Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL) announced at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences that it will offer on a limited basis to farmers this year two varieties that contain the newly registered Bollgard II technology in a stacked-gene configuration with Roundup Ready.

Bollgard II cotton is the second-generation of insect-protected cotton developed by Monsanto. This technology contains two different insect-control genes, compared to the single insect-control gene in its predecessor, Bollgard cotton.

According to Monsanto, Bollgard II provides control of cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm, pink bollworm, European corn borer, cabbage and soybean loopers, fall and beet armyworms, salt marsh caterpillar and cotton leaf perforators.

The two new products are DP 424 BGII/RR, an early- to mid-season variety developed from germplasm that produced SG 215 BG/RR, and DP 468 BGII/RR, a mid- to full-season variety developed from germplasm that produced DP 458 B/RR.

Due to regulatory restrictions in effect in 2002, testing for these two varieties was limited, according to Dr. Tom Kerby, vice president, technical services at D&PL. They will be offered this season to farmers who enter into an agreement with D&PL.

“DP 424 BGII/RR and DP 468 BGII/RR will be in 2003 state OVT testing and small-scale farm trials,” Kerby says, “with a full commercial launch scheduled for 2004.”

In 2003, D&PL will be field-testing other Bollgard II/Roundup Ready varieties. “D&PL is already well along in the introgression process of placing the Bollgard II/Roundup Ready stacked-gene technologies in its newest genetic material - material that has demonstrated potential for both good fiber quality and high yields,” says Dr. Bill Hugie, vice president, research at D&PL.

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 almost 90 years, the company has used its extensive plant breeding programs drawing from a diverse germplasm base to develop improved varieties. Delta and Pine Land (NYSE: DPL), headquartered in Scott, Miss., has offices in eight states and facilities in several foreign countries.

For more information, please refer to the company's website at www.deltaandpine.com.