The Deltapine® New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program is kicking off its ninth season this spring with nearly 200 growers in the program 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).
“Each new class of Deltapine cotton varieties has resulted in improved yield potential, better fiber quality and agronomic solutions for growers all across the Cotton Belt,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton product manager. “From what we’ve seen so far, the variety candidates being evaluated for the Deltapine Class of 17 will continue this trend.”
All seven lines being evaluated by NPE growers this season 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, growers 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.
While no pre-plant or in-crop use of dicamba is currently approved, some dicamba products may be labeled for weed control prior to planting a crop and subject to minimum plant back restrictions specified on product labels. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any herbicide inconsistent with its labeling, and specifically to make an in-crop application of any dicamba herbicide product on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans or Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton unless the product labeling specifically authorizes the use.
Included in the lineup of variety candidates are initial crosses of new, elite germplasm getting their first-ever test on commercial farms. In previous seasons of breeding and company testing, these lines demonstrated outstanding performance in yield and fiber quality. The variety candidates range from early-season to full-season in maturity and target multiple growing regions from the Southwest to the Carolinas.
Continuing its efforts to bring solutions for healthy cotton to the market, the Deltapine brand is evaluating three Bollgard II XtendFlex NR (nematode resistance) lines—lines that are resistant to RKN. Deltapine currently has two commercial NR varieties in its portfolio 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 available.
Only the variety candidates proven to perform by the NPE growers in 2016 will be named for the Deltapine Class of 17. No industry program has resulted in a more rapid adoption of top-performing cotton varieties in the last decade than the Deltapine NPE Program. Today, NPE-proven varieties are planted on more U.S. cotton acres than any other seed brand. Not only has Deltapine raised the bar for yield potential, the fiber quality in new Deltapine varieties has also greatly improved.
“The status of ‘NPE-proven’ carries weight with growers who are not involved in the NPE Program, as evidenced by many non-NPE growers now planting large portions of their acreage to new Deltapine varieties, and the rapid adoption of Bollgard II® XtendFlex® varieties in their first year on the market,” said Gholston. “Many have either talked with an NPE grower or have heard about an NPE grower’s experience with variety candidates from their gin, seed dealer or neighbor. Those conversations have resulted in more and more growers turning to Deltapine varieties to maximize production.”
Since it began in 2008, the Deltapine NPE Program has become the cotton industry’s premier field evaluation program, resulting in the commercialization of some of the top-planted varieties by growing region across the Belt.