Two new cotton lines bred for root-knot nematode (RKN) resistance will headline The Deltapine New Product Evaluator (NPE) program’s seventh season. NPE growers will plant and evaluate six different variety candidates for the Class of 15.

Also, as part of the Monsanto Ground Breakers Field Trials Under Permit program, four NPE farmers – each located in a different region of the Cotton Belt – will evaluate the first Bollgard II XtendFlex variety candidates under regulated trial conditions.

“The NPE program is allowing us to commercialize advanced and improved genetics that are

being adopted by farmers across the Belt at a fast rate,” said Keylon Gholston, Deltapine cotton products manager. “Variety candidates anticipated for the Class of 15 – pending regulatory approvals – include exciting herbicide-resistant technology, as well as more root-knot nematode-resistant lines to add to the already leading lineup of Deltapine cotton varieties.

“Farmers throughout the Belt will be monitoring the 200 NPE farms for information on how these variety candidates perform this season across different moisture levels and other growing conditions.”

Each season, pre-commercial Deltapine variety candidates are evaluated by farmers across all growing regions, in large-acre plots, under different management systems and conditions. When all data and farmer feedback are collected, a true picture of growth habits, performance potential and best management practices for the newly-commercialized Deltapine varieties emerges.

Each new class of Deltapine varieties introduced since 2009 has offered improved production potential for targeted regions and management systems.

The Deltapine NPE program has been responsible for the commercialization of cotton varieties that are in high demand for planting this season, such as DP 1321 B2RF, DP 1410 B2RF and DP 1454NR B2RF – a variety bred for nematode resistance and released for planting in the Class of 14.

The Monsanto Ground Breakers program engages farmers in an additional phase of on-farm testing prior to the commercialization of the newest technologies, such as Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton.