Assessing a “bullish” future for the cotton seed treatment market, Bayer CropScience has outlined its strategy for the fast-evolving segment. At the heart of that strategy will be the introduction of new seed-applied technologies uniquely suited to meeting growers' needs, said John Smith, business unit manager, seed treatments with Bayer CropScience.

“Growers have more choices than ever. And Bayer CropScience provides growers a complete portfolio of solutions, from FiberMax Cotton Seed to herbicides, insecticides, plant growth regulators and harvest aids,” Smith said.

“Our ability to provide new products that meet their needs will continue to be imperative. With that in mind, we are bullish on the future of the cotton seed-applied market.”

With the company's foundation product, Gaucho Grande Seed-Applied Insecticide, already well-established, the focus in 2006 will be developing complementary seed-applied products to control additional early insect pests and nematodes, as well as seed-applied fungicides to control disease.

Smith noted that the Bayer CropScience seed-applied fungicide package rated the best in 2005 field trials, the results of which were presented in January at the annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences.

As part of its strategic direction, Bayer CropScience has discontinued any further development of an abamectin-based product for cotton, in favor of pursuing other seed-applied nematicide solutions that have shown greater potential in field testing, Smith said.

In particular, abamectin-based products tested by the company showed inconsistent performance, especially when compared to the superior protection shown over the years by Temik 15G Insecticide, an at-planting nematicide/insecticide that controls nematodes and other key cotton pests.

The company has been working with university researchers for the past three years on evaluating seed-applied technologies, Smith noted. While no timetables have been set, Smith said the company could introduce several products in the near future.