Cotton growers from the Carolinas to Texas are taking notice of NexGen variety performance this year.

DOUG JOST won’t hide his enthusiasm about how well the 2021 cotton season has gone in Texas.

“If you polled West Texas growers right now, I think they’d be extremely satisfied with how the year has gone,” says Jost, NexGen Director of Research and Cotton Germplasm. “When people talk about the last great crop in this area, it goes all the way back to 2007. It’s been that long. And on top of that, prices are good.”

It also helps when you bring three new varieties to market that have lived up to expectations across the Cotton Belt.

NG 3195 B3XF is an early-medium maturing variety that offers good heat tolerance and consistent performance. “We saw 3195 start to fruit earlier and act like that variety maturity should,” notes Jost. “It moved a little bit quicker and looks like it’s going to have a really good fit in the Carolinas, Georgia and the South Delta. It’s a variety that folks are really starting to look at.”

NG 4190 B3XF is a medium maturity variety, offering excellent yield potential and broad adaptation across the Cotton Belt. It has excellent fiber quality on both irrigated and dryland acres.

“This is a variety we’re excited about,” brags Jost. “We didn’t get to look at it in as many trials last year as we wanted to, so we did a soft launch in 2021 based on the results of our breeder trials. Early data we have back so far this season is from South Texas and Arizona, and it seems to be holding out very well. There’s a lot of interest in it.”

NG 5150 B3XF is a broadly adapted, medium-to-full maturity variety with high-end yield potential that really shines on highly managed, irrigated acres. “For the long season market, 5150 is doing exactly what it should do,” says Jost. “In some cases, it’s exceeding our own NG 5711 B3XF in terms of yield and grade this year.”

As successful as this year’s variety launch has been, there’s more in the pipeline.

“About three years ago, we started putting a major emphasis on fiber length as well as yield,” says Cotton Breeder Lloyd McCall. “We’ve turned that corner pretty well and have adjusted our breeding pipeline to reflect that change to longer staple products. A staple of 37 is minimal for us, and we want to consistently go much longer.”

McCall notes that the breeding program has multiple varieties with the ThryvOn trait currently in evaluation, awaiting regulatory approvals. The company also has multiple B3XF options in review for possible market introduction. In addition, there’s a strong emphasis on screening for resistance to bacterial blight and reniform and root-knot nematodes.

“We have a lot of materials coming through our testing program right now,” he says.

Jost believes the success that NexGen varieties are having this year will continue to pay off for the company in 2022 and beyond.

“There’s been a lot of excitement this year, and growers are starting to take notice of NexGen in areas where we

don’t have as much market exposure,” he says. “We have some outstanding varieties that have performed in tough years, and we’re hoping to see them excel in a good year to give growers the options they need to be able to pick a variety with confidence.

“Relatively speaking, we’re a small seed company,” he adds. “We don’t have other products to fall back on. We’re all in on cotton. We have to be on top of our game all the time. It helps motivate us as a company to get it right the first time.”

From Cotton Grower Magazine – November 2021

Jim Steadman is Senior Editor for Cotton Grower magazine. He has spent more than 40 years in agricultural writing and marketing.

Link to article

For 2021, Americot introduced three new NexGen® B3XF varieties into their impressive portfolio of high-performing, superior-quality products. “We’re continually experiencing the benefits of our expanded Breeding and Research programs,” says Doug Jost, Director of Research & Cotton Germplasm. “At Americot, we’ve put in a lot of hard work and resources towards bringing the best varieties to the market. These new NexGen varieties for 2021, along with multiple B3XF varieties we’ve released the last few years, are proof of the work our team has done. “Our sales teams were able to hit the ground running and place these new varieties on the acres where we knew they would perform best. It’s truly a team effort as we continually bring performance and value to the grower in their investment in our premium cottonseed. Our commitment to the U.S. cotton farmer hasn’t changed and our priorities remain the same: excellent performance, high-quality products and exceptional people.”

NG 3195 B3XF

NG 3195 B3XF is an early-medium maturing variety offering good heat tolerance and consistent performance. Fully loaded with the latest Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® Technology, this variety has high yield potential and high turnout. “We had a wet planting season in the South Delta, resulting in less-than-ideal conditions,” says Chase Samples, Ph.D., Mid-South Germplasm Specialist. “In areas where growers planted late and turned to NG 3195, it really held up well and looks to be a strong player.” NexGen Sales Rep Michael Williams, who covers Southern Georgia, agreed with Samples. “NG 3195 is fruiting up well and is looking to be a player in my region as well! I got a brief look at it last year but have been tickled with its performance this season,” he says.

