A “tremendous year” is what Fibermax has planned for 2004, a company spokesman told growers attending its annual field day in Leland, Miss. “We've been waiting for the right technology and the right transgenics to bring home to the Delta, and we'll have all of that and more for cotton growers in 2004,” says Lee Rivenbark, director of commercial operations for FiberMax in Lubbock, Texas. “We're developing into a real seed and technology company.”

The company began with conventional varieties in 1998, added transgenic choices in 2000, and has been steadily growing marketshare ever since.

In 2004, Rivenbark says, FiberMax will have a commercial supply of Bollgard II cotton “equal to or better than” its competitors. The company also expects to release its first Liberty Link cotton varieties next year if EPA approves the related herbicide as expected in the coming months.

Another addition to the FiberMax offerings is its value-assurance initiative. The FiberMax Certification Program will enable both cotton mills and growers to easily recognize the value offered by FiberMax cotton. “We are trying to do something outside the box for a seed company,” Rivenbark says.

“This certification gives growers the opportunity to identify their cotton as Certified FiberMax Cotton, which often commands premiums. We hope this easy step will improve cotton growers' profit potential as they market their Certified FiberMax Cotton,” says Brent Crossland, marketing manager of Memphis.

Participating in the program is simple, Crossland says. Interested FiberMax cotton growers follow an easy process to certify their cotton, after which the permanent bale identification numbers on certified FiberMax cotton bales are traceable via a master database at www.CertifiedFibermax.com. Then specific quality information for each bale can be obtained through the USDA classing office using the permanent bale identification number.

Crossland says, “All textile mills have to do is ask for Certified FiberMax Cotton to get genuine FiberMax, which represents the type of cotton they generally require. This eliminates any confusion in the marketplace and helps preserve the value of FiberMax and the return growers receive.”

Helping launch the new program for Bayer Crop Science's FiberMax brand is Ed Jernigan, CEO and president of Globecot, a global fiber, textile research and communications group.

“Mills with advanced spinning technologies require the HVI-measured quality characteristics typically met by FiberMax cotton,” Jernigan says. “There's increasing demand for FiberMax cotton, and a growing need to make sure it is properly identified, and easily tracked by purchasers who are especially interested in high quality fiber.

“Because genuine FiberMax cotton is rarely discounted, it is to a grower's advantage to certify it as genuine FiberMax,” he says.

Rivenbark adds, “With the new technology we can offer growers and our new certification program, we expect to double our company business in 2004.”


e-mail: dmuzzi@primediabusiness.com