The excitement of dollar cotton could put cotton right back in the acreage conversation when 2011 planting season rolls around.
For the first time since corn and soybean prices started their meteoric rise earlier this decade, cotton prices have achieved a level competitive with those crops.
Seed companies have already announced a number of new cotton varieties and/or traits for 2011, which are detailed below. So get a cup of coffee or a glass of tea, sit back and see which ones might fit your farming operation.
Variety descriptions were provided by seed companies. The description of AR 48 was provided by University of Arkansas plant breeder Fred Bourland.
The following list includes cotton varieties adapted to the Southeast, Southwest and Mid-South.
For the 2011 season, the Lubbock-based company will launch three NexGen varieties: NG 4010 B2RF, NG 4012 B2RF and NG 4111 RF. Regional adaptability east of Texas of these three varieties had not been determined at press time.
NG 4010 B2RF is a Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety that is a high yielder with an excellent fiber package, staple range of 36-38, strength 30-32, and micronaire 4.0-4.5. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth leaf cotton. NG 4010 B2RF also provides proven Verticillium wilt tolerance and excellent seedling vigor. Growers are urged to start management with high water and fertility at pinhead square.
NG 4012 B2RF is also a Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It offers an excellent fiber package, staple 36-38, strength 30-32, and mike, 4.0-4.5. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth-leaf cotton. NG 4012 B2RF provides excellent seedling vigor, and its growth is slightly more aggressive than 4010 and could require more plant growth regulator applications.
NG 4111 RF is a straight Flex sister line to NG 4010 B2RF. It is a high yielder with an excellent fiber package, staple range of 36-38, strength 30-32, and micronaire, 4. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth-leaf cotton. NG 4010 B2RF also provides proven Verticillium wilt tolerance and excellent seedling vigor. Growers are urged to start management with high water and fertility at pinhead square. For more information, go to Americot .
Bayer CropScience cottonseed brands FiberMax and Stoneville were planted on a majority — 50.2 percent — of U.S. cotton acres in 2010, noted Jeff Brehmer, U.S. FiberMax and Stoneville marketing manager. Brehmer added that four varieties, FM 9058F, FM 9160B2F, FM 9063B2F and FM1740B2F accounted for more than one-fourth of all U.S. planted acres in 2010.
Bayer CropScience is evaluating experimental varieties for yield and fiber quality characteristics in its cotton breeding program and cotton agronomic performance trials. These varieties include new proprietary traits from Bayer CropScience, such as GlyTol glyphosate-tolerant technology and stacked varieties with both GlyTol and LibertyLink traits.
Bayer CropScience will commercialize its GlyTol glyphosate-tolerant technology in FiberMax varieties for Southwest cotton growers for the 2011 season.
According to Brehmer, two high-performing FiberMax varieties containing GlyTol technology will be available in 2011: FM 9101GT and FM 9103GT. Both are well-adapted to the High Plains and Rolling Plains of the Southwest and have exhibited excellent yield potential.
Bayer CropScience is also testing four new LibertyLink, Bollgard II varieties adapted for the Mid-South and Southeast. Additional information will be released in January 2011. Visit Bayer  for more information. Here are new FiberMax and Stoneville varieties for 2011:
FM 1773LLB2 — offers the newest FiberMax germplasm in a medium maturity LibertyLink cotton variety with the insect protection of Bollgard II and tolerance to Ignite herbicide. It is well-adapted to East Texas, the Mid-South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and provides excellent fiber quality with high yield potential. The LibertyLink trait provides excellent crop safety with use of Ignite herbicide.
FM 9101GT— this new early/medium maturity variety is well-adapted to the High Plains and Rolling Plains of the Southwest and has exhibited excellent yield potential, storm tolerance and has a very good fiber package. GlyTol offers a wide application window and optimal crop tolerance for over-the-top applications of glyphosate. An aggressive, timely defoliation program is recommended to maximize yield potential and fiber quality.
FM9103GT — This early maturity variety is well-adapted to the High Plains and Rolling Plains of the Southwest and has exhibited excellent yield potential and a very good fiber package. GlyTol offers a wide application window and optimal crop tolerance for over-the-top applications of glyphosate.
ST 5288B2F — is a medium-maturing Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II variety. It is well-adapted for the Southwest, Mid-South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic cotton growing areas. It has excellent seedling vigor and sets a high level of fruiting nodes. ST 5288B2F has exhibited excellent yield potential and good fiber quality across the Cotton Belt and is well-suited for irrigated and dryland conditions. An aggressive, timely defoliation program is recommended to maximize yield potential and fiber quality.