NG 4190 B3XF

NG 4190 B3XF is a medium maturing, Bollgard 3 XtendFlex variety with excellent yield potential and broad adaptation. This variety offers excellent fiber quality on both dryland and irrigated acres and is sure to have a fit in multiple regions across the Belt. “This variety came up in some tough soil and as it stands right now, it looks very promising,” said South Texas Germplasm Specialist Shane Halfmann. “I’ve received positive responses from growers that this variety ‘just looks good!’ and it’s turning heads in my region, gathering attention. Early turnout reports have been good so far and we look forward to see how the season ends up!” Samples added, “NG 4190 B3XF is an aggressively growing variety that has a lot of potential. It’s going to need a little more PGR management earlier than say NG 4936, but that’s not a bad thing. It has one of the strongest terminals I’ve seen in a while. It’s loading up very nicely and stacked with bolls! NG 4190 is one we’re excited about and looks to be a great fit for growers in the South Delta!”

NG 5150 B3XF

NG 5150 B3XF is a broadly adapted, medium-full maturing Bollgard 3 Xtend- Flex variety with top-end yield potential. This heat tolerant variety does very well on highly managed, irrigated acres and will impress growers looking for solid, medium to full maturing varieties. Southeast Germplasm Specialist Scott Russell has been pleased with NG 5150 B3XF. “This variety is definitely a full-season variety. There’s just no other way to classify it. I foresee this having a great fit in my region.” Russell then added, “NG 5150 B3XF is a big, stout plant with a big boll load, and it responds to PGRs very well. It’s got us excited and is performing well in multiple ACE Trials in my area.”

Americot focuses a great deal of time and resources to breed and develop better cotton varieties that fit the specific cultural needs of growers in different geographies. Since our breeding program began more than 30 years ago, it has aggressively grown to now include a widespread group of skilled professionals who are raising the bar on genetic advances in the industry.

For more details about our latest varieties or interest in participating in one of our ACE Trials, contact your NexGen representative. Additional information may also be found at www.americot.com/research.

From Cotton Grower Magazine – September 2021

 

Americot’s investment into the research and development (R&D) of high yielding, high quality varieties has expanded over the last three years into a full-scale field trial program called Americot Cotton Evaluation (ACE) Trials. This year, our nine Germplasm Specialists across the cotton belt have collec­tively planted 217 ACE Trials with cooperating growers. “These trials will be very helpful to not only our R&D and sales teams, but espe­cially our growers. We are generating information on water utiliza­tion, plant growth regulator (PGR) response and input management that will provide our growers insight and confidence in our current variety line-up and future releases,” says Dr. Doug Jost, Director of Research and Germplasm. “Every piece of data, from heat toler­ance to PGR management, provides knowledge to our sales teams and growers alike. It builds grower confidence in NexGen varieties knowing they have the power to perform under their own growing conditions in their own specific regions.”

SHANE HALFMANN Central and South Texas

2020 started off dry in South Texas, causing growers to plant deep, chasing moisture. But as luck would have it some areas got a big rain event following planting, causing widespread replants. I was concerned about the late-planted cotton, but a wet summer has allowed the crop to reach full potential. The early-March planted cot­ton also looks beautiful. At the time of this writing, I do not want to speculate, but it’s a very strong crop with excellent yield potential. NG 4936 B3XF and NG 4098 B3XF look very good in the Coastal Bend.

The Upper Coast had a similar weather pattern and insect pres­sure was light across the whole region. Fruit retention was high, allowing for easier management. I think this will also allow for an earlier harvest season, which is always beneficial as we strive to avoid any tropical weather events. NG 5711 B3XF remains our number one variety here, but NG 4936 B3XF looks very good and the two varieties complement each other on the farm.

In central Texas many growers got a Father’s Day gift in the form of a timely rain. The cotton was just beginning to bloom, and soil moisture was limiting. NG 4936 B3XF and NG 5711 B3XF are both looking strong here, as well.

We are fortunate to have several new options in our ACE Trials this year. AMX 19B001 B3XF and AMX 19B003 B3XF are being tested for the first time in 2020. We implemented 27 ACE Trials across the region with excellent grower-cooperators and are look­ing forward to great trial results.

BROOKS BLANCHE, PH.D. South Delta

The 2020 cotton season began with negativity surrounding the trade war and relations with China, a major buyer of US Cotton. Because of the depressed prices resulting from reduced U.S. ex­ports to China, cotton acres dropped significantly below last year’s levels. In some areas, cotton acreage is estimated to be 50% lower compared to last year. A grower made the comment to me, “So far, 2020 tastes like toothpaste and orange juice.” That is the bad news. The good news is that planting conditions were better than last year, and replants were down significantly. Cotton has grown nicely and has benefited from better rainfall than we’ve seen in re­cent years. Going into the major bloom period, we are in a good position to make high yields a reality.

