U.S. cotton producers wanted choices, and next year they’re getting them. In 2006, there will be three Bt technologies and three herbicide-resistant technologies working together in a number of combinations in U.S. cotton fields.

As for Bt cottons, there’s the old standard, Bollgard, with its time-proven single Bt protein, and two relatively new kids on the stalk, WideStrike from Dow AgroSciences in PhytoGen varieties, and Bollgard II from Monsanto, which will be in several brands. The latter are two-gene products which were introduced in 2005.

Next year will be the inaugural season of Monsanto’s new herbicide-resistant technology in cotton varieties — Roundup Ready Flex. Roundup can be sprayed over-the-top of Roundup Ready Flex cotton further into the growing season than the current generation of Roundup Ready cotton.

In addition, several new Liberty Link varieties, which are resistant to glufosinate, or Ignite, will be available in 2006.

Here’s a list of new cotton varieties for 2006. Descriptions are provided by seed companies. Monsanto, on behalf of Stoneville, has not yet announced the release of its cotton varieties for 2006. Delta Farm Press will run this information when it is available.

Americot Cottonseed

Americot Cottonseed will offer six cotton varieties, including two new Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked lines, for the Mid-South and Southeast for 2006:

• Americot 1521B2RF is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked picker-type cotton variety. This new line shows tolerance to Verticillium wilt. Fiber traits are micronaire, 3.8-4.7; length, 35-37; and strength, 27-32.

• Americot 1532B2RF is a mid-season Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked picker-type cotton variety. This line has excellent yield potential and stability. Fiber traits are micronaire 3.6-4.6; length, 35-37; and strength, 27-31.

• Americot 427R is an early-maturing Roundup Ready picker cotton variety with excellent seedling vigor. Fiber traits are micronaire, 3.6-4.8; length, 34-37; and strength, 28-31.

• Americot 262R is a mid-season Roundup Ready variety with excellent yield potential. Fiber traits are micronaire, 3.7-4.8; length, 34-37; and strength, 27-31.

• Americot 821R is a mid-season Roundup Ready variety with good yield potential and stability. Fiber traits are micronaire, 3.8-4.8; length, 34-36; and strength, 27-31.

• Americot 4207 is a conventional picker-type cotton variety with good yield potential and stability. This early-maturing variety has excellent seedling vigor and works well in Mid-South ultra narrow row management systems.

Beltwide Cotton Genetics

Beltwide Cotton Genetics may be offering as many as 14 new stacked Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex varieties in 2006. All varieties are marked with an “x” to indicate experimental designation.

• xBCG-3255 is a medium-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.15 staple, 4.6 micronaire and 26 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

• xBCG-4575 is an early-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.12 staple, 4.2 micronaire and 27.3 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

• xBCG-4630 is an medium-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.2 staple, 4.4 micronaire and 29.5 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

• xBCG-9775 is a medium-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.22 staple, 4.0 micronaire and 29 strength. Adapted to west Texas.

• xBCG-4153 is an early-medium-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.16 staple, 4.1 micronaire and 28 strength. Adapted to west Texas.

• xBCG-6896 is a medium-maturing, semi-smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.16 staple, 3.5 micronaire and 31.9 strength. Adapted for south Texas.

xBCG-8391 is a full-maturing, smooth-leaf variety with an average 1.23 staple, 4.1 micronaire and 29 strength. Adapted for south Texas.

Croplan Genetics

Three cotton varieties are tentatively slated for commercial launch in 2006 by Croplan Genetics:

• CG 3020B2RF is a very early-maturity, smooth-leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential and premium fiber quality to better help U.S. cotton growers market their fiber in base international and high-end domestic markets. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2; staple 36.8; strength 27.4

• CG 3520B2RF is an early-maturity, semi-smooth-leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential and premium fiber quality. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2; staple 37.8; strength 27.4

• CG 4020B2RF is an early- to mid-maturity, smooth-leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2, staple 38.1, strength 28.7

Delta and Pine Land

D&PL has major seed production in place on 10 new varieties containing the Roundup Ready Flex technology. Five of the varieties contain the Roundup Ready Flex technology stacked with Bollgard II. The lineup also includes three new Bollgard/Roundup Ready varieties. The varieties are:

• DP 113 B2RF is an early-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

• DP 117 B2RF is an early-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

• DP 108 RF, is an early-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 110 RF is an early-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

• DP 143 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, semi-smooth-leaf plant with premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 147 RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, semi-smooth-leaf plant, with good storm resistance. It has premium micronaire, excellent staple, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 164 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a tall, smooth-leaf plant with good storm resistance. It has premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 167 RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a tall, smooth-leaf plant with good storm resistance, premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 156 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety with a smooth leaf and medium-tall plant height. It has fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 152 RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety, with medium-tall height and a smooth leaf. It has fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

• DP 454 BG/RR is a mid-maturity, semi-smooth-leaf variety. Plant height is tall, but shorter than DP 555 BG/RR. it has a lot of early vigor, and establishes a strong boll load quickly. The variety’s high gin turnout gives it outstanding yield potential. Micronaire runs in the low- to mid-4 range, staple 35, and strength 29.5-30.

