Monsanto Co. nearly dropped 09R555 from the Deltapine cottonseed pipeline last year.
Today they launched DP 1133 B2RF, the commercial name for that test cottonseed. The new variety was saved by growers who participate in the New Product Evaluator program, a 160-plus strong farmer network supported by Monsanto to test cottonseed varieties in the field prior to launch.
"The NPE program allows us to focus on specific needs for specific growing areas," says Deltapine Cotton Products Manager Keylon Gholston. DP 1137 B2RF wouldn't have gone commercial if it wasn't for the grower support, Gholston.
Those are the two cottonseed varieties that almost weren't available commercially. And they're the only two varieties in Deltapine's Class of '11.
Industry pundits wonder why Deltapine only is releasing two varieties for 2011, given the company's handful of releases each of the last two years. The company has two answers on one theme.
First, Monsanto Brand Manager Dave Rhylander says the cottonseed classes of '09 and '10 are "hard to beat".
Secondly, with varieties performing well in the market already, the company sees no need to simply flood their offerings.
"We're going to launch products that add to the market," Monsanto spokeswoman Janice Person says. "We're not just going to launch products."
The new offerings focus on specific growing areas.
"These products are more targeted than any we're launched," Rhylander says.
Growers in the lower Mid-South, east Texas and parts of the lower southeast will want to look at DP 1133 B2RF, a mid-maturity variety with smooth leaves. It offers a great combination of yield potential and fiber quality. When planted in vigorous growing conditions, Deltapine leaders say 1133 is a bushy-type plant that will need plant growth regulator applications beginning at the 8- to 10-node stage. It is typically easy to manage with PGRs. The plant height is similar to DP 0912 B2RF and it appears to handle stress conditions very well, having done so in the Mid-South in 2010.
"I planted DP 1133 B2RF on my best irrigated ground and it yielded exceptionally well for me, around 1,600 pounds an acre," says Donnie Vandeven of St. Joseph, La. "It looked good all year long.
Dryland cotton producers in the upper southeast, the dryland acres of North Alabama and the dryland hills of the Mid-South will want to look at DP 1137 B2RF, a mid-maturity variety with smooth leaves that has demonstrated outstanding yield potential. Deltapine reports 1137 has excellent early-season vigor when planted in good growing conditions, but its best fit is the droughty regions of the Carolinas and North Alabama.
Under stress conditions, DP 1137 B2RF can develop desired stalk size and produce outstanding yield. Deltapine recommends moderate to heavy PGR management early in its growing stage if good growing conditions dominate.
"I had DP 1137 B2RF planted in my fields two years in a row in very different growing seasons and I'm glad to see this variety make it to market because it is a great cotton variety for my region," says Thomas Sugg of Snow Hill, NC. "We called DP 1137 B2RF "The Beast" because of the way it came out of the ground. DP 1137 B2RF is good-looking cotton that graded well and handles the heat better than most varieties. You could see it in the fields around noon time, when all the other cottons were wilting a bit."
To learn more about Deltapine cotton varieties, go to www.deltapine.com