One component of working in R&D is that we are living and work­ing in 2020 but preparing for 2021. We have approximately 25 unique ACE Trials scattered throughout the South Delta and we will have a very good understanding of variety performance and characteristics of new varieties heading into 2021. In addition to multi-location yield data, I’m also looking at several trial sets evaluating soil type pref­erences of varieties. Attempts are made to manage planting date, location, fertility, etc. identically such that the only differing factor is soil texture. It never ceases to amaze me just how differently variet­ies perform on a Sharkey clay compared to a Commerce silt loam. As any grower knows, cotton varieties are often specifically adapted to certain soil characteristics, e.g., NG 5711 B3XF on clay-textured soils. This research gives us a better understanding of new varieties and their management characteristics beyond their “average” yields. My trials this year include standards like NG 5711 B3XF and NG 4936 B3XF along with several experimental lines being considered for va­riety launch in 2021. ACE Trials such as these are essential to under­standing new varieties, so growers can be confident and successful growing them for the first time. If you are interested in the data from these trials, please reach out to me or your local NexGen rep, and we’d be happy to share it with you!

TODD SPIVEY, PH.D. Carolinas

2020 has been a season of extremes thus far. From low tempera­tures in the 30s into the second week of May, to rainfall totals as high as 28” in some areas. Consequently, we have already seen a full season of cotton stress events. Our ACE Trial program in the Carolinas and Virginia is in full force again this year, expanding our geographical reach out to the Blacklands in eastern North Carolina; north to Sussex County, Virginia; and south to Kline, South Caroli­na. This year’s program includes an improved variation of irrigated and non-irrigated trials, a wide range of tillage options from strip-tilled cover crops to conventional, raised beds, as well as a couple of dou­ble-cropped plots behind winter wheat.

Because of the tough spring weather, many fields were planted un­der less than optimum conditions. As a result, many fields were plant­ed late and early-season growth was slow, so growers are working hard to manage for earliness. Plant growth regulator management is key to insuring we protect against rank growth, improving pest control and harvestability.

Across the board, our NexGen varieties showed outstanding vig­or, despite the terrible planting and early season growth conditions. Great stands of NG 4936 B3XF and NG 5711 B3XF are a common sight across the region, and the new standout, NG 4098 B3XF, is off to a roaring start with market-leading vigor! Despite all the hin­derances already encountered, the NexGen portfolio of Bollgard® 3 XtendFlex® varieties is primed to turn heads in 2020.

KAREN GELDMACHER Arizona

This time of year, cotton in Arizona is approaching cut-out along the Colorado River and peak bloom in the central growing regions. We are watching the weather, specifically for temperatures associated with cotton heat stress. Meteorological reports for the region suggest monsoon humidity and above average temperatures will continue through the summer growing season. We have a research program in Maricopa, Arizona collecting heat stress data, including pollen de­hiscence, floral morphology and boll formation. Over the years, this research has shown us that NG 3729 B2XF, NG 4936 B3XF and NG 5711 B3XF possess excellent heat tolerance. This research pro­vides the information we need to assist our grow­ers with proper variety placement. Arizona ACE Trials are at various developmental stages across the state, includ­ing peak bloom, cut-out, and some getting the final irrigation. Our ACE Trial grower-cooper­ators are very excited about NG 4098 B3XF. They were very im­pressed with its large seed size, excellent stand establishment, very high early-season boll retention and ease of management.

SCOTT RUSSELL South Alabama and Georgia

This is the best start we’ve had in several years! I have seen ex­ceptional stands on fields that typically have emergence issues. The stand establishment and early season performance of the NexGen Bollgard 3 XtendFlex varieties has been excellent. We are really standing out against the competition. NG 4936 B3XF demonstrat­ed outstanding emergence and growers are very impressed with its strong early season growth. Another variety worth noting is NG 4098 B3XF. We were a little dry early in the planting window and we were planting deep, chasing moisture. Growers that planted NG 4098 B3XF couldn’t stop talking about its outstanding emergence. One grower told me he’s never seen that kind of vigor in the 25 years he’s been farming. Two experimental lines, AMX 19B001 B3XF and AMX 19B003 B3XF have us excited about their potential fit in southeast Georgia. Overall, we’re very pleased with our crop and the perfor­mance of the NexGen varieties!

For further information on Americot Cotton Evaluation Trials in your region, contact your Americot Germplasm Specialist. Visit www.americot.com/research-team for contact information.

