After releasing numerous cotton varieties in the Class of 2009 and Class of 2010 that were broadly adapted across the Belt, Monsanto will commercially release two new Deltapine varieties in 2011 that are targeted for specific production regions.
The announcement was made at a special kickoff event in Savannah, Ga., in December.
More than 130 producers who participated in the New Product Eval-uator program attended and were given a detailed explanation of the varieties’ traits and characteristics.
The two new varieties chosen for release are DP 1133 B2RF and DP 1137 B2RF.
DP 1133 B2RF is a mid-maturity variety with smooth leaves that showed its best performance in the lower Mid-South, east Texas and parts of the lower Southeast.
It is a bushy-type plant that will probably need plant growth regulator applications beginning at the 8- to 10-node stage.
DP 1137 B2RF is a mid-maturity variety with smooth leaves that appears to be more suited for dryland environments in the Carolinas, north Alabama and the dryland hills of the Mid-South.
Specific Targets For Varieties
While some farmers might have expected more varieties to be released, Dave Albers, Deltapine’s Cotton Technology Development Manager, says decisions were more discriminating this year because of the success of the 2009 and 2010 varieties released.
“We are looking for improvements in any way that we can, but I think we were definitely targeting some areas with these choices,” he says.
In particular, he points out that because of the performance of varieties such as DP 1044 B2RF and DP 1032 B2RF in the Class of 2010, there was not the immediate need to release another variety targeted for the Texas High Plains.
“The good news for West Texas is that we have some things coming down the pike for 2012 that will be suited for that region,” says Albers. “The region wasn’t left out at all. Having said that, I feel like we have released two varieties for 2011 that definitely are a good fit for several specific areas.”
Albers says the addition of these new Class of 2011 varieties comes at a time when the entire Belt is excited about high cotton prices.
“It all boils to some good choices for varieties that will deliver excellent yield and quality at a time when cotton is experiencing historic high cotton prices,” he says.
Importance Of PGR Applications
One interesting aspect of the new DP 1137 B2RF variety is its early season vigor. And, much like DP 555 BG/RR’s performance for most of the past decade, the new variety can develop stalk size and produce high yields. It will need moderate to heavy PGR management early in its growing stage if good growing conditions occur.
Producer reaction to the Deltapine announcement was optimistic. Georgia producer Jimmy Webb, who participated in the NPE program, liked how one of the Deltapine varieties performed on his farm, but that variety wasn’t chosen to be released in 2011.
However, he likes the fact that DP 1133 B2RF has a good fit for the lower Southeast and specifically for south Georgia where he farms.
“This is a unique way of evaluating a variety on large acres as opposed to a six-row plot,” he says. “I am very encouraged by the process and the two varieties that were released for 2011.”
Meanwhile, Texas producer Rickey Bearden, who farms west of Lubbock, likes the choices that he has for the future when it comes to variety selection. Even though neither of the Class of 2011 varieties was targeted for West Texas, Bearden likes what was offered in 2010 and knows that more varieties are in the pipeline for his area in 2012 and beyond.
“I think we will see more options for West Texas producers down the road,” he says. “Deltapine launched some varieties for West Texas in 2009 and 2010 that were tailored for our region. Looking ahead, I think we’ll have lots of additional choices for the region.”
Lack Of Weed Resistance
Bearden believes that another important factor for cotton production in West Texas is the lack of a serious resistant weed problem that currently plagues the Southeast and Mid-South. If this region can somehow avoid that problem, he thinks it will bode well for new varieties in the future.
“I heard a lot about weed resistance at this meeting,” he says. “Fortunately, we don’t have that problem in our area. We still use a lot of tillage on our dryland and have used yellow herbicides for a long time. I just hope the industry can stay ahead of the curve in the battle against weed resistance.”
The NPE program has just completed its third year of evaluating Deltapine varieties on large-scale acreage across the Belt. The program gives producers a chance to see how a variety performs on their farms.
Monsanto and Deltapine then evaluate the data and obtain extensive feedback from producers before making a decision on which varieties to release commercially each year.
Monsanto and Deltapine contributed information for this article. For more data on all Deltapine cotton varieties released during the past three years, go to www.deltapine.com.