Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL) fires more shots in the cotton revolution this year with a full-scale launch of two new cotton varieties and a limited launch of two others.

D&PL will have a seed supply of DP 444 BG/RR, a variety that is changing fiber quality expectations in early-season, Bollgard/Roundup Ready stacked-gene cottons.

“I am convinced after looking at DP 444 BG/RR harvest results for 2003 that this variety offers a vast potential for improvement in micronaire and other fiber quality traits,” says Tom Kerby, vice president of technical services for D&PL. “Many producers who grew large acreages of this product reported no discounts, and many reported getting a premium.”

DP 444 BG/RR has performed well across a wide area of the Mid-South and Southeast. Management requirements for DP 444 BG/RR are similar to those for PM 1218 BG/RR.

“DP 444 BG/RR tends to be one to two days earlier than PM 1218 BG/RR and SG 215 BG/RR,” Kerby says. “It has shown very good early-season vigor.”

This product, 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 will also have a seed supply of DP 449 BG/RR for the 2004 season. A new mid-maturity, stacked-gene variety, DP 449 BG/RR is another product that offers improvements in both yield and fiber quality potential over other stacked-gene cottons. It has demonstrated good yield stability in both University and D&PL testing to date.

“DP 449 BG/RR is a true mid-maturity product about one to two days earlier than DP 458 B/RR and one to two days later then DP 451 B/RR,” says Kerby. “It's an easy-to-manage variety with the potential for both consistent high yield and good fiber quality traits.”

DP 449 BG/RR has demonstrated good yield potential under a variety of growing conditions and soils. It is easy to manage, responds well to growth regulator and picks clean.

Other new cotton seed products from D&PL include:

DP 432 RR: This was the highest-yielding Roundup Ready variety D&PL had in 2003 tests. It may be the highest-yielding Roundup Ready variety being tested in the country, according to Kerby. An early-maturing variety, DP 432 RR has demonstrated very good fiber quality potential as well. It is well-suited for growing areas in southern and central Texas and parts of the Mid-South and Southeast. In D&PL head-to-head testing, this product has demonstrated an average yield higher than any other early-season, Roundup Ready variety available in the market today.

D&PL will have limited quantities of seed for this product in 2004.

DP 494 RR: This product demonstrated in 2003 that it has the potential to deliver the fiber quality producers are accustomed to getting with DP 491, but also offer the flexible and efficient weed control of the Roundup Ready system. DP 494 RR is a mid- to full-season variety that has performed well in south Texas, the central Blacklands and in southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina.

“DP 494 RR has been the highest-yielding, mid- to full-season Roundup Ready variety in our tests and, in addition, tends to offer a better overall fiber package than other Roundup Ready products,” says Kerby.

D&PL will have limited quantities of this product available to producers in 2004.

DP 434 RR: An experimental variety tested in University yield trials and D&PL Agronomic Services Testing in 2003, DP 434 RR is very similar in maturity to SG 521R, but has excellent fiber quality potential. The yield results from testing of DP 434 RR have been similar to yields of DP 432 RR, says Kerby.

“D&PL will have a couple of Roundup Ready products in DP 434 RR and DP 432 RR that offer both very good yield potential and good fiber quality potential,” he says.

DP 488 BG/RR: Also an experimental variety in 2003, DP 488 BG/RR is very similar to DP 449 BG/RR. It has demonstrated excellent fiber quality potential and is a true mid-maturity cotton variety.

2004 will be the second year DP 555 BG/RR will be available. In its first-year, full-commercial launch last season, it was one of the top three most-planted cotton varieties in the United States.

“DP 555 BG/RR has quickly become an industry standard,” says Kerby. “It is a variety all other varieties will be compared against in the future.”

It did not take long for producers across the Belt to realize the high yield potential of DP 555 BG/RR, says Jim Willeke, vice president of sales and marketing for D&PL.

“The industry has given this product a nickname and sung its praises,” he says. “We've even had the world's leading cotton merchants brag about the yield and fiber quality potential DP 555 BG/RR offers producers.”