From Cotton Farming Magazine – August 2020

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As Americot Cotton Breeder Tom Brooks took the microphone at a September field day in Lubbock, TX, he told the hundred or so growers attending that he might get repetitive.

“One of the things you’re going to hear me repeat about our varieties – especially our experimentals – is staple length,” he said. “There’s a big push in our pipeline to move that needle in our products going forward.”

This move for market advancement continues to drive Americot’s business. After surprising the cottonseed market in 2016 by vaulting into second place in market share – plus the country’s top planted variety that year – the company continues to hold its own in terms of popular high yielding varieties and market expansion.

In 2019, according to the USDA Cotton Varieties Planted report, the company’s NexGen brand holds 23% of the total U.S. market and leads the Southwest market with 32% of region’s acres. Three of their varieties – NG 4545 B2XF, NG 4777 B2XF and NG 3406 B2XF – are among the top ten most planted this year.

But to maintain success, the product line must evolve. And it’s a key reason why the end rows along the Americot Cotton Evaluation Trials in Lubbock were full of interested growers.

For starters, they came to see and hear about how several new NexGen varieties were faring in their first year on the market, primarily:

Brooks – one of five Americot cotton breeders across the U.S. – also shared information about six potential new varieties in the plot. “We have five B3XF experimental varieties and one XF variety,” he explained. “At least three of these could be on the market next season, but we haven’t made a final decision yet.”

One of the experimentals is a broadly adapted early-to-mid maturity variety with the potential to be the next workhorse in the NexGen line. “It’s our first year looking at it with traits added, and we’re talking about one to two staple lengths longer than NG 3406 B2XF. It will be a general contender everywhere we place it.”

Among the other B3XF experimentals is a potential dryland variety for West Texas with bacterial blight resistance and a good fiber package; a larger seeded, disease tolerant variety with exceptional staple length for the High Plains and Rolling Plains; a new mid-maturity variety with a good fit in the Southern High Plains; and a mid-maturity variety with great staple length and good disease tolerance for dryland and irrigated acres in the High Plains and Rolling Plains.

The potential XF-only variety offers early-to-mid maturity, bacterial blight resistance, high yields and improved staple length for West Texas acres north of Lubbock.

“Next year, there will probably be closer to 20 new experimentals to talk about,” said Brooks. “We see our pipeline growing each season and look forward to being able to move our game up each year.”

From Cotton Grower Magazine – November 2019

Jim Steadman is Senior Editor for Cotton Grower magazine. He has spent more than 40 years in agricultural writing and marketing.

Link to article

 

From Arizona to the Carolinas, Americot now employs nine research and germplasm specialists. Across the Cotton Belt, this group has planted over 150 Americot Cotton Evaluation (ACE) Trials in 2019 to better understand pre-commercial variety performance within given regions. In addition, these specialists have partnered with academics and private consultants to further increase our knowledge with our experimental germplasm regarding seed treatments, water efficiency, heat tolerance, and Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) management.

“At the end of the day, our goal is to partner with the breeding team to develop a data package that not only supports advancement of our new germplasm but provides our sales team and growers with knowledge and confidence in management and performance of our new NexGen varieties,” says Dr. Doug Jost, Director of Research and Cotton Germplasm.

TODD SPIVEY, PH.D. Carolinas & Virginia

“We are excited about the opportunity to gain invaluable data and experience from many of our new and upcoming NexGen varieties through 23 ACE Trials. These trials range from Blackville, South Carolina up through Suffolk, Virginia. The Carolinas experienced great planting conditions beginning in late April through the second week of May. During this period, most cotton was planted into excellent soil temperatures and ample moisture. Although the lack of rain allowed planters to stay in the field, we soon ran out of moisture and most growers stopped planting activity to wait for rain.

“This dry spell slowed the growth of emerged cotton, as shown by reduced internode lengths in many fields across the region. This is something to keep in mind as we begin to prepare for PGR applications. We received some much-needed moisture mid-June, but it is still important to keep the weather forecast under consideration as these PGR decisions are made. This will become even more significant as we make our way into bloom and beyond, especially with many of the aggressive varieties currently on the market. Ensuring that we protect against rank growth is vital for many decisions that will be made later in the growing season, ranging from pest control to harvestability.

“Although we are still early in the growing season, early growth and vigor of several varieties have really stood out across all our regional locations including our anchors, NG 3522 B2XF and NG 5007 B2XF, and two of our 2019 additions, NG 3930 B3XF and NG 4936 B3XF.”

