After an intense year of testing and evaluating by 200 producers across the Belt, Deltapine will launch three new varieties for 2012 as part of its popular New Product Evaluator (NPE) program. The announcement was made at a special event in Charleston, S.C., last month.
More than 150 farmers were on hand for the kickoff presentation, which offered a chance for extensive question-and-answer sessions with Deltapine officials.
The new varieties scheduled for release are: DP 1212 B2RF, DP 1219 B2RF and DP 1252 B2RF. Here is a detailed description of each variety.
DP 1212 B2RF – This is an early maturing variety for the Northern High Plains of Texas and other early season markets. It has a similar yield and fit to DP 0912 B2RF but with better fiber quality. Company officials say its plant size and management recommendations are similar to easier-to-manage genotypes.
DP 1219 B2RF – This is a broadly adapted variety across Texas with a combination of yield and fiber quality potential. Its early maturity fits the Northern High Plains and Panhandle growing regions and tends to shift to a mid-maturity range in the Southern High Plains and East Texas. Farmers say it has the potential to fit most environments and management systems in Texas, plus it has a fit on deep, sandy soils of the upper Southeast and Arizona for seed production.
DP 1252 B2RF – This new variety fits well in irrigated fields and productive soils in the full-season markets of the Mid-South and Southeast. According to farmers who evaluated it, this variety is very responsive to management and yield environment.
Broad-Based Fit For Varieties
Ironically, at this event last year, two new varieties were announced for the Class of 2011, but neither was specifically designated for Texas, although DP 1133 B2RF did have a fit for East Texas along with the lower Mid-South and parts of the lower Southeast.
The Class of 2012, however, has two varieties specifically targeted for Texas. And, in an even more ironic twist, these two new Texas varieties also appear to be adaptable to other parts of the Belt.
“Even though DP 1212 and DP 1219 are a good fit in Texas, they could also be adapted in the Carolinas or the northern part of the Delta,” says Dave Rhylander, Deltapine marketing lead.
“That’s part of the NPE process. We never know where the varieties will fit until after the evaluations are finished, and the producers weigh in.”
Rhylander is confident that the NPE program will continue to grow because of the number of farmers who participate and ultimately attend the event where the new commercial releases are announced.
For example, two years ago, only 50 percent of the NPE farmers attended the launch event in Charleston, S.C. Last month, more than 80 percent of the participants attended.
According to Deltapine officials, there are 204 NPE farmers across the Belt who participate in the program. That is probably the maximum who can evaluate new varieties because of seed availability.
“The interest in the program has increased each year,” says Rhylander. “Consequently, we are seeing more farmers attending this event where we announce the new varieties. It’s a wonderful way to get farmers involved in this process.”
Dave Albers, Deltapine product development manager, says the main objective in this past year’s NPE trials was to find new varieties that exceeded yield standards for DP 0912. By finding these varieties, Deltapine was able to improve its lineup for early season markets and especially those in Texas.
“Each year it’s all about helping fill niche markets and making improvements in yield and quality,” says Albers.
Reaction from producers has been positive. Blaine Nichols of Seminole, Texas, was extremely pleased with how DP 1212 B2RF performed.
The variety did well on his acreage even though he had an equipment problem during planting.
“We had a planter malfunction when planting DP 1212, which resulted in 37,000 plants per acre,” says Nichols.
“It still ended up looking good, and it delivered good turnout and excellent fiber quality.”
In the northern Mississippi Delta region, the reaction was similar.
“It was the best variety in our test,” says producer Don Lynn of Kennett, Mo. “It made 1,099 pounds per acre, and that was probably as good as, if not better than, DP 0912 B2RF.”
Seeing Is Believing
Perhaps the best example of how a farmer has benefited from the NPE program is producer Ray Sneed, who farms near Millington, Tenn., just north of Memphis.
He has participated in the NPE program for three years and likes the way DP 0912 B2RF has performed on his acreage for the last three years. He particularly liked DP 1212 B2RF because it outyielded DP 0912 by 20 pounds.
“I tested all three of the new NPE varieties for 2012, and I was very impressed at the yields and quality they produced in other areas of the Belt,” he says. “I really think DP 1212 is one that we will try on our farm. I like the way it grew, and it had that extra yield. Plus, it seems to be a bit more manageable.”
Sneed, who is part of a five-brother operation that produces cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat, believes that the NPE is one of the best programs that any company has offered in recent memory.
“I heard a speaker at this event say it best,” says Sneed. “Do you want a scientist telling you what to plant, or do you want another farmer who’s growing the variety telling you? It’s the best way to pick a variety, and that’s why the program is so popular.”
Deltapine contributed information for this article.