Sponsor: Strong Cotton for Texas

The 2016 season gave Texas growers some ideal growing conditions at times, and threw them some tough conditions, as well. When harvest and ginning were finished, one thing was clear: Deltapine® varieties performed at the top in yield and fiber quality across the state and Southwest region of the U.S.

Performance of DP 1549 B2XF on dryland fields was exceptional for Miller Family Farms outside Altus, Okla. Tim Miller and his sons, Boone and Blaze, farm a no-till system on most of their ground and harvest with a stripper. Yields, lint turnout and fiber quality on the Deltapine variety were head-turning, with one of their dryland fields averaging 1,374 lbs/acre and a lint turnout of 37.3%.

DP 1549 B2XF is a full-maturity variety with semi-smooth leaf and a solid performance history on dryland and limited-water fields in the Southwest. The Millers planted a second dryland field to DP 1549 B2XF, which averaged 1,118 lbs/acre with a turnout of 36.3%, and yet another field that averaged 1,076 lbs/acre with 34.5% turnout. The yield and turnout were way above normal, said Tim Miller.

“We’ve never done this before,” he said. “Our topend yield potential used to be 500 pounds. Since we went to planting Deltapine varieties, the yield potential has been raised. We’ve not planted another brand of cotton variety since 2009. Since then, our yield average has been over 600 lbs/acre, and looking at 2016 results with these new Deltapine varieties, our mark is now over 600 lbs/acre over that average yield.” Fiber quality is just as important as yield to the Millers. Their bales of DP 1549 B2XF averaged nearly 37 in staple length with good mic, strength and leaf grades. The loan price ranged from 56.70 to 56.90 cents.

“The staple length exceeded anything we’ve ever grown,” said Miller. “We’re pleased. It will be difficult for anyone to convince us to plant anything else but DP 1549 B2XF this coming season.”

Strong Performance in the High Plains
For some time, growers in the High Plains have been confident with planting DP 1044 B2RF because of its high-end performance on dryland and also fields with limited irrigation capacity. But, with the rise of troublesome, resistant weeds, a paradigm shift has happened—many growers now want the same type of variety performance that DP 1044 B2RF has given them, but with better weed control options.

Deltapine® Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton varieties are tolerant to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba, which provides added choice and flexibility to growers to achieve a very effective weed management system. Now with EPA approval of XtendiMax™ herbicide with VaporGrip™ Technology for in-crop use with Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton, growers have the added benefit of the industry’s best weed control in highperforming Deltapine varieties.

“Under both light water and dryland situations, Deltapine varieties DP 1522 B2XF and DP 1549 B2XF have shown proven performance over a number of years in the High Plains of Texas,” said Eric Best, a Monsanto territory agronomist based in Lubbock. “These two varieties show very consistent performance and grades. They have been very stable across a wide range of environments, soil types and planting dates. They handled the stresses of 2016, and fiber grades and yields are showing that. There is a lot of grower excitement over them.”

Many High Plains growers were optimistic in 2016 as they planted a dryland crop, knowing they had a fairly full moisture profile in most places. Much of that optimism waned when July hit, hot and dry. Varieties like DP 1522 B2XF and DP 1549 B2XF held up during the month’s stressful weather and responded well when the skies opened up and rain fell in early fall. Where growers expected 200 to 300 lbs/acre on dryland fields, they were stripping 400 to 500 lbs/acre, and in some cases, much better.

“Growers have been very pleased with the yield and fiber quality on these two varieties,” said Best. “We’re seeing very good micronaire and color grades. We’re seeing lots of low leaf and bark grades, especially compared to the 2015 season. And, the staple lengths are exceptional. A lot of dryland cotton is hitting 35 and 36 staple length, and loan values are showing that accordingly.”

In Tulia, Texas, Danny Morgan experienced a good growing season with timely rains. He expected to grow good cotton as a result. His crop of DP 1522 B2XF planted on dryland, skip-row corners did not disappoint.

“The yield averaged 1,716 pounds to the planted acre,” Morgan said. “Usually, if you make 500 pounds or a little over in this part of the country, that’s pretty good. It was clean-stripping cotton. There was not any cotton left in the bur when finished. The turnout on the dryland was 33%. For stripper cotton, that’s pretty good for around here.”

For growers looking for an earlier-maturing variety or a variety for replant or late-planting situations, DP 1612 B2XF is a solid candidate that offers outstanding yield and fiber quality potential. Although earlymaturing, this variety can withstand stressful periods and respond well when moisture becomes available again. In the High Plains near Nazareth, Texas, Kent Birkenfeld needs early-maturity cotton varieties with cold tolerance and high yield potential on irrigated ground. He found those qualities in DP 1612 B2XF in 2016.

“We had a cold spell in May when we planted, and DP 1612 B2XF emerged very vigorously,” said Birkenfeld. “It showed good cold tolerance. It matured rapidly and I was able to harvest it early. I was very pleased with the yield and fiber grades.”

DP 1612 B2XF averaged 2,133 lbs/acre for Birkenfeld, and the loan value was 56.60.

“Those are very good yield and loan values for our area,” he said. “It is a very good-yielding variety. It actually had the highest yields I’ve ever made in all the years I’ve farmed. Two thousand pounds is a lofty mark to shoot for, and DP 1612 B2XF surpassed that mark.”

DP 1646 B2XF Sets the Bar High
Across Texas and the entire mid- to full-season growing markets of the U.S. Cotton Belt, DP 1646 B2XF set lofty performance expectations, consistently delivering high yield and premium fiber quality for growers in 2016.