KAREN GELDMACHER Arizona

“Arizona growers hit the wet, cold and windy trifecta at planting and the machine didn’t pay out too well as many faced replant decisions into early June. Research trial maturities across the state range from first flower and 1” bolls in Yuma to pin-head square and first flower in the central regions. Showing early-season vigor characteristics including quick emergence throughout Arizona are NG 3729 B2XF, NG 3930 B3XF and 2020 candidate AMX 19A006 B3XF. These varieties, planted in adverse weather conditions combined with early-season pest issues, started the season with optimal, consistent stands. Arizona is the location for NexGen varietal heat tolerance research and our data collection started late June to earlier this month (at the onset of Level 1 and Level 2 heat stress) and will continue throughout the growing season.”

SHANE HALFMANN Central & South Texas

“Our planting season was defined by the weather. I have never seen such difficult conditions across such a large area for so long. Blowing sand, cold fronts, or being too wet or too dry were some of the issues South and Central Texas growers faced. Most of our crop is around a month late in every growing region. The cotton does finally look good. Everything started blooming early June and timely rains have sustained the potential for a successful year. We’ve been watching for fleahoppers in areas and have been applying PGRs from mid-to-late May till now. We were able to plant 20 ACE Trials from Ennis to Raymondville. Data collected from these trials will allow us to select new varieties specifically for my region and solidify varietal management programs. I’m especially interested in NG 3994 B3XF and NG 3930 B3XF. I’ll be watching these two mid-season, Bollgard 3 XtendFlex varieties with good heat tolerance, strong yield and high quality. They show excellent promise early this season!”

LEVI SCHAEFER South & High Plains of Texas

“I currently have 16 ACE Trials covering parts of the South Plains and High Plains of Texas, located between Lamesa and Plainview and covering the width of the Panhandle. The early-season moisture and rainfall has been exceptional for this area. However, it has come with some hardships – cool weather, occasional high winds and hail storms have challenged the growers of the area. The cotton that has avoided the storms has gotten off to a strong start and is set to perform well, if favorable weather continues. A few of the newer varieties including NG 2982 B3XF, NG 3930 B3XF and NG 3956 B3XF have shown to have great vigor and have come up great, even through the rain-packed ground! I’m excited to see how things progress throughout this growing season.”
From Cotton Farming Magazine – July 2019

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Mike Tyler of Lamesa, TX, farms in Andrews, Dawson and Gaines Counties. He’s relied on NexGen varieties for several years, especially NG 3406 B2XF – his “go-to variety.” But he has also been impressed with the “4-Series” of NexGen varieties he has recently tried.

“NG 4601 B2XF and NG 4689 B2XF have both done very well on my farms,” said Tyler. “And I really liked the vigor, plant size and drought tolerance of NG 4777 B2XF this year. It’ll be on some of my dryland and irrigated acres next year, because I believe it’s a fit for both.

“I also planted some NG 3780 B2XF on June 22 on some acres where cotton failed early in the season,” he added. “It did well. I really like the look and fit of that variety, too.”

It’s this type of grower satisfaction and response that has helped move Americot and its NexGen brand of varieties into a solid number two position in cottonseed market share. According to the 2018 Cotton Varieties Planted report, Americot’s NexGen varieties were planted on 30.7% of U.S. upland acres this year, including more than 42% of the acres in the Southwestern states.

“To have three of the top five planted varieties and five of the top ten in 2018 is something that has never happened in Americot’s history,” said Brad Littlefield, Americot product manager. “That shows the depth and breadth of our portfolio, and it makes me excited moving forward.”

The workhorse of the NexGen product line is still NG 3406 B2XF, a mid-to-early variety that has shown consistent yield and quality performance across the Cotton Belt, evidenced by its ranking as the top planted variety in the U.S. in 2016 and a solid number two in both 2017 and 2018.

But Littlefield also commented on other proven options in the company’s lineup:

“I think NG 4689 B2XF is going to continue to grow in popularity. We’ve found out that it travels better than we initially thought, and have seen it perform in areas where a medium to medium-early variety doesn’t typically fit. It responds well to PGRs, and growers have figured out how to make it work.”

“NG 3729 B2XF was offered in a limited supply in 2018. Early results are very exciting. It is performing well in the Mid-South and Southeast.”

“The disease package, maturity and performance seen from NG 3780 B2XF, especially in west Texas, leads us to believe this variety is going to be huge. It has good tolerance to both Verticillium wilt and bacterial blight and has done very well in the market area north of I-40.”

“In the Southeast and south Texas, our mid-to-full varieties have been really strong. NG 5007 B2XF took 9% of the market share in the Southeast this year, and NG 5711 B3XF really shined as well. Both have a great fit across the southern part of the Cotton Belt.”

