New NexGen Varieties Are Turning Heads Across the Cotton Belt

November 19, 2021

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.

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