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Posted 29 December 2014. PMN Crop News.

Genetic Yield Advancements Part of Deltapine Class of 15 Cotton Varieties

Source: Monsanto Company Press Release.

Nashville, Tennessee (December 13, 2014)--A new root-knot nematode-resistant variety and a full-season variety named after a legendary performer, both offering yield potential better than existing commercial lines, join the Deltapine® Class of 15 as the brand celebrates 100 years of breeding innovations.


Monsanto also presented what is expected to be the next big innovation in cotton – the first triple-stacked herbicide trait technology to be in five Deltapine varieties, pending regulatory approvals. The announcements were made at the Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Summit in Nashville, Tenn., where some 140 farmers gathered for briefings on important topics related to cotton production.

The Deltapine NPE program has resulted in commercialization of many of the top-planted cotton varieties across the Belt. Only variety candidates that are proven by NPE farmers to have better yield, quality and performance than current commercial offerings will be commercialized.

“Since 1915, when the breeding program for Deltapine was initiated, the most important, production-improving innovations in cotton have come in Deltapine varieties,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton products manager at Monsanto. “In 2015, Deltapine will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a leading cotton brand for farmers in the United States, one that has changed the face of U.S. cotton for the better. The Class of 15 represents how far we’ve come in terms of genetic advancements and fulfilling our commitment to the success of cotton farmers and the industry.”

DP 1558NR B2RF

In the footsteps of the success of DP 1454NR B2RF, a new variety to help protect against yield-robbing root-knot nematodes (RKN) was named for the Deltapine Class of 15. DP 1558NR B2RF is a full-season variety with resistance to root-knot nematodes. Adapted to the Southeastern growing region and the Texas Southern High Plains and Southern Rolling Plains, this variety demonstrated very high yield on fields with low to moderate RKN pressure, as well as in fields with high pressure.

DP 1558NR B2RF is the second RKN-resistant variety in the Deltapine portfolio, with more lines planned for commercial release in the future. On many NPE farms with RKN pressure, this variety not only out-yielded DP 1454NR B2RF, but it also out-yielded other standard Deltapine varieties in fields with no pressure.

“It was the highest yielder in our NPE plot, averaging 1,857 lbs/acre, substantially more than the other varieties,” said Rodney Dawson of Hawkinsville, Ga. “The grade was 31. The average leaf was a 2.8. The loan was 54.01. The mic was 4.98. The average staple was 35.76. The strength was 30.53, and the uniformity was 79.94 percent. It really showed off and really looked good compared to the check, DP 1252 B2RF. I think it was easily 250 pounds to 300 pounds better than the DP 1252 B2RF.”

The RKN-resistant breeding trait is part of Monsanto’s solutions for healthy cotton. The breeding trait gives cotton plants season-long control by enabling strong root growth and reducing RKN populations in the soil profile. Unlike some competitors who tout tolerance, Monsanto is breeding Deltapine varieties with true resistance to RKN. Resistance interrupts or slows down reproduction, leading to reduced populations of the pest. Tolerance has no impact on reproduction or population numbers.

“This is our solution to the loss of Temik® (insecticide),” said NPE farmer Jeremy Louder in Stanton, Texas. “Deltapine root-knot nematode-resistant varieties demonstrated the ability to make yields as good as they were when we had Temik if not better. It will be the solution for us out here where RKN pressure is so high.”

DP 1555 B2RF

The new DP 1555 B2RF can demonstrate the breeding advancements in yield and fiber quality potential made in the Deltapine breeding and development programs over the decades. It is a mid- to full-season variety with a semi-smooth leaf that has demonstrated exceptionally high yield and better fiber quality than DP 1252 B2RF. The best fit for DP 1555 B2RF is the lower Southeast, lower mid-South and upper Texas coast. This variety showed strong vigor and performed well on irrigated fields and in high-yield environments in 2014.

“I thought this variety looked really promising, yielding 1,739 lbs/acre,” said Johnny Cochran, NPE farmer in Sylvester, GA. “The average leaf was 2.94, micronaire was 4.7, staple was 36.34 and the strength was 30.42, with an average uniformity of 80.88. This cotton variety has a lot of potential.”

The industry’s first triple-stacked herbicide trait technology

Pending regulatory approvals, Deltapine® Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton varieties are anticipated to be available for planting in 2015, providing farmers with cotton that is tolerant to three herbicides: dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate.

Because of its tolerance to three unique modes of action, Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton will be designed to provide farmers added choice and flexibility for applying multiple combinations of the three herbicides before, during and after planting. In 2014, farmers were able to experience the weed control technology of Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton through Monsanto’s Ground Breakers® Field Trials Under Permit testing program.

“The Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton performed very well on our farm this year,” said Mike Jordan, NPE grower in south Alabama. “The weed control was excellent. The residual control* we got from the first (herbicide) application was superior to anything I’ve ever seen.”

In Georgia, NPE farmer Greg Sikes said he was impressed not only with the weed control, but also the ease of meeting application requirements and the ability to control drift.

“(We expect that) Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton is going to be a super tool for us,” said Sikes. “We grow vegetables so we have herbicide restrictions in many fields. The Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton works well with those restrictions. Plus, with this system, we have a longer window to get into a field and get good control with our (herbicide) applications.”

The Deltapine commitment to improve cotton variety performance has allowed Monsanto to release weed control technology using elite germplasm. Pending regulatory approvals, farmers will be able to experience Bollgard II® XtendFlex cotton varieties that offer yield and fiber quality opportunities on par with or better than the best-performing varieties available on the market today, said Gholston.

“Our lineup of Bollgard II® XtendFlex varieties, pending regulatory approvals, will include early-, mid- and full-season varieties, with at least one line that fits the growing conditions found in each region of the Cotton Belt,” Gholston said. “We anticipate having varieties with fits for the early-season regions as well as the fuller-season markets of the lower mid-South and Southeast. We will have a variety for Texas that has demonstrated performance on dryland fields comparable to existing varieties such as DP 1044 B2RF.”

The Deltapine® Bollgard II® XtendFlex varieties anticipated for introduction after regulatory approvals are:

• DP 1518 B2XF and DP 1522 B2XF for shorter-season markets

• DP 1538 B2XF and DP 1553 B2XF for mid- to full-season markets

• DP 1549 B2XF for West Texas and Arizona markets

For more on Deltapine cotton varieties and the NPE program, visit