Several of the company’s current varieties came to the market in limited quantities this year. That won’t be the case for 2019, as ramped up production will assure a consistent supply. And any decisions on new varieties for 2019 won’t be made until all field and trial data has been collected and reviewed. Potential candidates under evaluation all contain the B3XF technology.

“In the majority of our plots thus far, our new B3XFs are winning the trials or are at least in the top percentage of the varieties tested,” says Littlefield.

From Cotton Grower Magazine – November 2018

Jim Steadman is Senior Editor for Cotton Grower magazine. He has spent more than 40 years in agricultural writing and marketing.

Link to article

Chiree Fields remembers vividly the inauspicious launch of Americot. As the longest tenured employee of the company, she has seen it all unfold.

“When I started working for David Hicks (owner of Americot) in 2004, we had three Roundup Ready varieties and three conventional varieties, and we basically sold them here in West Texas,” recalls Fields, who is Americot General Manager. “When we stood Americot up as an independent company in 2006, we had one plant breeder, three sales reps in Texas, plus myself and Terry Campbell. That’s who we were, and we were successful in our own way.”

That timing was not exactly ideal for an upstart regional seed company. With most of the nation’s cotton acres tied to long-standing brands with successful high yielding varieties, solid financial backing and extensive breeding, research and sales structures, the key for a company like Americot was to find the niches where a smaller company could thrive – and to keep an eye open for opportunities to grow.

The first opportunity came quickly.

During a cotton seed industry restructuring in 2007, Americot surprised the industry by acquiring the NexGen brand, germplasm and breeding programs from Monsanto. That was soon followed by access to new weed control technologies.

“The new technology gave Americot a whole new opportunity,” says Fields. “XtendFlex changed our business. We’re thankful to have the opportunity to license these technologies and know that it’s a big part of our success. We had new products that were successful.”

The company certainly caught the industry’s attention when, in 2016, NG 3406 B2XF was noted as the top upland cotton variety planted in the U.S., as determined by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Cotton Varieties Planted report. The variety commanded nearly 12% of upland acres, with strong showings in the Southwest and Mid-South, and also remained a close second in the 2017 standings.

Growers Were Taking Notice

Roughly 60 miles separate the cotton fields of Duwane Billings in Seagraves, TX and Len Stanley in Levelland, TX. Both are long-time, successful growers who have seen cotton varieties and seed companies come and go over the decades. Both were familiar with NexGen varieties and were willing to take a closer look.

Billings, however, admits to some initial skepticism.

“It took me a long time to get past the fact that they had less expensive seed,” he says. “To me, that meant it likely wouldn’t produce like other seed varieties. I planted some of their NG 1511 B2RF several years ago, and it did well, so we have just steadily progressed with their seed. In our side-by-side trials, NexGen was doing better than or as well as the others. At some point, I have to say that’s money in my pocket.”

In 2017, Billings’ crop was the largest he’s ever grown, with several fields that produced more than four bales of cotton. He’s also now working closely with Americot on a water efficiency study.

“They have put together a heck of a team,” he adds. “If I have a problem, I can get somebody here quickly, and that’s a big deal to me.”

Stanley has also been impressed.

“In 2016, I had a 200-acre block of NG 3406 B2XF that averaged four bales per acre,” he says. “That was the best cotton I’ve ever made on a block that big. It just looked perfect in every way. So why wouldn’t you think that’s your cotton?”

After blight stunted his cotton in 2017, Stanley added NG 4689 B2XF, which has better disease resistance, to his fields this year. So far, he likes what he’s seen.

Positioning for Smart Growth

With a portfolio of successful varieties and expanding demand from growers, Fields says it was time to evaluate the entire company and its long-term goals to help maintain momentum.

“Initially, we were really just looking to next year,” she says. “We reached the point where we really saw a vision for Americot that could carry us years down the road. We needed to educate our sales staff differently. We needed to be more aggressive in breeding and research and make sure we were placing the right products in the right places to help farmers be more successful.”

Much of the heavy lifting in variety development has been done in recent years by Dr. Tom Brooks, who came to Americot around the same time as the NexGen acquisition in 2007. He worked as a part-time breeder with Dr. David Bush until Bush’s retirement in 2013, then served as a one-man breeding program based in Seminole, TX, while also managing regional nursery programs in the Southeast and Mid-South.

The company expanded its breeding program with the addition of industry veteran Dr. Lloyd McCall in June 2017, and recently added Dr. Mike Robinson and Mark Barfield as breeders based in Greenville, MS, and South Georgia, respectively.

“Tom built a great base for the breeding program,” says McCall. “Thanks to him, we have a good start with breeding programs for germplasm and nurseries and trials both in the Mid-South and Southeast. And now that we have Mike and Mark on board, we’re looking for facilities for our breeding programs in both of those regions.”