• DP 445 BG/RR is an early- to mid-maturity variety with medium plant height. It is four to five days later than DP 444 BG/RR. It is a semi-smooth-leaf variety with excellent fiber properties. Micronaire runs 4.3-4.5, staple 36, and strength 31 plus.

• DP 455 BG/RR is a mid-maturity, smooth-leaf variety with a medium to tall plant height and a good fiber package. Micronaire runs in the low 4.0 range, staple 35.5-36 and strength 30-31.

FiberMax

FiberMax is releasing three Liberty Link/Bollgard II varieties, one Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex variety, three Roundup Ready Flex varieties and one Bollgard II line:

• FM 988LLB2 is a medium-maturing LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety well-adapted to the Southern Rolling Plains and the Southeast region. Plants are very compact and have a short to medium stature. Boll retention is high on the first fruiting positions for a consistent fruiting pattern. Fiber quality is good.

• FM 965LLB2 is a mid- to full LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety suitable for most well-drained soils across the Cotton Belt. It has moderate early-season growth that can respond to lower rates of plant growth regulator. Fiber quality is very good.

• FM 955LLB2 is an early-maturing LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety that has demonstrated excellent adaptation to the mid-Atlantic regions, throughout the Mid-South and Texas. It is an easy-to-manage variety with short, compact plants. Fiber quality is very good.

• FM 960B2 is a medium- to full-season variety with excellent adaptation to well-drained soils. It has high yield potential in management systems where the insect protection of Bollgard II is desired in a conventional herbicide program and produces excellent fiber quality, especially strength.

• FM 9068F is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex variety with a wide range of adaptability throughout the Mid-South and Southeast with good productivity across soil types. It is an easy-to-manage variety requiring lower-rate to no plant growth regulator. Fiber quality is very good.

• FM 9060F is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex variety particularly suited to the central and northern regions of the Mid-South as well as the mid-Atlantic states. Plants are compact and should work well in narrow row configurations and conventional row patterns. Fiber quality is very good, even under variable conditions.

• FM 9058F is a new Roundup Ready Flex variety adapted to the Southern High Plains. FM 9058F offers growers in that area excellent yield potential and fiber quality in a Roundup Ready Flex herbicide system. Agronomic characteristics of the variety are similar to FM 958 with a compact plant type and large, storm-tolerant bolls.

• FM 9063B2F is an early-maturing Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex variety with a compact plant type that is easy to manage. It has a wide range of adaptability throughout Texas, the Mid-South and the eastern Seaboard. Fiber quality is excellent.

PhytoGen Seed Company

PhytoGen Seed Company is adding nine new varieties to its product line east of California, including varieties with WideStrike insect protection and the Roundup Ready and Roundup Ready Flex technologies.

• PHY 370 WR is a new early-maturity WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with good vigor, broad adaptation and high yield potential.

• PHY 470 WR is a WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with early- to mid-maturity and broad adaptation. Most similar to PSC 355, with improved micronaire and grade.

• PHY 480 WR is a WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with early- to mid-maturity and broad adaptation. Similar to PHY 470 WR with improved lint yield, staple and strength.

• PHY 475 WRF is a new WideStrike and Roundup Ready Flex stacked variety with early- to mid-maturity and broad adaptation, similar to PHY 470 WR. Limited supply for 2006.

PHY 485 WRF is a new WideStrike and Roundup Ready Flex stacked variety with early- to mid-maturity and broad adaptation, similar to PHY 480 WR. Limited supply for 2006.

• PHY 125 RF is a new Roundup Ready Flex stripper variety for the High Plains, with excellent yield potential. Good fiber quality and grades.

• PHY 415 RF and PHY 425 RF are new early- to mid-maturity Roundup Ready Flex varieties adapted for the Mid-South, Southeast and Southwest. Both have shown high yield potential with excellent fiber quality.

• NM 1517-99 W is a new WideStrike variety for New Mexico and other Southwest markets, with good fiber quality and grades.

Returning varieties include PHY 440 W, an early- to mid-maturity WideStrike-only variety; PHY 310 R, an early-maturity Roundup Ready variety; PHY 410 R, an early- to mid-maturity Roundup Ready variety; and PHY 510 R, a full-season Roundup Ready variety.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com