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On farms checking Deltapine’s next cotton varieties

Deltapine cotton is going through a trait transition time, leaning on the ThryvOn platform.

Brad Haire, Executive Editor

September 26, 2023

2 Min Read
Eric Best, Deltapine’s cotton product manager, checking New Product Evaluator cotton plots in south Georgia this summer.Brad Haire

At a Glance

  • In early August, Farm Press joined Bayer's regional Southeast team on cotton farms outside Bainbridge, Ga.

Eric Best and team examined the cotton in the southwest Georgia field, occasionally glancing down at their field maps to verify the various planted plot borders. What they saw might be the next official Deltapine cotton variety.

Best is Deltapine’s cotton product manager. As part of the Deltapine New Product Evaluator program, each growing season, Best and regional Bayer agronomists and field reps travel across the U.S. Cotton Belt to check in with NPE growers and plots.

In early August, Farm Press joined the regional Southeast team on farms outside Bainbridge, Ga. The heat and humidity rose, and the cotton looked good. The team also included Lauren Bessent, Deltapine brand manager, Scott Grant, Bayer area business manager, Heath Hadley, Bayer seed advisor, and Jason Pittman, southwest Georgia field rep.

What is Deltapine looking for in the NPE program?

“We’re going through a trait transition time. We have areas still planting herbicide only (traits), like in West Texas. You've got areas where 1646, (a Bt, XF trait) is still strong with tremendous performance across a broad range of environments. Then we're in that transition where we're going to ThryvOn Bollgard 3. We have new things coming stacked with it that we're calling ‘Native Trait Integration.’ We’re looking at root knot nematodes, reniform nematodes, bacterial blight, and combinations of those stacks with the ThryvOn platform,” Best said. “Of course, we’re always looking at next level yields.”

Best and the Deltapine team spend much of the summer traveling to NPE farms. The program has roughly 200 farmers selected to grow cotton contenders on their farms. In a single growing season, Best said, growers may evaluate as many as half a dozen potential new varieties, and they recommend what Deltapine should do with those varieties.

“They’re planting across a broad range of acres. They harvest them separately and give data back to us. And that is how we learn. We must get that feedback, because the ultimate test at the end of the day is whether that grower votes with his checkbook and buys that new product he has told us to advance,” Best said.

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