Brooks notes that, for now, all breeding work originates at the Seminole site, where they can manage nursery rows, variety evaluation, seed increases and small plot yield trials.

“Our breeding program is still relatively lean,” adds Brooks. “But we do have cooperators helping us with research plots across the Cotton Belt.”

To help bridge the gap between breeding and the sales force, Dr. Doug Jost joined Americot in April 2017 to help develop and build a field research program, working to test and evaluate new prospective varieties on a regional basis.

“Our group wants to help answer as many questions as possible about these new experimentals before we put a sellable seed in the ground,” explains Jost. “Our goal is to have a two-year evaluation cycle prior to commercialization. We need to know how these varieties react at a regional level, then put them in the right areas to succeed.”

Jost heads a program that has grown rapidly within the past year. Field researchers have been added in the Texas Coastal Plains, Northern High Plains, Arizona and the Mid-South, with additions also planned for the Carolinas and Georgia.

And, also during the past year, the company expanded its sales force to 68 representatives from the East Coast to West Texas, and upgraded its product management and marketing efforts.

“We’re making a strong commitment to the cotton industry,” points out Fields. “We’re unique in that we just focus on cotton. We’re going to maintain our growth, and I look forward to seeing what we can continue to do in the future.”

From Cotton Grower Magazine – August/September 2018

Jim Steadman is Senior Editor for Cotton Grower magazine. He has spent more than 40 years in agricultural writing and marketing.

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Americot’s expanded Research and Development team have been busy this season working a number of research trials throughout their assigned regions. These trials are designed to gather in-depth data on a number of NexGen varieties, both on current commercial varieties, as well as pre-commercial ones in the final stages of testing prior to commercial launch.

“We’re looking at specific data including water efficiency, seed treatments, PGR management, heat tolerance, seedling vigor and emergence this year, which allow us to really understand how to best manage our products in specific regions,” says Dr. Doug Jost, Director of Research and Cotton Germplasm. “These trials allow us to provide the very best in cottonseed for NexGen growers now, and into the future.”

Americot continues to invest in the cotton industry and is committed to supporting growers throughout the Cotton Belt. All we do is cotton. All the time.

DOUG JOST, PH.D. Director of Research & Cotton Germplasm | South Plains/Rolling Plains, Texas

This year has been challenging season to say the least. Many growers in the region had to opt out of planting cotton due to extremely dry conditions. Those that were able to get a crop in still struggle with receiving ample rainfall. That said, the NexGen varieties planted have performed very well to-date. Many comments have been received from growers regarding outstanding vigor from our commercial varieties. In years like this, vigor has become key in establishing an acceptable stand and our new experimental varieties are really holding up well in this season’s heat. I am very optimistic that our water efficiency trials will provide tremendous information this season, enabling us to place the best varieties in the toughest environmental conditions in West Texas. At this point, we continue to pray for rain and time to finish this year’s crop.

SHANE HALFMANN Central & South Texas

In my trials this season, I’m keeping my eye on NG 3729 B2XF. It looks promising in tough conditions throughout the Blacklands. This variety has produced an impressive plant for the conditions and was able to set fruit early before the extreme drought. It also looks good in areas where moisture was not a big issue. Late-season rains have proven very beneficial for our fuller season varieties in Coastal Texas. NG 5711 B3XF has responded very well to these rains and will finish very strong. Fields at or close to cutout were able to continue growing and add fruiting positions. I’m excited about several of the experimental BG3 varieties we’re testing in my region. We’ll be able to get very good data from all the trials across South and Central Texas. The trials are very representative of the different conditions across the region and we should see some excellent separation between not only NexGen varieties, but the competition as well. Due to the wide range of environmental extremes that my region has experienced this year, varieties that perform in yield and quality will be very important moving forward. We want varieties that can be as versatile as possible.

CODY JONES Kansas/Oklahoma & High Plains/Northern Plains, Texas

Our irrigated crop looks good across my region. Most started blooming mid-July with good to excellent fruit set and retention. There were some fleahopper damage issues, but minimal. The dryland crop is a total mixed bag, depending on rainfall – the dryland acres north and east of Amarillo caught some good rains and fields look pretty good. To the south and west, dryland acres are poor. NG 3780 B2XF is really showing well in plots thus far and I’m thrilled about the earliness it’s showing. NG 4777 B2XF also looks great with really good yield potential. August is a great time to note any disease issues, such as Verticillium wilt or bacterial blight, and will aid in choosing varieties for next year. NexGen has several varieties with excellent disease packages for growers noticing late-season disease pressure and want to pursue more tolerant varieties for next year. Also, keep an eye out on late-season fertility, especially late-season nitrogen, as an excess of N can delay maturity.

