From Cotton Grower Magazine – November 2017
A strong year from two impressive Bollgard II XtendFlex varieties drove sales growth – and market exposure – to the CROPLAN brand of cotton.
“Sales of our CROPLAN brand increased more than the percentage increase in cotton acres in 2017,” says Robert Cossar, CROPLAN cotton product manager for WinField United. “And a lot of that was driven by our two main varieties – CROPLAN 3885 B2XF and CROPLAN 3475 B2XF.”
CROPLAN 3885 B2XF is a true full season variety that earned its way onto fields in southern Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. A top performer in Georgia on-farm trials for two years, it has dependably provided very good yields and fiber quality to growers. This year has been no exception.
“We continued to see increased sales of CROPLAN 3885 B2XF,” says Cossar. “Part of that is driven by the XtendFlex trait, as we see more and more growers move to that technology at a faster rate than we probably anticipated. It’s amazing how growers are changing genetics and technology today compared to 10-15 years ago when cotton growers seemed to take forever to change varieties.”
Cossar also bragged on the performance of CROPLAN 3475 B2XF in Tennessee, the Missouri Bootheel and the Texas Panhandle. “It’s an early variety that is able to finish quickly,” he states.
The company introduced a new variety – CROPLAN 3527 B2XF – in limited quantities in 2017, primarily in northern Alabama and the Missouri Bootheel. “It has some late season Verticillium wilt tolerance and has looked good this year,” says Cossar. “We’re planning to increase production of it for 2018.”
Looking ahead, the company has two new Bollgard 3 XtendFlex varieties in test this year as possible options for 2018. Both offer true medium maturity for different targeted markets.
One of the varieties, notes Cossar, fits west Texas from north of Lubbock, south to the Brownfield/Seminole area. There’s no yield data yet, but performance to date in the plots is very promising.
The second B3XF variety has its best fit in the south Texas, Mid-South and Southeast markets. It’s described as being a little earlier than CROPLAN 3885 B2XF, with the potential for more expanded adaptability northward.
“Growers are telling me they want every bag of Bollgard 3 they can get next year,” says Cossar. “We’re producing as much as we can this year for 2018 and will continue to expand our supplies for 2019. We’re probably going to release these two varieties, but the final decision will come in December when all yield and fiber quality data is in.”
As part of the WinField United/Land O’Lakes cooperative, the company offers all major cotton seed brands to its customers and works individually with each one to determine the right variety mix for each farm.
“Being owned by farmers, it’s our task to make sure we are doing the right thing for each grower,” explains Cossar. “We’re not only focused on our CROPLAN brand. We’re focused on all brands of cotton seed for the grower and will sell and place the right variety where it makes sense, based on soil types, management strategies and technology needs. We want to make sure the variety fits the farmer, rather than make the farmer fit the variety.
“From a brand perspective, that’s worked well for CROPLAN,” he adds. “We’re not extremely deep in the number of varieties we offer, but we try to make sure we have the right varieties that growers can take advantage of on their farm.”