In addition to consistent yield increases, and enhanced protein synthesis and transport, another major benefit of Chaperone is increased bollworm mortality in Bt cotton, according to Terry Littlefield, product manager for Chaperone.
“Chaperone’s unique chemical activity results in improved overall plant protein concentrations in all cotton, as well as improved endotoxin protein levels in Bt cotton,” Littlefield said. “We’ve seen improved bollworm mortality rates of up to 20 percent.
“Chaperone’s proven ability to increase worm mortality may save the crop from reaching IPM thresholds for chemical applications to combat bollworms. Extensive studies have shown that Chaperone continues working within the cotton plant for more than three weeks after application.”
The product has been tested for three years in more than 100 field and growth room studies by university researchers, cotton consultants and independent laboratories. “Chaperone data was presented under the experimental name, NP-321, at the 2002 and 2003 Beltwide Production Conferences poster sessions with several presentations and papers planned for 2004 as well,” he said.
In 2003, Texas Coastal Bend consultant Lee Hutchins tested Chaperone on 30 acres of Bollgard/Roundup Ready cotton, and left a 30-acre check.
“We later picked the acreage and put the seed cotton into two separate modules,” Hutchins says. “It took 30 rows of untreated cotton to fill up one module, and only 27 rows of the treated cotton. The Chaperone-treated cotton made 333 pounds more lint per acre. It’s pretty hard to believe that it could be that much of an increase, but the way we harvested the cotton and ginned it, I’m satisfied with the results.
“I’ve worked with other materials for years, but I never had this kind of chemical. I’m definitely going to recommend that some of my growers try this material on enough acres to see how it fits on their farm.”
Coahoma, Miss., consultant Joe Townsend, who has three years of experience with Chaperone, will present a paper on the product at the Beltwide Production Conferences in San Antonio, in early January.
“In 2001, the first year that I worked with the material, I had a 13 to 14 percent yield increase,” Townsend says. “Last year, we saw an 11 percent yield increase; and this year, a 272-pound yield increase. The grower’s untreated check averaged 3.6 bales per acre, and the treated cotton averaged 4.13 bales per acre. This was all row-watered cotton.
“It’s amazing that you can spray this product at just 5 ounces per acre one time the first week of bloom, and come back and pick more than 10 percent more cotton.”
Townsend also performed petiole nitrate monitoring for the first three weeks after treatment. “I took the first petioles nine days after treatment, then sampled once a week for three weeks afterwards,” he noted. “For three weeks, we had significantly higher petiole nitrate content where we used Chaperone than where we didn’t treat.
“We also tested for bollworm mortality in Bt cotton. Four times – at five, 10, 15 and 23 days after treatment – we placed small, just hatched bollworms in white blooms enclosed in a little gauze cage. We returned to the field three days later each time to measure mortality.”
Townsend said he found increased bollworm mortality in Chaperone-treated Bt cotton at five, 10 and a little at 15 days after treatment. “We saw no difference by the 23rd day.”
Derrick Oosterhuis, plant physiologist with the University of Arkansas, has studied Chaperone’s mode of action for three years.
“You do get a yield advantage from this material,” Oosterhuis says. “It seems to increase the plant’s nitrate and protein levels and help their translocation to the developing fruit. It helps buds and bolls develop to their optimum potential.
“We have conducted five experiments in Bt cotton, three in the field and two in growth chambers, for two years. Our data have shown a 15 to 20 percent increase in bollworm mortality due to increased or maintained endotoxin protein levels where we treated with Chaperone.”
Crop physiologist Carlos Fernandez, Texas A&M Agricultural Research & Extension Center, Corpus Christi, started evaluating the effects of Chaperone on cotton performance in 2001.
“The first year, we got a half-bale-per-acre yield increase,” Fernandez says. “That was in highly productive conditions, and it increased the yield to four bales per acre. The second year, 2002, we tested the material on a farmer’s irrigated field in San Patricio County, and again it produced a half-bale-per-acre increase.
“This time, the yield increased from 4.5 bales to 5 bales. The third year, 2003, we tested Chaperone under non-irrigated conditions, and we still saw a yield increase of 100 pounds in 2.5-bale cotton.
Fernandez said the yield response comes primarily from a significant increase in boll size. “Additionally, we found that Chaperone increased the petiole nitrate content by two-fold for one to two weeks during rapid boll growth when a rapid decline is normally observed. So we might be dealing here with a breakthrough in a compound that consistently increases yield.”
Chaperone is marketed only by Independent Agrivert Sales Agents located in Texas and Mid-South cotton producing areas. All independent sales agents are experienced cotton consultants, researchers or producers who are knowledgeable in cotton production. Additional information found can be found online at www.cottonchaperone.com. Chaperone is manufactured in Japan by the Asahi Chemical Company, Ltd., and distributed worldwide by Arysta LifeScience Company of Tokyo, Japan. In the United States, Chaperone sales are overseen by Agrivert, a wholly owned subsidiary company of Arysta LifeScience. For more information, go to www.arysta-ls.com