Summit helps cotton growers’ bottom line

The Big Easy was full of cotton growers for the 2019 Deltapine New Product Evaluator Summit Dec. 13 and 14 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Keylon Gholston, Deltapine product manager within the Bayer Corporation, says the NPE program was born in 2007 when the company produced the first Bollgard 2 XtendFlex products in Costa Rica.

“We got the product back in 2008 and decided when we were changing technologies that it would be very important to be able to know not only the yield and quality of those products, but also how to manage those products and how to position them at the grower level,” he explained. “We chose about 200 growers from across the cotton belt and asked them to take three bags of each experiential variety, which plants as much as 20 acres. The reason we wanted large sized trials was so that grower could manage that variety as it needed to be managed.”

During the trials, growers are asked questions like how the crop emerged, how it grew during the early season, what the fruiting pattern was like and how responsive the crop was to plant growth regulators. At the end of the year, the growers harvest the experiential plots to obtain real world gin data with such details as gin turnout, percent lint and yield.

“The program has been wildly successful,” Gholston said. “It’s really helped us identify germplasm that was needed in the marketplace. I don’t know of any that we do that is more important than this program because it gives us so much information that puts product in the marketplace.”

Currently 204 growers are involved in the NPE grower program and a large percentage have been a part of if ever since it began. James Kamas, of Little River, Texas, raises cotton, wheat, oats, sorghum and corn. He has been attending the NPE Summit for seven years. 

“I like that fact that it’s kind of a vacation for us, but it’s very informative too,” Kamas said. “All these cotton growers across the cotton belt exchange ideas and views, which has been very beneficial to me. Of course the programs Bayer puts on are very educational and I think this year’s summit was one of the best ones I’ve attended in terms of program content. 


2019 summit brings growers together in the pelican state

Attendees at this year’s summit heard from Doug Rushing, the cotton and regional crop industry affairs lead for Bayer, as well as Michael Strain, DVM, and Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner. Jesse Daystar, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Cotton Incorporated, a non-profit organization funded by cotton growers in the United States through per-bale assessments on producers and importers levied by the Cotton Board.

Kelli Brown, cotton portfolio lead at Bayer, gave a presentation about what the cotton industry can do better and how Deltapine is working to promote cotton over synthetic fibers such as polyester using the Field Closet program. Field Closet makes cotton source-verified and allows consumers to trace cotton back to the farmer with full transparency. It also reminds consumers cotton is naturally sustainable and that buying it protects the environment.

Later a Deltapine cotton breeders panel was held where growers could ask breeders questions. The panel included Lloyd May, cotton line development breeder for Bayer; Dawn Frazier, commercial development breeder for Bayer; and Darren Jones, commercial development breeder for Bayer.

To explain a new era in cotton technology, a panel of cotton experts were on stage to answer technology related questions. The panel included: David Kerns, Texas A&M University; Jeffery Gore, Mississippi State University; Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee; and Phillip Roberts, University of Georgia.

Bayer introduced their new Tryvon Technology, which is a new biotechnology trait coming in the future. It will be the first in the industry designed to help cotton growers protect against tarnished plant bugs and thrips species. According to Deltapine, four out of five cotton growers indicate the presence of thrips, so this technology is expected to have a measurable impact on the pest in cotton crops.

The announcement of the 2020 Deltapine cotton seed varieties was eagerly anticipated throughout the summit. The varieties included: DP 2012 B3XF, DP 2020 B3XF, DP 2038 B3XF, DP 2055 B3XF, DP 2044 B3XF and DP 2022 B3XF. To learn more about these cotton seed varieties, visit the It’s Your Business page.

The top yields awards for Deltapine varieties were also announced at the conference. Some notable winners included: James Wray of Wray Farms in Jonesboro, Arkansas, with his 1,895 pound per acre yield of DP 2012 B3XF; Justin Lehman of Lehman Farms in Vernon, Texas, with his 2,048 pounds per acre yield on DP 2012 B3XF; Jeff Lorah of Robbins Farms in Altus, Oklahoma, with his 2,049 pounds per acre yield of DP 2020 B3XF; Tony and Sonny Cox of Cox Farms in Wellington, Texas, with their 2,527 pounds per acre yield on DP 2038 B3XF; Mack Burge of Hillside Farms in Campbell, Missouri, with his 2,030 pounds per acre yield of DP 2055 B3XF; Darren Jost of Jost Farms in Garden City, Texas, with his 1,598 pounds per acre yield of DP 2055 B3XF; Johnny Lindley of Lindley Farms in Wellington, Texas, with his 1,845 pounds per acres of DP 2022 B3XF; and Blaine Nichols of Nichols Farms in Seminole, Texas, with his 1,520 pounds per acre yield of DP 2044 B3XF. Shane Hunter of Hunter Farms in Uvalde, Texas, had the highest yield of all the variety category winners with 2,762 pounds per acres of DP 2055 B3XF.

Lacey Newlin can be reached at 580-748-1892 or [email protected].