There will be six new cotton varieties in Monsanto's Deltapine Class of '10 next year. Early reports indicate potential for an increase in on-farm profitability. More than 160 farmers across the Cotton Belt participated in the New Product Exposure program this summer, testing some 13 candidates on their farms. Monsanto's Brett Begemann said a lot of the farmers helped decide which would be commercialized.
Begemann pointed to Arkansas farmer Ron Holthouse who had considered cutting his cotton acreage to one-third of the area he had in 2009. But, the performance he saw convinced him to stay with his full 3,000 acres. Holthouse's plot was in a field that averaged only 956 pounds of cotton per acre across all varieties. But, the Class of '10 candidates averaged between 1,050 to 1,200 pounds per acre.
USDA estimates that the 2009 class was planted on more than 10% of the cotton area last year. Seed production in some areas was challenged, but the company says availability of the Class of '09 should be significantly higher in 2010 and the Class of 10 will be in a good introductory supply.