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At Arizona field day: Delta Pine's next top cottonseed showcased

Delta Pine's new DP 164 B2RF cottonseed variety will be the company's next top cottonseed variety for Arizona, according to Delta and Pine Land staff at the D&PL Field Day held on Sept. 28 in Coolidge, Ariz.

“The B164 B2RF will be the cream of the crop in Arizona as far as yield and fiber quality,” said Dave Albers, D&PL's head of economic services, during a field tour of 17 D&PL varieties. “It will be an outstanding product for this part of the world.”

Albers said the average staple length on Arizona plots is running on top of 37. The micronaire is 4.3 for Arizona conditions and can shift up depending on conditions. Strength is around 30 grams per test. He predicted the DP B164 B2RF could move into the No. 1 position in Arizona by the next planting season based on the variety's ‘pounds and quality.’

The company's current top seller in Arizona is the DP 449 BG/RR. “The DP 449 BG/RR really holds up in head. Natural progression will be from the DP 449 BG/RR to the DP 164 B2RF just with the performance and the technology that the DP 164 B2RF carries. He predicted the DP 449 BG/RR would be around for another year or two.

In a few areas of the state, the DP 449 BG/RR may still be better — an earlier variety that's perhaps not as tall. Albers said, “Growers can pick up almost two staple lengths going from the DP 449 BG/RR to the DP 164 B2RF. The DP 449 BG/RR will average around 35 and 36 with the DP 164 B2RF in the 37s and 38s.

While the full season DP 164 B2RF is suitable statewide, he explained the variety might not be very popular in Yuma County because of the need for more early termination so growers can plant vegetables in September and October. He said the DP 167 RF is doing “extremely well” in Yuma. “Yuma is not part of the pink bollworm eradication and is along the Colorado River so they want to go Roundup Ready Flex and conventional and not pay for the Bollgard because there's no need for it,” Albers said.

About 225 farmers, university personnel, pest control advisors and others attended the D&PL event that showcased 19 cottonseed varieties and four seed treatments.

J&M Farms in Coolidge, owned by Jamie Shaw, served as the event cooperator.

D&PL Sales Manager Mike Farmer said the company's main emphasis is trying to highlight new technologies.

“The varieties provide more flexibilities to growers. In the past straight with Roundup after the fifth leaf, you weren't allowed to go over the top because of sterility issues as far as fruiting of the plant,” he said. “With Roundup Ready Flex, it basically allows the grower to go over the top full season to 60 percent boll crack which pretty much is full season. This window of opportunity will mean a lot to growers.”

He said growers did not like the fifth leaf rule — they want to spray longer because weeds germinate later. “Now that won't be a problem,” Farmer said. “Growers can go across the top, not harm the cotton, and control their weeds. It's a much simpler and cheaper to grow cotton.”

Albers noted that the DP 655 B/RR has been a great performer for higher Arizona elevations like Safford. He said another variety working well in Safford with potential for Central Arizona is the DP 455 BG/RR. While not Arizona bred, the variety has excellent heat tolerance. It is very similar to the DP 449 BG/RR. “It fruits all the way to the top and holds its load all the way to the top. One nice advantage to the DP 455 BG/RR is its lower micronaire,” he said.

One of the growers at the field day was Sonny Hatley of Associated Farms. He grows 2,300 acres of cotton on the Salt River Indian Reservation in Scottsdale, Ariz. This year he grew the DP 555 BG/RR, DP 655 B/RR and the DP 164 B2RF.

Hatley said, “The DP 655 B/RR has done the best on my farm as the most consistent yielder.” He called the three D&PL varieties all good on yields and quality. “You have to have the yield and quality hand in hand. Everything we plant is Roundup Ready.”

Hatley has grown Stoneville's 6565 B2RF for the last two to three years for production seed.

In seed protection, Syngenta and Bayer Crop Science explained products to growers.

Syngenta's Tom Harris discussed the Avicta Complete Pak that was introduced in 2005. “This is a total pest control program for early season. It includes Avicta for nematodes, Cruiser for insecticide control and the Dynasty CST as a fungicide.” He said 20,000-25,000 acres were treated with the Avicta Complete Pak this year in Arizona.

Chuck Gullord of Bayer CropScience talked about the seed-applied insecticide Gaucho Grande, a higher rate product introduced two years ago that offers a greater suppression level. He said the company should have a commercial nematacide product on the market in 2006. “These nematicides and seed applied insecticides are part of the future of many seed varieties. Keep your ears open — there is a lot of activity coming,” Gullord said.

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