CHASE SAMPLES, PH.D Delta Region

Our bloom dates are on schedule (mid-July) except for the bad spots. Overall, fruit retention in the Mid-South has been incredibly high! If we can hold on to what we had in July, Mississippi, Arkansas and West Tennessee will have really, really good crops. NG 3729 B2XF, NG 5007 B2XF, NG 3522 B2XF & NG 3780 B2XF all look great across the region. NG 3699 B2XF looks great further north in the boot-heel of Missouri and Northeast Arkansas. NG 4689 B2XF also looks stellar in the Delta and more southern part of the Mid-South Cotton Belt. Several of the new BG3 experimental varieties are looking very good with great tests across the region, of which we’ll have a ton of data to learn from. In mid-July we were 6-10 NAWF so be sure and stay active with PGR management on later-maturing varieties.

KAREN GELDMACHER Arizona

Yuma NexGen varieties were at cutout and preparing for defoliation in mid-July. Boll load and fruit retention standouts in this region include NG 3406 B2XF and NG 3729 B2XF. Hot temperatures combined with humidity produced Level 1 and Level 2 heat stress in the low desert growing zones, beginning on the 4th of July. NG 4777 B2XF and NG 4792 XF withstood Level 2 stress that can result in pollen sterility and fruit loss in other varieties. Heat stress data collection of the Americot advanced strain entries at the Maricopa Agriculture Center are suggesting tolerance within varieties, creating advantages for Arizona cotton growers.

From Cotton Farming Magazine – August 2018

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2018 trials underway to assess variety performance, characteristics and traits in specific regions of the Cotton Belt

Over the past year, Americot has expanded its Research and Development team with the addition of four Research and Germplasm Specialists, supporting our plant breeders across the Cotton Belt. These new team members are administering research trials throughout their assigned regions, gathering data on commercial varieties, as well as pre-commercial varieties in the last stage of testing prior to commercial launch.

“Our goal is to provide our sales teams and growers the exact information they need for each product, to maximize the potential of NexGen® varieties on their farms with data that comes from their growing regions. Water efficiency, seed treatments, PGR management, heat tolerance, seedling vigor and emergence are all focus areas included in the trials planted this year, enabling us to understand how to best manage our products in specific regions,” says Dr. Doug Jost, Director of Research and Cotton Germplasm.

Americot continues to invest in the cotton industry, committed to supporting and bringing additional value to growers throughout the Cotton Belt.

SHANE HALFMANN Central & South Texas

This year, I have 24 trial locations from Corpus Christi to Paris, Texas. Additionally, I’m looking at different PGR application rates and timing on commercial varieties. I’ve been really impressed with the emergence of NG 4777 B2XF, NG 3780 B2XF and NG 3729 B2XF. These new products for 2018 are showing really strong emergence during pretty poor planting conditions.

CODY JONES Kansas/Oklahoma & High Plains/Northern Plains, Texas

I’m working 27 locations from just north of Lubbock, Texas, to Altus, Oklahoma, up to Winfield, Kansas. Our soil temperatures were really good during planting, promoting good stands and emergence. We have some good very early-vigor ratings on our varieties, and NG 4777 B2XF has shown excellent vigor across the board. I also have two water efficiency trials in my area that should yield some very valuable data.

DOUG JOST, PH.D South Plains/Rolling Plains, Texas

I’m really excited about this year! I have 25 trials ranging from Salt Flats to Stamford to St. Lawrence to Lubbock, Texas. With the dry spell West Texas has been under, our water efficiency trials will provide a tremendous amount of value to the grower. In addition, we continue to focus on testing of vigorous varieties with the latest B3XF technology that lends to performance in our West Texas environments.

CHASE SAMPLES MidSouth

This year I’m checking 24 trials across the Mid-South (Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama). I’m very excited about the locations that are solely dedicated to the experimental B3XF varieties as candidates for launch in 2019. We also have several early selection sites for the Breeding Team in the Mid-South that we’ll be monitoring, as well.

KAREN GELDMACHER Arizona

I have several trials across Arizona focused on a few key factors: heat tolerance (including pollen sterility and cavitation), nematode seed treatment trials with the University of Arizona and advanced strains tests for the Breeding Team. So far, NG 3729 B2XF is an early season favorite in university trials across the state. I’m also impressed with the early-season vigor of NG 4792 XF in Central Arizona, where we had a cool, wet and windy April planting.

From Cotton Farming Magazine – June 2018

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