High Plains Quality Quest

High Plains cotton producers will have access to good seed supplies of Delta and Pine Land’s Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton varieties this season.

D&PL said the varieties will enhance the lineup of high-yielding products for America’s largest cotton-production region. Producers are reporting excellent yields and premium fiber quality with varieties such as DP 143 B2RF, DP 117 B2RF and DP 164 B2RF. Also, a Roundup Ready Flex-only variety — DP 147 RF — performed well and will be in good supply.

“D&PL utilizes its two breeding and research programs located in Texas — one on the High Plains at Hale Center, and another in the Rolling Plains of Haskell — to develop varieties that offer top-end yield and fiber quality potential for Texas and all of the Southwest,” said Dr. Dave Albers, vice president of technical services at D&PL. “At those same stations we also broadly test germplasm from the other U.S. and global D&PL breeding programs. Why? To identify and bring in from outside the region, new growth and yield characteristics that can improve the cotton that’s being grown in the region.”

Tom Speed, Western regional technical services manger for D&PL, added that, “In last year’s heat and drought conditions, DP 143 B2RF yielded well, but where farmers had it under irrigation, it yielded extremely well.

“Based on grade sheets, the fiber quality on DP 143 B2RF was excellent, especially in locations that had less than ideal growing conditions last year. DP 117 B2RF, an early-maturity variety, and DP 164 B2RF, a mid-full maturity, also showed good potential for premium fiber quality and top-end yields.”

Brian Schoeph, who farms with his father and brother in Crosby County, TX, says 50%-60% of the family’s 4,000 cotton acres this year will be planted to varieties containing Roundup Ready Flex technology.

“With Roundup Ready Flex, I can spray a 120-acre circle with a boom in 30 minutes where it might take me 4 hours to go through there with a hooded sprayer,” said Schoeph. “It’s the labor and time savings that make this technology work for us. We can take one man and do the job of three men when we have Roundup Ready Flex varieties planted.”

Last season, DP 147 RF was a good performer on the Schoeph farm.

“It seemed to be very storm-proof and had better grades than most of the other varieties,” he said. “It will be planted on a significant portion of our acres this year.”

D&PL will also have a supply of PM 2140 B2RF and PM 2141 B2RF, companion varieties developed in the D&PL breeding and research program located in Haskell, TX. Both varieties are very early Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex options for the northern reaches of the High Plains, including Oklahoma and Kansas. They’ve both demonstrated the potential for combined high yield and premium fiber quality in 2006 testing. A good supply of seed is also available for DP 121 RF, a variety that has shown excellent performance potential on the High Plains.

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