Deltapine FACT Program
BS in Agronomy – Mississippi State University
Consultants plant these new varieties on a grower’s farm to observe how they grow and to understand the various characteristics each offers. We are looking at all the different traits, whether it is Bollgard II®, Roundup Ready® Flex, nectarless varieties, etc. We also monitor growth habits, fiber quality, maturity dates, yield, etc. This program gives consultants an opportunity to observe all of these characteristics and observe how the varieties will fit in their regions.
To have confidence in a new variety and plant it on significant acreage on a client’s farm takes a growing season’s worth of observations on the above factors. We are able to see how the cotton performs in our situations with regard to insect pressure, weed pressure, disease, maturity dates and, of course, yield. Once we see how these varieties perform in our area, we are able to make educated decisions to recommend these varieties to our growers. We also are able to observe how plant growth regulators perform on these different varieties.
I want hands-on experience with a cotton variety as soon as it has been in an Extension variety trial or a company trial. We need to get the variety in our hands as soon as possible, so we can evaluate it in our area, and the Deltapine FACT Trials give us that opportunity. It is very important to know how each variety performs in a given area whether that would be Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia or any other cotton-producing state.
In the cotton FACT trials that I work with, I like to see at least five to six acres allotted for each variety. That is a large enough acreage to obtain a module, which means it would be enough cotton from each variety to gin to get an accurate yield and get an accurate read on quality. We work closely with Monsanto’s Delta and Pine Land business and are able to ask them questions, give our opinions and advice from looking at these FACT plots and make recommendations as to how the varieties fit in our area. D&PL and consultants have a very good relationship.