Farmers who grew Roundup Ready Flex cotton this past season reported in a recent telephone survey that they not only saved significant time – over 200 man hours on average – but also derived financial as well as quality-of-life benefits.
These producers of Roundup Ready Flex cotton said they believed the technology enabled them to save an average of 214 man-hours during 2008, although actual savings varied by geography, with larger-acreage farms saving the most time. Over 400 growers across the Cotton Belt who planted Roundup Ready Flex with Bollgard II cotton responded to a questionnaire conducted by Market Probe on behalf of Monsanto.
Since Roundup Ready Flex was introduced in 2006, many cotton growers have reported that this second-generation weed control technology provides them with time savings resulting from the ability to make over-the-top herbicide applications past the traditional fourth-leaf stage, instead of having to use much slower hooded sprayers, and by enabling a reduced number of trips over the fields by combining herbicide applications with other crop production products.
“The experiences, concerns and expectations of our cotton-grower customers are central to what we do as a 100 percent ag company,” said Paul Callaghan, U.S. Cotton Traits Manager for Monsanto. “We appreciate feedback about how our technologies are delivering real value to our customers and enabling them to do a better job of producing cotton.”
With regard to the different benefits of the technology, 97 percent responded that it provided them a wider window for over-the-top herbicide applications; 95 percent thought it offered them ease and simplicity; 91 percent responded that it provided them with superior weed control; 84 percent reported they experienced time savings; and 79 percent saw higher yields as a benefit.
“These growers are telling us that Roundup Ready Flex is not only helping them be more efficient, but is also providing a significant enhancement in terms of quality-of-life issues,” Callaghan said.
Asked how they spent their time savings, 84 percent felt they were able to better manage other farm responsibilities or crops; 68 percent of survey participants believed they were able to reduce their overall labor costs on their operations; and 59 percent reported they used the saved hours to spend more time with their families or for recreational pursuits.
Bollgard II Natural Refuge Delivers Benefits
The 2008 season was the first time that farmers in most parts of the Cotton Belt could rely instead on a natural refuge – that is, naturally occurring crops and plants surrounding their Bollgard II cotton fields – to help prevent the development of insect resistance. Asked about benefits of the natural refuge,
- 89% of survey participants said their cotton program was easier to manage.
- 88% said the natural refuge saved them time and money.
- 75% experienced higher yields by being able to plant Bollgard II from fencerow to fencerow.
Beginning in 2010, Roundup Ready Flex and Bollgard II will be marketed under Monsanto’s new Genuity brand family of traits, which are designed to work together to enhance crop potential and simplify trait selection for farmers. The Genuity brand family will include the latest cotton, corn, soybean and specialty crop traits, as well as future trait technologies in Monsanto’s new product pipeline.