New Stoneville variety ‘comes home’ to south Delta

They say that “good things come to those who wait.” That saying may be the case with the agronomists who work on FiberMax and Stoneville cottonseed for Bayer CropScience.

Bayer CropScience has released four new cotton varieties — two FiberMax and two Stoneville — for the 2015 planting season that is now under way across most of the U.S. The Stoneville varieties are ST 5115 GLT and ST 6182 GLT.

ST 5115 GLT is a medium maturity variety that Bayer CropScience agronomists believe will be a good fit for the upper Mid-South and the Atlantic states. The first two numbers 51 in ST 5115 indicate the maturity level.

“The 61 in ST 6182 indicates it’s more of a full-season variety that should be a fit for the lower Southeast,” says Jeff Brehmer, U.S. product manager for FiberMax and Stoneville. “The 82 stands for Highway 82 which sort of divides the Mid-South into north Delta and south Delta and runs from Georgia to Texas.

“We’ve been looking for a full-season cotton to be a replacement for the 555 maturity,” he said, “and Steve Nichols (U.S. agronomic manager for seed and technology for Bayer CropScience), who grew up in the ‘epicenter’ of the Delta in Leland, Miss., has been wanting to use the 82 designation for seven or eight years.”

Besides the sentimental attachment, ST 6182 is also adapted for dryland and irrigated acres on light and heavy soils, a situation many Southeastern growers often experience in the same field. It also contains the Glytol-LibertyLink-TwinLink technology to protect cotton against problem weeds and lepidopteran pests.

Brehmer says the four new varieties should help growers overcome major challenges specific to their regions in what is already proving to be a challenging weather year.

Growers in the Texas Coastal Bend, where producers have been dealing with drought issues for four years, and in Georgia are now experiencing unusual amounts of rainfall throughout the spring. Much of the cotton in both areas is late, either due to planting delays or heavy rains.

Much of the entire state of Texas and much of Oklahoma received heavy rains on May 6, a date which may come to be known as the end of one of the most severe droughts in the Southwest on record.

All four new varieties come stacked with GlyTol-LibertyLink-TwinLink technology to help growers fight weeds and worm pests. GlyTol-LibertyLink technology provides growers full tolerance to over-the-top application of Liberty herbicide and glyphosate to manage tough-to-control weeds. TwinLink provides two Bt genes for season-long protection against lepidopteran pests, such as cotton bollworm.

Brehmer said Bayer CropScience begins variety development by asking what challenges growers face that the company can address with its cottonseed varieties. Researchers, breeders and agronomists then work together to develop varieties that help growers improve fiber quality, achieve higher yields and increase profits.

“We meet in December and usually select three to five new varieties that we feel are the best we can offer growers to help them meet their production needs for the following season,” he said. “This year we decided to advance four varieties.” Those are:

FM 1900GLT, an early maturity variety bred for the High Plains and Rolling Plains of the Southwest. FM 1900GLT has a slightly earlier maturity than FM 2484B2F with improved micronaire and similar “One Ton Club” yield potential. It is a GlyTol-LibertyLink-TwinLink variety with full tolerance to Liberty herbicide and glyphosate, plus broad-spectrum lepidopteran insect protection with two Bt genes.

FM 2007GLT, a new variety bred specifically for the harsh south Texas growing environment, also has shown a wide adaptation for the Rolling Plains. It is an early-medium maturity GlyTol-LibertyLink-TwinLink variety with excellent water-use efficiency and storm tolerance to help growers overcome challenging weather conditions in the Texas Coastal Bend. It is easy to manage with lower rates of plant growth regulator and offers excellent yields and fiber quality.

ST 5115GLT, a medium-maturity variety for the Mid-South, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, responds well to irrigation and has a high lint turnout, making it a good combination for top-end yields. ST 5115GLT also offers GlyTol-LibertyLink-TwinLink technology for full tolerance to Liberty herbicide and glyphosate, plus broad-spectrum lepidopteran insect protection with two Bt genes.

ST 6182GLT, is a full-season variety bred for the Southeast, south Delta, southeastern Texas and Mid-Atlantic regions with the ability to fight through long, unpredictable growing seasons and deliver high lint turnout. ST 6182GLT is well-adapted for dryland and irrigated acres on light or heavy soils. It also offers GlyTol-LibertyLink-TwinLink technology to protect cotton fields against tough-to-control weeds and lepidopteran pests.