With new trait introductions out of the way for the first time in several years, Bayer CropScience can turn its complete focus to cotton variety development, using the full arsenal of technologies at the company’s disposal.
Based on the positive response to the new Stoneville and FiberMax GLT varieties (GlyTol LibertyLink TwinLink technologies) in 2014, the company’s prospects for 2015 look bright.
“For 2015, we have more than 10 experimental varieties to choose from,” said Jeff Brehmer, U.S. marketing manager for Stoneville and FiberMax. “And all of the varieties we’re going to bring forward will have the GLT technology which allows growers to spray both Liberty and glyphosate herbicides over the top.
“But what I’m really excited about is the experience that growers are having with GlyTol LibertyLink technology on the varieties we introduced for 2014.”
For Stoneville, Bayer will again rely on the proven performance of three market favorites – ST 4946GLB2, which provided root knot nematode tolerance and consistent yields to growers across the Cotton Belt; ST 6448GLB2, which has delivered improved fiber quality to growers looking for a fuller season variety in the Southeast and parts of South Texas; and ST 4946GLB2, which has shown success from Arizona to Virginia.
These “sophomore” varieties were joined by three “freshman” additions in 2014 – ST 5032GLT, an early-to-medium variety which has shown strong yield potential and fiber quality in areas east of the Mississippi River; ST 5289GLT, a medium maturity variety that has shown uniform plant height and strong yields in the South Delta; and ST 4747GLB2, which has good adaptability, especially among the Atlantic states.
Together, these six varieties form the foundation for Stoneville moving into 2105. “They have shown really nice results, and growers have had good experiences with having GlyTol LibertyLink technology to help manage those tough to control weeds,” stated Brehmer.
FiberMax will also enter 2015 with a foundation of proven performers, led by FM 2011GT.
“It will be in its fifth year in 2015, but some growers are really getting to experience it for the second year,” explained Brehmer. “It has root knot nematode tolerance and has performed well in really droughty conditions. Growers with limited water were elated with the yields.”
Expectations are also high for FM 1830GLT and FM 2334GLT, both introduced in 2014. Both varieties offer growers better Verticillium wilt tolerance, higher gin turnout and more improved fiber, especially with micronaire.
“Sometimes in the Southwest, you end up with a shorter season, and that often means issues with low micronaire,” said Brehmer. “With FM 1830GLT and FM 2334GLT, we’ve seen higher micronaire, which reduces the chances for discounts.”
Another 2014 variety – FM 2322GL – offers growers in the High Plains great Verticillium wilt tolerance and a solid fiber package.
“As we go into 2015, we have some tough decisions to make regarding what new varieties we bring forward,” admitted Brehmer. “We want to make sure that our new GLT offerings give growers what they want.”
Plans and decisions are still being finalized, but Brehmer anticipates making 2015 decisions on one or two new varieties for South Texas by early November, with the remaining variety decisions complete by the second week of December after all data and field results have been reviewed.
It’s an exciting time for the Stoneville and FiberMax brands,” he said. “We’re more mature in introgressing these traits into our germplasm and feel more confident after our broad scale field testing.”