Deltapine Varieties are Proven to Perform in Tough West Texas Conditions
Farming conditions in West Texas can be as tough as any place on Earth, with high elevation, low water tables, limited rainfall and the menace of dust storms as only a few obstacles that can get in the way of a good cotton crop.
West Texas growers are tough, resilient and performance driven — and they expect those same characteristics from the cotton varieties they plant. They expect their cotton to be West Texas tough.
Once pegged as Mid-South-type cotton, Deltapine® varieties are, in fact, bred for, tested in and made in West Texas to perform in the tough cottongrowing conditions of the region.
From the earliest stages of breeding to multiple seasons of extensive field testing—from the precommercial grower evaluation to production, processing, treating and bagging of Deltapine seed—it’s all done here in West Texas, and it starts with a local team committed to supporting the success of West Texas growers.
“When I look at the last 10 years and where we are today, I would absolutely say there have been holes in the Deltapine lineup during that time,” said Matt Peeples, Deltapine Area Business Manager located in Lubbock, Texas. “But the focus of the Deltapine breeding program in West Texas has intensified over the past decade. Deltapine breeders live and work alongside growers in West Texas, understanding the growing environments and challenges to better develop lines that fit this region.”
Bred for and Tested in West Texas
Deltapine breeders located in West Texas access the world’s largest collection of global cotton germplasm to cross and create thousands of new cotton lines each season. They are able to tap into worldwide genetics to find and breed varieties that specifically fit the West Texas growing environments.
The result is varieties like DP 1612 B2XF with improved seedling vigor, DP 1820 B3XF with improved fiber quality, and DP 1822 XF with improved Verticillium wilt tolerance, as well as a wider selection of products with earlier maturity.
Using genetic markers, breeders are searching for cotton lines with disease tolerance, specific maturities, good vigor and many other characteristics desirable to West Texas growers. There can be upwards of 500 individual lines being grown and evaluated each year at breeder line-testing fields located across West Texas.
Because no two seasons in West Texas are the same, each pre-commercial variety line under evaluation is grown for four to five seasons across West Texas—from Amarillo to San Angelo, from Seminole to Haskell. These varieties are tested in varying growing conditions, including both dryland and irrigated, to ensure those that move forward have the greatest potential to meet the needs and expectations of West Texas growers.
The final phase of cotton variety testing—and what sets Deltapine cotton varieties apart from competitors—is the New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program. More than 45 NPE growers located throughout West Texas evaluate the final pre-commercial variety candidates on their farms, under their unique management systems. Feedback from these growers helps the Deltapine product team determine which candidates to commercialize and how to position those new Deltapine varieties on farms for best performance.
“From the early stages in our pipeline, everything is done out here,” said Eric Best, a Deltapine Technical Agronomist based in Lubbock who is involved in field testing pre-commercial varieties. “If a variety can make it through our testing programs out here in these environments, I have no doubt in my mind that growers can count on Deltapine to provide products that are West Texas tough,” said Best.
Made in West Texas
The Deltapine brand is firmly rooted in the West Texas community, featuring the world’s premier state-of-the-art cotton seed manufacturing facility in Lubbock—the result of a $145 million investment.
“The technologies housed in this facility allow a very high-quality seed product to be manufactured, bagged and distributed to growers quickly,” said Kelly Tucker, site lead at the Lubbock cottonseed manufacturing facility.
The Deltapine West Texas seed manufacturing facility features new and unique technology, providing the ability to clean out damaged seed. In-house seed treating technology also allows for better seed coverage for enhanced performance in the field. And, since the facility is located in West Texas, it introduces new jobs for the local community and employs up to 120 people. Employees often donate their time to various charities—and the facility itself aspires to be zero waste to landfill.
Committed to Grower Success
Within the Deltapine variety lineup, there are products that fit every type of West Texas acre, whether irrigated or dryland.
For two seasons, DP 1612 B2XF has offered the right maturity and good performance potential for the upper Panhandle of Texas. DP 1549 B2XF can endure the dry, tough conditions and make consistent yield potential and good fiber quality. And, DP 1646 B2XF is the number-one planted variety in the Southwest region, according to the USDA Cotton Varieties Planted 2018 report, offering high yield and premium fiber quality potential.
The Deltapine Class of 18 varieties for West Texas offer Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® technology in varieties such as DP 1845 B3XF, which shows very similar fiber quality and yield performance to DP 1646 B2XF.
“Where growers are trying to manage costs and want something very durable on a tough acre, another Class of 18 variety that’s focused specifically on West Texas is DP 1822 XF,” said Best. “It’s having a very strong year and provides those benefits of strong stand establishment and quality under stress, and it maintains that yield in this type of environment. With our commitment to Texas, specifically West Texas, I think we’re going to see more and more products like some of the ones I’ve already mentioned, that were bred for here, tested here, developed here.”