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Agribusiness: BXN cotton varieties to be retired

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Emergent Genetics, Inc. announced that it will not offer Stoneville-brand BXN cotton seed varieties for sale after 2004. BXN cotton, which is resistant to Buctril 4EC herbicide, was introduced in 1995 and was the world’s first genetically-enhanced cotton seed.

Two BXN varieties available for 2004 are BXN 49B, a stacked variety that also contains the Bacillus thuringiensis gene, and BXN 47.

“BXN introduced cotton farmers to the value that comes from a transgenic product where one input, in this case, weed control, was greatly simplified and enhanced by the utilization of BXN technology,” said David Guthrie, manager of technical services for Emergent Genetics.

“Today, a broadened array of transgenic cotton technologies is being offered. Stoneville actively works with all available technologies and is dedicated to bringing U.S. cotton producers the most advanced technology in the best germplasm available.”

In 2004, Stoneville released four new varieties with Bollgard, Bollgard II and Roundup Ready technology: ST 5242BR, ST 4646B2R, NexGen 1553R and NexGen 2448R. The company has plans to introduce five new varieties in 2005, and eight more in 2006, which will include new Roundup Ready Flex technology.

“In 2005 we will have the best available technology — Bollgard II/Roundup Ready — in three varieties with different maturities,” says Guthrie, who is based in Memphis. “The Bollgard II technology promises to further enable cotton farmers to control lepidopteran pests. The Bollgard II technology enables growers to achieve higher yield potential because it virtually eliminates the losses caused by insect damage considered to be below threshold levels.”

“It’s a testimonial to the value of transgenic cotton that since those first commercial BXN fields were planted in 1995, less than 10 years ago, U.S. cotton farmers have switched to planting more than 90 percent of their acreage to transgenic varieties,” Guthrie says.”

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