The excitement of dollar cotton could put cotton right back in the acreage conversation when 2011 planting season rolls around. For the first time since corn and soybean prices started their meteoric rise earlier this decade, cotton prices have achieved a level competitive with those crops.

Seed companies have announced a number of new cotton varieties and/or traits for 2011, which are detailed below. So get a cup of coffee or a glass of tea, sit back and see which ones might fit your farming operation. Variety descriptions were provided by seed companies. The description of AR 48 was provided by University of Arkansas plant breeder Fred Bourland. The following list includes cotton varieties adapted to the Southeast, Southwest and Mid-South.

Americot

For the 2011 season, the Lubbock-based company Americot will launch three NexGen varieties: NG 4010 B2RF, NG 4012 B2RF and NG 4111 RF, and one new Americot variety: AM 1511 B2RF (tested as AMX 001 B2RF).

NG 4010 B2RF is a Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety that is a high yielder with an excellent fiber package, staple range of 36-38, strength 30-32, and micronaire 4.0-4.5. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth-leaf cotton. NG 4010 B2RF also provides proven Verticillium wilt tolerance and excellent seedling vigor. Growers are urged to start management with high water and fertility at pinhead square.

NG 4012 B2RF is also a Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It offers an excellent fiber package, staple 36-38, strength 30-32, and micronaire, 4.0-4.5. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth-leaf cotton. NG 4012 B2RF provides excellent seedling vigor, and its growth is slightly more aggressive than NG 4010 B2RF and could require more plant growth regulator applications.

NG 4111 RF is a straight Flex sister line to NG 4010 B2RF. It is a high yielder with an excellent fiber package, staple range of 36-38, strength 30-32, and micronaire, 4. This mid-maturity variety is a smooth-leaf cotton. NG 4010 B2RF also provides proven Verticillium wilt tolerance and excellent seedling vigor. Growers are urged to start management with high water and fertility at pinhead square.

AM 1511 B2RF is a Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety that features excellent yield potential and an excellent fiber package, staple range of 36-37, strength 29-30, and micronaiare, 4.4-4.8. This early-mid maturity variety is a medium to tall plant and a semi-smooth leaf cotton. AM 1511 B2RF has performed very well in the north Delta, the Carolinas and Virginia. AM 1511 B2RF has excellent seedling vigor and provides proven Fusariumwilt tolerance and moderate Verticillium wilt tolerance.

For more information, go to www.americot.com.

Bayer CropScience — FiberMax and Stoneville brands

Bayer CropScience announces five new FiberMax varieties and one new Stoneville variety for 2011. These varieties offer several trait choices, including new GlyTol glyphosate-tolerant technology, LibertyLinktechnology, and a two-gene herbicide stack with both GlyTol and LibertyLink.

Four new FiberMax varieties adapted for the Southwest will offer GlyTol technology in 2011. GlyTol provides season-long in-plant tolerance to glyphosate and gives growers the freedom to choose any brand of glyphosate registered for use on cotton, unless expressly prohibited on the herbicide label.

FM 9101GTand FM 9103GT were planted by Southwest seed production growers for the past two years and have excellent yield and quality potential. FM 9101GT has an early-mid maturity, while FM 9103GT has an early maturity. Both varieties will be available in good supply for 2011.

FM 2011GTis a new variety with GlyTol technology that demonstrated great performance in Bayer CropScience Cotton Agronomic Performance (CAP) trials in 2010. It has an early maturity with very strong yield potential. It will be available in limited quantities in 2011.

FM 9250GLis double-stacked with both GlyTol and LibertyLink technologies, with full tolerance and outstanding crop safety to both glyphosate and Ignite herbicides. FM 9250GL is an early maturing variety adapted to the Southwest with agronomic characteristics similar to FM 9058F.

FiberMax is also releasing a new Roundup ReadyFlex/Bollgard IIvariety

FM 2484B2F has performed extremely well across the Southwest region with trial results indicating very high yield potential and outstanding fiber quality. FM 2484B2F is well suited for dryland conditions and irrigated production where it demonstrates its genetic potential when managed for high yields under good irrigation and fertilization. Early university trial results indicate FM 2484B2F has good tolerance to Verticillium wilt and provides growers a great option for fields susceptible to this disease.

The Stoneville brand will offer its first variety with LibertyLink technology:

ST 4145LLB2 is adapted for the Mid-South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic production regions. The LibertyLink trait with Ignite herbicide enables growers to keep weed management efficient while providing an effective tool to manage resistance or rotate chemistries on their farms.

ST 4145LLB2is an early-mid maturing variety with a broad fit from Louisiana to North Carolina. It will be sold in limited quantities in 2011 with full availability in 2012. Growers should contact their Bayer CropScience sales representative or regional cotton agronomist for more information. For more information on FiberMax cotton seed visit www.FiberMax.com; for more information on Stoneville cotton seed visit www.Stoneville.com.

Winfield Solution's Croplan Genetics

Two new Genuity Bollgard II with Round-up Ready Flex cotton varieties are being released in 2011 in west Texas. Both are adapted to the High Plains, with excellent seedling vigor and easy to manage growth habits. These characteristics enable them to be a great fit in any growers production system.

