Growers helping evaluate Deltapine varieties

More than 180 cotton farmers are participating in the 2010 Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) Program this season, helping Monsanto Company evaluate and commercialize better cotton varieties.

In its third year, the NPE Program has become one of the industry’s main proving grounds for commercial cotton varieties, because it allows farmers to evaluate pre-commercial varieties in module-sized or larger plots. The program has been instrumental in Monsanto’s ability to commercialize new varieties that offer higher yield potential, better fiber quality and unique features.

Participating farmers grow these products under their own management systems for evaluation. Monsanto conducts regular dialogue with each NPE farmer throughout the season to get feedback on the products they are testing. Final results are collected from each NPE farm and the farmers are met with for a full download about each variety tested. Few cotton trials are as thorough and provide such realistic evaluations as the Deltapine NPE Program, said Dave Rhylander, Deltapine Marketing Lead for Monsanto.

“The NPE Program allows us to validate a variety’s performance potential before we take it commercial,” he said. “The program provides a comprehensive look at each product and enables Monsanto to bring to market cotton varieties that offer real performance advantages. We evaluate these plots throughout the growing season, which allows us to identify plant characteristics and management needs of each product being tested. When we commercialize a variety we can help growers understand best management practices for that variety because we’ve seen on a large scale how, where and under what systems they thrive. The NPE Program creates confidence in the performance potential of new Deltapine cotton varieties.”

Many 2010 NPE farmers are repeat participants in the program. Near Wellington, Texas, Tony Cox has planted an NPE plot for the third year.

“The NPE program can occupy a lot of our time, but it is important to me because I get to look at new varieties to see how they perform on my place,” Cox said. “It has helped me find varieties that fit my farm. It has also helped me identify varieties that don’t fit my farm before I go out and purchase them. So the program is valuable to me and worth the effort.”

Wade Condrey in Lake Providence, La., said the Deltapine NPE program is helping him find cotton varieties and technologies that fit his soil type and management style.

“We are spread out over 24,000 acres and we wanted to move acres into Genuity Roundup Ready Flex, but we did not want to give up the yield we were getting with DP 555 BG/RR,” he said. “The NPE Program has helped us identify replacement varieties. We are planting 10 acres of each variety side by side and managing them the way I like to manage cotton and these are keys to determining if a new variety can perform on our farm. I would not do this if it were just a few rows and they told me when to fertilize it and when to spray it and when to water it. Monsanto is getting valuable information from this program and we are getting valuable information from this program.”

To learn what farmers are saying about the new Deltapine cotton varieties, go to To calculate how new and established Deltapine cotton varieties maximize your profit potential, go to