And, if EPA provides final registration, the Indianapolis-based seed company also plans to bring two new varieties containing the WideStrike Insect Protection trait to market this season, company officials said.

“PhytoGen Seed Co. is committed to being a long-term player in the cottonseed market,” said Joe Sobek, global cotton business leader for Dow AgroSciences. PhytoGen is a joint venture between Mycogen Corp., an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC, and the J.G. Boswell Co.

“We plan to bring new, exciting varieties to the market along with real innovation in cotton traits,” he said. “Our Pima and Acala varieties continue to be the products of choice among growers in California, and our conventional varieties in the Eastern markets have provided an excellent foundation for growth.”

PhytoGen plans to introduce five new varieties, a new consistent look from coast to coast and increased market visibility, says Sobek.

Four of the new PhytoGen varieties will include the Roundup Ready trait:

  • PHY 410 R, an early-to-mid maturity Roundup Ready variety adapted for the Mid-South, Southeast and Southwest;
  • PHY 510 R, a full season Roundup Ready variety adapted for the Southeast and southern areas of the Mid-South;
  • PHY 710 R, A Roundup Ready Acala;
  • PHY 810 R, the first Roundup Ready Pima variety available to the market.
“Each of these new varieties has demonstrated high yield potential and good-to-excellent fiber quality in company and university tests during 2003,” said Sobek.

The fifth new variety is PHY 800, a conventional Pima variety that has also shown outstanding yield potential and excellent fiber quality in field tests.

“All of the new varieties will be in limited supply during 2004,” says Duane Canfield, cotton marketing specialist for PhytoGen and Dow AgroSciences. “We intend to manage our supplies to maximize use and exposure for these varieties in all markets.

“This is the first of multiple new variety introductions scheduled for the next few years for all major cotton markets,” he noted. “PhytoGen’s breeding program continues to develop exciting new varieties which, combined with traits like WideStrike and Roundup Ready, will provide growers new options for high-yielding, profitable cotton production.”

PhytoGen is also introducing a new logo and graphics for 2004.

“Since PhytoGen’s inception, the company has used multiple logos,” said Canfield. “Some were used only in the western markets, some in the East and some crossed over into both. As we begin this new stage in PhytoGen’s growth, we wanted a clean consistent look for everything we do.”

The new logo features PhytoGen’s familiar blue and green colors and a stylized cotton boll. The logo will be prominent on all company materials, including field signs, caps and bags.

All conventional PhytoGen varieties, including Acala and Pima varieties for California, will feature a blue coating to match the bag. Roundup Ready varieties will have red coating and a red stripe on the bag. Additional colors will be used as WideStrike and stacked gene varieties are added to the product line.

“For 2004, we will package our seed in 50-pound bags,” says Canfield. “We’re exploring our options for converting to seed count bags and plan to do so as soon as possible.”

“These are exciting times for us,” said Sobek. “Our pipeline is full of high-performing varieties, and we’re poised to build a solid future. We have some aggressive growth goals set for the next several years, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to reach them.”

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com