What impact has the NPE Program had on Texas cotton production in 10 years?
Since it began in 2008, the Deltapine® New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program has become the cotton industry’s premier variety evaluation program, resulting in top-performing varieties for Texas growing markets. The truest test of a cotton variety is when it is planted in real-farm conditions and managed through harvest by a seasoned grower. This is the philosophy that has made the Deltapine NPE Program so successful.
Eric Best, Monsanto technical agronomist for West Texas
“I firmly believe that in the NPE Program’s 10 years, the impact has been very noticeable. Anytime we have the opportunity to evaluate potential products in a grower’s real-world situation, the resulting information and understanding that is generated is invaluable. This has led to the type of products demanded by growers, that were tested by growers, and that are now recommended by growers.”
Steve Carlson, Monsanto technical agronomist for South and East Texas
“The NPE Program has been one of the best programs I have seen in my 25 years of evaluating and testing products. It has allowed us to work closely with some of the best cotton growers in the South and evaluate products on a large scale on their operations, under their true on-the-farm management practices, and also take different soil types and weather patterns into account. I have seen the yields, quality and technology advancements move at a much faster rate compared to other crops, and I believe the combination of a first-class breeding organization and the testing of these products with New Product Evaluators is a critical reason this is being accomplished.”
Tony Cox, NPE grower in Wellington, Texas
“In our area of Texas, it has been huge. We started out with the Class of 09 varieties like DP 0912 B2RF, and while that variety had a longer shelf life than most varieties, we were not making four bales to the acre with it. And now, it isn’t uncommon at all to make four bales per acre on a field or better. I believe that in the 10 years we’ve been in this NPE Program, we have not only improved yields, but have dramatically improved fiber quality as well. The new technologies like XtendFlex® have also been huge, and we are looking forward to other technologies coming to help us manage pests.”
Nathan Betzen, NPE grower in Hereford, TX
“The impact of the NPE Program has been an increase in yield and improved fiber quality. The program has resulted in us picking the right varieties to move forward with. Monsanto conducts strip trials to look at lots of varieties that might have potential, and then we put them in the field in the NPE plots and give them a better test. It helps the company choose the best varieties to move forward with, and it has resulted in better yield and quality. The varieties that NPE growers recommend and the company commercializes are ready to plant and already proven, and our farmer neighbors are paying attention.”
Brian Hlavinka, NPE grower in East Bernard, TX
“Most of what I plant on my farm came out of the NPE Program. I’ve watched varieties change, yield increase and technologies get better. We are all looking for yields and good fiber quality, and these new varieties are starting to package higher yield potential with higher fiber quality potential. Years ago, we had to choose one over the other – yield or high fiber quality. Now, both are offered in varieties that come through the NPE Program. It is a good time for cotton varieties.”
Johnny Lindley, NPE grower in Memphis, TX
“One of the main benefits to come out of the NPE Program is the improved fiber quality. Farmers are paying more attention to quality these days. We have to have it in order to sell our cotton. Yield is important, and there are a lot of high-yielding varieties today, but fiber quality has greatly improved and it has really helped. We’ve gone from seeing a lot of 35 and 36 staple to consistently seeing 38 and 39 staple cotton. We did not have that 10 years ago. I think we’ve helped Deltapine bring better varieties to market. When you have this many eyes watching and this many hands working the plots, it impacts variety selection in a positive way.”