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Industry News for May 2016

Varieties Evaluated For Root-Knot Nematode Resistance
The Deltapine New Product Evaluator Program is kicking off its ninth season this spring with nearly 200 growers evaluating seven new Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton variety candidates for the Class of 17. Three of those varieties also offer resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKN). All seven lines being evaluated by NPE growers are Bollgard II XtendFlex varieties. Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton, part of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, is tolerant to three different modes of action — dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate.

In 2016, growers are able to use Roundup brand agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate only and Liberty herbicide (glufosinate), while over-the-top use of dicamba is still pending regulatory approval from the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, even without dicamba, producers will continue to maximize their yield opportunity with other herbicides through the weed management recommendations and incentives provided by Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions, according to Deltapine.

Continuing its efforts to bring solutions for healthy cotton to the market, Deltapine is evaluating three Bollgard II XtendFlex NR (nematode resistance) lines — lines that are resistant to RKN. Deltapine currently has two commercial NR varieties in that offer outstanding yield potential in both RKN and non-RKN environments. The three new lines being evaluated offer the same protection against RKN but with higher yield potential and the latest weed-control technology.

Metal Theft Task Force Established To Deter Robbers
Delta Council recently reported that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has formed a task force to look at existing policies and laws in Mississippi and adjoining states in search of the best method for responding to theft and transport of copper wire to points of sale.

“Attorney General Jim Hood and Secretary Hosemann have taken an aggressive posture in trying to help agriculture confront this problem and create a solution that deters these thefts,” says Gibb Steele, the Delta Council farm leader who has been appointed to the task force to represent the organization.

Delta Council has urged state officials to work with adjoining states to adopt laws and enforcement procedures to make it more difficult for the sale of stolen copper and other metal. Also, with the help of Attorney General Jim Hood, federal officials from the U.S. Justice Department have been enlisted to assist and give guidance to the multi-state efforts.

U.S. Cotton Advocate Retires From Ralph Lauren Corp.
Former Cotton Board importer member, Maureen Gray, has retired from the Ralph Lauren Corp. Gray, a strong advocate for the U.S. cotton industry, started with Ralph Lauren in 1997. At the time of her retirement, she served as vice president of international trade. Gray served on The Cotton Board for 13 years and had a significant impact during that time.

“The Cotton Board relies heavily on the expertise and insight of our importer members, who represent various major U.S. brands and retailers. Since she joined The Cotton Board, Maureen has consistently been a strong voice for our importer members and has brought their knowledge and expertise to the table. Her impact on the board has been substantial. She will be missed both personally and professionally,” says Cotton Board chairman and California cotton producer Aaron Barcellos.

Louisiana cotton producer and current Cotton Board secretary George LaCour worked alongside Gray for many years.
“I have been impressed with Maureen Gray since I met her. Maureen’s ability to see the issues facing the cotton industry from a global perspective has been very valuable to our organization. She truly cares about our industry and works hard to help us promote the use of cotton. My only wish is that every cotton producer would get the chance to meet her. I would like to thank Maureen for all of the time she has donated to helping the U.S. cotton producer gain market share,” he says.

Texas Farmer First to Plant New Technology
The first commercially available cottonseed with the Enlist cotton trait was recently planted near Danevang, Texas, in the upper Gulf Coast. Dean Hansen of El Campo was the first producer in North America to plant PhytoGen brand PHY 490 W3FE.

“I’m excited to be on the forefront of a new weed control system that will offer us an effective, alternative control of resistant weeds — in a variety that delivers the early season vigor, quality and yield that I’ve come to expect from PhytoGen,” Hansen says.

In PhytoGen cottonseed, the Enlist trait builds upon the Roundup Ready Flex system and provides tolerance to Enlist Duo herbicide, a proprietary blend of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. The Enlist cotton trait also provides full tolerance to glufosinate. Enlist Duo with Colex-D technology will be the only 2,4-D-containing product labeled for in-crop use with the Enlist cotton trait. Enlist Duo is not yet registered for use on cotton.

PhytoGen brand varieties with the Enlist cotton trait also feature the WideStrike 3 Insect Protection trait. PHY 490 W3FE provides native resistance to bacterial blight.

Hansen closely evaluates cotton varieties for yield and fiber quality to determine which to plant. “Quality counts,” he says. “You have to go with quality when [cotton] prices are lower. It makes a lot of difference in the bottom line.”
Hansen says having a varied herbicide program during the growing season also will help him realize the full potential of his seed investment.

2016-17 Emerging Leaders
Twelve U.S. cotton industry members have been chosen to participate in the National Cotton Council’s Emerging Leaders Program for 2016-17. Participants, by industry segment, include: Producers – Brian Adamek, El Campo, Texas; Andrew Clark, Clovis, Calif.; Scott Flowers, Clarksdale, Miss.; Nick McMichen, Centre, Ala.; Steven Meeks, Screven, Ga.; Russ Ratcliff, St. Joseph, La.; Jerry Rovey, Buckeye, Ariz.; and Rich Vinson, Sikeston, Mo.; Ginner – Wes Morgan, New London, N.C.; Cottonseed – Jerrod Drinnon, Lubbock, Texas; Warehouser – Kent Ballard, Lubbock, Texas; and Marketing Cooperative – David Mullins, Rotan, Texas.

Since being initiated in 2013, the Emerging Leaders Program has been supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundation from Monsanto. NCC Chairman Shane Stephens, a Greenwood, Miss., warehouseman, says U.S. cotton’s central organization needs leaders who are willing to embrace the responsibilities that come with working together to ensure a healthy future for the U.S. cotton industry.

“One of those duties is being able to help facilitate unity among our seven industry segments,” Stephens says. “That unity is vital, for example, in shaping sound cotton policy and then communicating that policy to Congress, government agencies, the media and others.”