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Brad Williams, Tennessee cotton farmer
Brad Williams examines some of the cotton in one of his 2017 New Product Evaluator blocks of cotton in a field in Shelby County, Tenn.

Deltapine NPE Program sets to kick off Class of 19

Expanded Bollgard 3 XtendFlex offerings

The Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program kicks off its 11th season focused on enhancing performance in key regions, broadening the availability of Bollgard 3 XtendFlex cotton and raising the bar for yield and quality potential across maturity groups.

“This class has several strong commercial candidates that have exceptional Beltwide adaptation, and the class addresses some very specific needs, particularly for the northern Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas markets,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine product manager. “Class of 19 candidates being evaluated include two lines with very early maturity, good yield and fiber quality potential. We’re very excited about the nine Class of 19 variety candidates growers across the Belt are planting and evaluating this year.”

Growers participating in the 2018 NPE Program will plant Class of 19 variety candidates on large-acre plots for a true farm evaluation. The plots will be managed accordingly to each grower’s practices, will consist of both irrigated and nonirrigated fields, various soil types and be subjected to local environmental conditions. Feedback from the NPE growers helps determine which candidates to commercialize and how to position those new Deltapine varieties on farms in different regions with various management programs.

Seven of the nine variety candidates contain Bollgard 3 XtendFlex technology, which provides three unique modes of action against key lepidopteran pests and the ability for in-crop use of labeled dicamba formulations to help manage hard-to-control weeds.

Also featured in the Class of 19 candidates is the first variety that features Bollgard 3 XtendFlex technology and root-knot nematode resistance. Targeted for and being evaluated in the sandy soil regions of West Texas and the Mid-South, this product, if commercialized, would combine advanced insect and weed protection with the proven Deltapine NR (root-knot nematode-resistant) breeding trait. Three of the variety candidates being evaluated for the Class of 19 are from the Texas breeding program.

The Deltapine NPE Program has played a significant role in the rapid adoption of varieties with the latest pest management trait technologies. The rate of new-variety adoption in the industry over the past 10 years has increased, and that can be attributed directly to the NPE Program, said Gholston.

“A perfect example of how quickly we see adoption of these new varieties is DP 1646 B2XF, which was commercially released in 2016 and was planted on more acres than other varieties this past growing season,” he said. “The NPE growers who evaluated the product in 2015 and planted it commercially in 2016 shared their experiences with their neighbors, building confidence in the variety’s performance. The faster rate of adoption is an indication that performance is getting better with each new class released.”

The Deltapine Class of 19 varieties will be announced in December and available for the 2019 planting season.

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