ST 5458B2RF — is a new medium maturity Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II variety offering root-knot nematode tolerance. It is easy-to-manage with moderately aggressive growth. It performs well in the West, Southwest, Mid-South, Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions.
According to Jaime Yanes, cotton product manager Croplan Genetics, one new variety may be launched in the High Plains area of Texas next growing season. “We are excited about a new early maturity Genuity Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex cotton variety that will be released in 2011.
This variety was tested in 2010 as an experimental in university official variety trials in west Texas, and in Winfield Solutions, module plots. Adapted to the High Plains it has excellent seedling vigor, and has an easy to manage type growth habit. This variety has excellent yield potential and fiber quality. Once all data is summarized, a variety name will be assigned.
Five existing cotton varieties will be available commercially in 2011:
CG 3020B2RF, CG 3520B2RF, CG 4020B2RF, CG 3220B2RF and CG 3035RF.
For more cotton variety information, go to Croplan Genetics .
“Deltapine once again stands to offer potential for some real yield improvements over commercial lines with the candidates for the Class of 11,” said Dave Albers, U.S. cotton germplasm manager. “These variety candidates include six Genuity Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex lines and one Genuity Roundup Ready Flex. Early indications show some of the candidates offering outstanding yield and fiber quality for key markets.”
More than 180 farmers are evaluating the Deltapine Class of 11 variety candidates in new product evaluator (NPE) trials this season. The variety candidates include four products specifically bred for performance in Texas, and three other lines being tested across the Belt.
Farmers participating in the Deltapine NPE Program were given elite, pre-commercial varieties to plant for evaluation on their farms, in their growing conditions and yield environments. By allowing the individual farmer to control all crop management aspects of the trial, the progressive producers are helping to identify the top-performing varieties for improved production and profitability in their region.
The commercialized Deltapine Class of 11 cotton varieties will be introduced by name in December 2010. Seed production was put in place on all variety candidates this year so limited supplies of planting seed for the Class of 11 varieties will be available in 2011.
In 2011, Deltapine is offering Acceleron cotton seed treatment products to help maximize the performance potential of Deltapine cotton, offered as additional protection to the standard base fungicide seed treatment.
To learn more about Deltapine cotton varieties, go to Deltapine .
2450 B2RF is a new Roundup Ready Flex, Bollgard II variety shown to have very good seedling vigor, a medium tall plant height, early-medium maturity, and has broad adaptability for most cotton growing regions. This variety provides very good yield potential when irrigated, but is intended for dryland or stressful conditions. Fiber quality characteristics are very good overall throughout most of the cotton growing areas in the United States. This smooth leaf variety particularly offers advantages in fiber uniformity and strength for its maturity group. The best yield performance was found when grown on lighter soil textures. Plant growth regulators should be considered for in-season plant growth patterns.
Dyna-Gro also markets the following Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton varieties — 2100 B2RF, 2400 RF, 2520 B2RF and 2570 B2RF. Visit Dyna-Gro  for more information on varieties.
PhytoGen is hoping to ride the success of PHY 375 WRF, which in 2010 was the No. 1 planted variety in the Mid-South for the second year in a row, with the release of two new varieties.
PHY 569 WRF — “PhytoGen variety PHY 569 WRF is a good fit to fill the 555 footprint,” said Joel Faircloth, PhytoGen cotton development specialist for Dow AgroSciences. “It is similar in maturity to PHY 565 WRF, but matures a little later. This variety is available in very limited quantities for its introductory year.”
PHY 499 WRF — “PhytoGen brand PHY 499 WRF is a mid-maturing, very high-yielding variety,” Faircloth says. “It has performed very well in our breeder trials over the past several years and is offered in very limited quantities for 2011. We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest in this variety because of its yield performance, but again, it’s available in a very limited supply this year. This is one to watch for 2012.”
Find data specific to your area at PyhtoGen , or call (800) 258-3033 for more information.
University of Arkansas
UA 48 — a new conventional variety will be released in 2011, with between 1,000 and 2,000 bags available. According to cotton breeder Fred Bourland, director of the Northeast Research and Extension Center, UA 48 yields well and is very early. In strip tests in 2009, the variety had a staple length of 42 and excellent strength and uniformity. Micronaire was on par with other commercial varieties.
A Cotton Incorporated and University of Arkansas project allows producers to use the Web to summarize tons of varietal data at the click of a button. Called COTVAR, it is available on the Web at UA COTVAR .
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