farm, in their growing conditions and yield environments. By allowing the individual farmer to control all crop management aspects of the trial, the progressive producers are helping to identify the top-performing varieties for improved production and profitability in their region. With at least one module harvested of each variety, the initiative showcases real-world performance potential of the promising new Deltapine cotton varieties. To see how a Deltapine Class of ’10 candidate is performing in their area, farmers are encouraged to contact their Monsanto Local Field Adviser. And to learn what other farmers are saying about the new Deltapine cotton varieties, or to find out more about the New Product Exposure program, http://www.cottoncommunity.com and come out for our technology showcases and field days this summer

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