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Raising the bar on cotton variety performance

The Deltapine® New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program kicks off its 14th season in 2021. An industry standard, the program involves growers in product evaluations that prove performance of new cotton varieties before commercialization.

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The Deltapine® New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program kicks off its 14th season in 2021. An industry standard, the program involves growers in product evaluations that prove performance of new cotton varieties before commercialization. This results in some of the top-planted varieties on the market today.

The Deltapine NPE Program’s impact on the cotton industry is felt across the Cotton Belt. Growers see their yield potential increase and fiber qualities improve as well as experience new and better disease and pest management options. More than 200 growers across the Cotton Belt evaluate variety candidates on large-acre plots in their own growing conditions and management systems. The program is a reality check for the Bayer cotton breeding and testing program.

“The Deltapine NPE Program is truly a unique company-grower collaboration influencing the industry in a positive way,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton product manager. “The truest test of a cotton variety is when it is planted in real farm conditions and managed through harvest by a seasoned grower. This is the philosophy that has made the Deltapine NPE Program so successful and Deltapine a top-planted brand of cotton in the United States.”

Longtime Deltapine NPE growers echo similar thoughts about the program’s impact on the industry.

“We’ve been part of the program since 2008 and have seen some great varieties come out of it,” said Brad Williams, whose family farms in southwestern Tennessee. Williams will evaluate variety candidates for the Class of ’22 this coming season. “We treat the 70 acres of cotton in the NPE Program just like every other acre on the farm. The plots are a true example of how we farm overall.”

Research is critical, and the NPE Program is like the final step in the process, said NPE grower Keeff Felty in Oklahoma.

“It is nationwide, large-scale plot evaluations that let growers work with these varieties in their conditions, which is critical to proving performance,” Felty said. “NPE growers know if a variety works in their region or not, and it’s a final step in the commercialization process. There are things you can find out about varieties in a testing program like NPE.”

Each season, Deltapine NPE growers have become the go-to for others in the industry who want unfiltered information from those who grew and harvested the varieties in their region, said Jason Waltz, an NPE grower since 2008, located in South Carolina.

“I get lots of phone calls from area growers, crop consultants and seed retailers asking about the NPE plots,” he said. “They want to know what’s coming, what the new varieties look like and what my thoughts are on the new varieties. The Deltapine NPE Program is a big deal for the industry, and I feel good to be a part of a program that has revolutionized cotton farming.” 

Ask your Deltapine field service representative about how you can follow results from NPE plots in your region. Click here for more information on the NPE Program.

Bayer, Bayer Cross and Deltapine® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. ©2020 Bayer Group. All Rights Reserved.

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