For representatives of CROPLAN brand cotton seed, 2019 was a year to be proud of. Quietly, the brand has grown its share of American cotton acreage year over year for the past five years. In the 2019 season, that number grew to 2.24% of all U.S. upland acres. That represents a five-fold increase over the brand’s market share just five short years ago.
“We continue to grow at a rate that we feel is sustainable with growers,” says Robert Cossar, cotton product manager for CROPLAN. “We are farmer owned, and that ties our whole message together. We’re based in helping growers achieve their highest return on investment.”
The most popular variety in the seed brand’s portfolio in 2019 was CROPLAN 3885 B2XF, an offering that snapped up an impressive 1.1% of all U.S. upland acreage, including 8% of all cotton acreage in the state of Alabama, according to USDA. Cossar says that variety has gained a reputation as being consistent across a wide array of growing conditions, especially in the Southeast and south Delta regions.
“It’s a full-season, Bollgard II XtendFlex variety that has really done well this year,” Cossar says. “It performs really good under irrigation, but really shines on some of those tough dryland acres. It’s very stable – if you go back and look at the University of Georgia’s on-farm trials, it’s one of the most stable varieties in all of their trials.
“Growers are always interested in the yield-winners in the trials, but they also see that CROPLAN 3885 is one that they can count on, no matter what the weather does, in any given year,” Cossar says.
Another staple in the CROPLAN portfolio has been CROPLAN 3475 B2XF, which found a significant foothold in the northern reaches of the Cotton Belt in 2019. Like CROPLAN 3885, it was introduced fully in 2016, and has grown in popularity in each successive season. The early-maturing variety travels well across many soil types and management styles, according to Cossar.
“We had some outstanding yields out of CL 3475 B2XF out of West Texas last year – some that actually shocked me when growers sent me screen shots of the yield monitors,” Cossar says. “It’s for the early-season market. It has the yields that they are looking for – mostly north of I-40 out there in Texas. It also performs well in those lighter soil types like they have in the Missouri Bootheel in the Senath area.
“It’s not really picky about type of acre, it’s easy to manage from a PGR standpoint, and it’s just a good standard cotton,” says Cossar. “Spray some Pix on it, keep the bugs off of it and watch it do its thing fruiting up and loading up.”
Among the company’s newer introductions, CROPLAN 9608 B3XF has stood out from a yield and fiber quality standpoint. The Bollgard 3 trait technology has made the variety popular among Delta growers.
“That variety has a fit for the Mid-South Delta, south through Louisiana and into that Coastal Bend market,” Cossar says. “We’ve actually sold completely out of it for the past two years. We’ve got big seed production this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we sold out again because it’s so popular.
“It’s about the best B3XF on the market today in terms of yield and fiber quality,” Cossar says. “It was on the short list of several Extension researchers this year.”
The mid-maturity variety is easy to manage and thrives in the heavier soil found in the Delta region, according to Cossar. He says researchers at CROPLAN could introduce as many as three new Bollgard 3 varieties for the 2020 season.