According to the National Cotton Council, U.S. farmers intended to plant 14.5 million acres of cotton this spring, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2018, and 3.5 million more acres than 2017 planting intention figures. As farmers choose to grow more cotton, Bayer’s commitment to innovation in the industry remains strong. The company’s vision for its cotton business, now that it includes the Deltapine seed brand, is to bring the latest tools and technology to farmers at a rapid pace.
“A combination of investment in breeding top performing varieties and industry-leading trait technologies – offering both disease and herbicide resistance – are putting us in an even better position to serve our customers,” says Bayer’s Miriam Paris, North America Strategic Business Lead – Regional Crops.
Bringing new, high-yielding genetics with outstanding fiber quality is a hallmark of Bayer’s cotton breeding program. Advancements in insect protection and herbicide tolerance play a significant role in helping farmers realize those yield and quality gains. Among those recent technologies is Bollgard® 3 XtendFlexÒcotton varieties, which offer improved protection against pests like the cotton bollworm, plus allows for the application of three herbicide chemistries on the crop—glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate.
The Deltapine Class of 19 includes three new Bollgard 3 XtendFlex cotton varieties.
“Proprietary seed chipping technology, the use of molecular markers and a broad network of field research locations allows Bayer seed breeders to put better-performing genetics in the hands of farmers quicker,” says Paris.
That research network also features the Deltapine New Product Evaluation (NPE) Program, considered the cotton industry’s premier field evaluation program. Since 2008, the NPE Program has played a role in the commercialization of some of the top-planted varieties by growing region. Deltapine NPE growers evaluate whether or not new cottonseed varieties perform as well or better than current varieties on the market.
What’s in the Pipeline for Deltapine Seed?
The cotton industry can expect to see Bayer make continued, substantial investments in their Deltapine brand. Currently, their robust pipeline features top germplasm and traits including technology to fend off piercing and sucking pests and next generation bollworm protection.
“The Bayer cotton breeding program, coupled with the development of novel insect and weed control technologies in the pipeline, will help provide solutions to issues facing farmers for the coming decades,” says Paris.