A nematode-resistant cotton variety to be released by Deltapine could offer protection against a devastating pest for which farmers have few control options.

When aldicarb was withdrawn from the U.S. market a couple of years ago, cotton farmers began worrying about how they would deal with root-knot nematodes and other troublesome underground pests without the compound also known as Temik.

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Other pesticide formulations were available, but they were expensive and more difficult to apply, which was problematic for cotton producers who were already caught in a cost-price squeeze that had led many to shift acres out of cotton and into corn and soybeans.

That’s what made Monsanto’s announcement it was introducing a new Bollgard 2, Roundup Ready Flex variety bred for resistance to root-knot nematodes much more significant than a routine new product announcement. Monsanto unveiled the new entry at its NPE Summit in Charleston, S.C., this past weekend (Dec. 14).

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