CG 3006B2RF is a very early variety that fits best of the irrigated soils from Lubbock north into Kansas. This variety has excellent yield potential, and fiber quality.

CG 3156B2RFis an early-mid maturity variety that fits best on limited water to dryland soils in west Texas and Oklahoma. This variety has the ability to deliver yield even in those tough production systems, while maintaining excellent fiber quality. CG 3006B2RF and CG 3156B2RF both preformed excellent compared to the competitor checks in experimental testing in 2010.

For more cotton variety information, go to http://www.croplangenetics.com.

Monsanto's Deltapine brand

There are two new cotton varieties from the Deltapine brand of cotton seed available for 2010. The Class of 2011 varieties are:

DP 1133 B2RF is a mid-maturity variety with smooth leaves that showed its best performance in the lower Mid-South and parts of the lower Southeast. It is a medium plant height, 41.2 gin turnout, 36.5 staple, 4.8 micronaire, 31.5 strength and a length uniformity index of 83.5.

DP 1137 B2RF is a mid-maturity variety with outstanding yield potential for dryland situations in the upper Southeast and dryland hill section of the upper Mid-South. It is a tall plant, with 41.1 percent gin turnout, 36.1 staple, 4.7 micronaire, 29.7 strength and a length uniformity index of 83.1.

In 2011, Deltapine is offering Acceleron cotton seed treatment products to help maximize the performance potential of Deltapine cotton, offered as additional protection to the standard base fungicide seed treatment.

To learn more about Deltapine cotton varieties, go to www.deltapine.com.

Dyna-Gro

2450 B2RF is a new Roundup Ready Flex, Bollgard II variety from Dyna-Gro shown to have very good seedling vigor, a medium tall plant height, early-medium maturity, and has broad adaptability for most cotton growing regions. This variety provides very good yield potential when irrigated, but is intended for dryland or stressful conditions. Fiber quality characteristics are very good overall throughout most of the cotton growing areas in the United States. This smooth leaf variety particularly offers advantages in fiber uniformity and strength for its maturity group. The best yield performance was found when grown on lighter soil textures. Plant growth regulators should be considered for in-season plant growth patterns.

Dyna-Gro also markets the following Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton varieties — 2100 B2RF, 2400 RF, 2520 B2RF and 2570 B2RF. Visit http://www.dynagroseed.com for more information on varieties.

Dow AgroScience's PhytoGen brand

PhytoGen is offering two new cotton varieties for 2011.

PHY 569 WRF is a mid- to full-season variety predicted to help fill the DP 555 BG/RR footprint. It’s very similar to the newly introduced PHY 565 WRF in yield and fiber quality, but is a little more aggressive and matures slightly later. Only the second full-maturity product ever offered by the company, this variety is available in very limited quantities for its introductory year.

PHY 499 WRF is another new limited offering for 2011. It’s a mid-maturing, semi-smooth variety with excellent seedling vigor and exceptionally high yield potential. It is only available in introductory quantities this first year, but the company is planning a complete launch in 2012. 

According to Joel Faircloth, PhytoGen cotton development specialist for Dow AgroSciences in the Mid-Atlantic, the company “remains focused on commercializing consistent yielding products with excellent fiber properties. Our testing process continues to include extensive internal, third party, and on-farm evaluations prior to commercial introduction.” 

Two varieties launched in limited quantities last year are now in full supply – PHY 565 WRF and PHY 367 WRF.

PHY 565 WRF fits very well into the DP 555BR/RR footprint,” says Reed Parker, PhytoGen cotton development specialist for Dow AgroSciences in the South Delta. “The stability of this variety is very unique. Along the southern regions of Georgia, through Mississippi and Louisiana, and all the way to South Texas, it’s shown a unique potential for high lint yield and tremendous fiber quality.” PhytoGen’s first mid- to full-season cottonseed is available to producers across the United States. 

PHY 367 WRF is an early maturing, nematode-tolerant variety that performed well across geographies. It enables producers to spread risks across maturities while its fiber quality has been recognized as one of the best among Uplands. The variety also performed well in West Texas under pressure from verticillium wilt. 

Producers now have nine proven PhytoGen Upland varieties to choose from, ranging from early to full maturity. For a complete listing of the 2011 Upland, Pima and Acala cottonseed offerings, or for more information on which varieties perform best in your area, go to www.PhytoGenYields.com.

University of Arkansas

UA 48 — a new conventional variety will be released in 2011, with between 1,000 and 2,000 bags available. According to cotton breeder Fred Bourland, director of the University of Arkansas' Northeast Research and Extension Center, UA 48 yields well and is very early. In strip tests in 2009, the variety had a staple length of 42 and excellent strength and uniformity. Micronaire was on par with other commercial varieties.

A Cotton Incorporated and University of Arkansas project allows producers to use the Web to summarize tons of varietal data at the click of a button. Called COTVAR, it is available on the Web at http://cotvar.uaex.edu.