Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL), a commercial breeder, producer and marketer of cotton planting seed, has announced it has reached a product development agreement with Syngenta under which D&PL will introgress, test and evaluate Syngenta's insect resistance technology in D&PL's elite cotton germplasm.

Under the development agreement, Syngenta will pay D&PL for development work, including introgression, testing and evaluation. When appropriate testing indicates that Syngenta technology combined with Deltapine germplasm is competitive, and once a commercialization agreement is reached, Deltapine elite varieties containing Syngenta's technology may be available for introduction to growers in 2004.

Murray Robinson, D&PL president and chief executive officer, said, “We look forward to expanding our relationship with Syngenta and other technology providers as we seek to bring a variety of leading technologies to the market that create value for our farmer customers as well as our shareholders. This agreement is one of a series of transactions that the company intends to enter to execute its strategic plan of delivering value-enhancing technologies to farmers, which benefit both D&PL and its customers.

“In fact, recent results of tests of over 700 of our cotton varieties and experimental lines in more than 30 countries worldwide confirm D&PL's germplasm performs well in key international cotton markets

“D&PL is the leading provider of elite germplasm in the U.S. Our unique product and sophisticated technical services capabilities position our varieties as the distribution vehicle of choice for cotton trait developers.”

Delta and Pine Land Company is a commercial breeder, producer and marketer of cotton planting seed, as well as soybean seed in the Cotton Belt.

For more than 80 years, the Mississippi-based company has used its extensive plant breeding programs drawing from a diverse germplasm base to develop superior varieties. Delta and Pine Land (NYSE: DLP) has offices in eight states and facilities in several foreign countries.