The latest version of Plains Cotton Growers' Seed Cost Calculator (updated February 15) is available. The calculator can be downloaded at: http://www.plainscotton.org

The PCG Seed Cost Calculator is an interactive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate an estimated cost per acre for both seed and technology, based on published suggested retail prices.

This year's update brings data from 140 conventional, Roundup Ready, Roundup

Ready FLEX, Liberty Link, Bollgard and Bollgard II, Widestrike and numerous stacked gene versions of these technologies.

Through this easy to use spreadsheet, growers can evaluate and compare planting costs between varieties, and between years. The calculator allows a grower to select up to nine varieties from the list and compare them side by side.

Users can easily see the per-acre cost attributable to the cost of seed and technology and the amount of change that occurred from 2005 to 2006. Users can also see how various seed and technology combinations compare on a per-acre cost basis using your own target-seeding rate. This can be expressed in plants per acre or calculated as a function of row width and number of seed planted per foot of row.

A total of 12 brands of cotton planting seed, from nine companies, expected to be available in West Texas this season are listed. If information on additional varieties becomes available as the season progresses, the calculator will be updated to include them.

Additionally, the calculator includes separate worksheets that group varieties by type (Conventional; Roundup Ready & Liberty Link; Roundup Ready FLEX; Roundup Ready FLEX with Bollgard II or Widestrike stacked; Bollgard/Bollgard II, Roundup Ready with Bollgard/Bollgard II technology, and Roundup Ready with Widestrike technology).

PCG's 2006 Seed Cost Calculator shows the effect of Monsanto's 2005 and 2006 Cap Cost Program for its technology products. The Cap Cost program puts an upper limit on the per acre technology cost of Monsanto traits when the seeding rate exceeds approximately 56,000 seed per acre.

Also included in this year's calculator is a brief description of the various Replant and/or Crop Destruct programs being offered to growers by seed companies in 2006. If you don't own Microsoft Excel, and are unwilling to shell out big bucks to buy the program, you'll find links on the web page to the free program, "Open Office."

"Open Office" is a free, downloadable, open source suite of software that includes CALC - a spreadsheet program that can open Excel spreadsheets and workbooks just as well as Microsoft's program but without the cost. GET OPEN OFFICE at: http://download.openoffice.org/1.1.4/index.html