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Cotton makes Monsanto’s list for research, development work

Cotton is among a diverse group of projects from Monsanto’s research and development platforms to make agriculture more productive and profitable for farmers.


Cotton is among a diverse group of projects from Monsanto’s research and development platforms to make agriculture more productive and profitable for farmers.

“We’re excited about the record progress we’ve made this year across all of our R&D platforms, as the projects in our pipeline today will help us provide an even stronger toolkit of solutions to meet the needs of farmers in the future,” says Robb Fraley, Monsanto chief technology officer.

In collaboration with BASF Plant Science, yield and stress projects include drought-tolerant cotton. Advancements designed to provide improved pest and weed management solutions also are part of the agronomic traits pipeline. Among the many is Monsanto’s Cotton Lygus Control project. As the first to target piercing and sucking insects in cotton, it is in advanced phases. The cotton lygus effort would be the first to extend the spectrum of insect control to piercing-sucking lygus bugs, which damage bolls and reduce cotton lint yield and quality.

Genuity Bollgard III Cotton is a third-generation insect control product that will build on the success of previous Bollgard products by providing enhanced insect protection, including improved control of beet and fall armyworms, through the use of multiple modes of action. It also will provide better season-long protection to targeted insects.

Key Points

• Monsanto continues research and development on cotton.

• Drought-tolerant cotton is a major goal of company.

• Deltapine offers improved cottons for Texas and Oklahoma.


The drought-tolerant cotton trait is designed to deliver improved water use by providing yield stability in environments experiencing occasional or consistent water stress. The trait also has the potential to reduce water needs on irrigated acres.

This is the first-generation project in a family of drought-tolerant traits for cotton. When considering the historic dry weather that Texas and the Southwest dealt with in 2011, this is seen as a major development for cotton in future growing seasons.

Monsanto also will make big efforts with its new nematicide chemistry to provide farmers a tool against multiple nematode species, one of the most frustrating and unsolved pest problems in agriculture and cotton production.

Deltapine cottons for 2012

Deltapine cotton varieties will offer farmers a chance to make more pounds in 2012.

“Deltapine is the No. 1 planted brand of cotton variety in the United States because of consistent, high-end performance year in and year out,” says Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton products manager. “Across all major cotton-growing regions, variety research continues to show Deltapine Class of ’09, Class of ’10 and Class of ’11 varieties providing better yield potential than competitors.”

He says new Deltapine Class of ’12 varieties offer improved yield and fiber quality potential in key markets. “Our 2012 variety lineup is the best we’ve ever offered,” Gholston says.

In the Southwest, Deltapine varieties offer an average 62- to 75-pound-per-acre yield advantage in Texas and Oklahoma, according to three years of testing. Key varieties for Texas include DP 1044 B2RF, which offers a combination of high yield and fiber quality potential on dryland and low-water irrigated acres. It is a smooth-leaf variety that has tolerance to both bacterial blight and verticillium wilt.

Despite the extreme heat of 2011, Oklahoma cotton grower Joe D. White of Frederick did surprisingly well with his DP 1044 B2RF cotton. White notes the cotton is known for being able to handle “Arizona-type” heat, which Oklahoma certainly felt last season. White says he likes its mid- to full-maturity growth habit, smooth leaf, and outstanding performance in dry, hot weather under limited irrigation. He also appreciates its seed vigor.

DP 1032 B2RF has the maturity and yield potential to fit on irrigated, high-yield environments in Texas, with shorter-season management. It has moderate resistance to bacterial blight.

The new DP 1219 B2RF, from the Class of ’12 varieties, is broadly adapted across Texas and Oklahoma with a combination of high yield and fiber quality potential.

For the early-maturing markets of the northern High Plains, the new DP 1212 B2RF offers similar yield and fit as DP 0912 B2RF, but with improved fiber quality.

To learn more about Deltapine cottons, see



This article published in the March, 2012 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.

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