November 28, 2022
In a year of extremes, cotton growers appreciate good, high performing varieties. That’s what NexGen delivered during 2022.
“We’re still in the early stages of harvest,” says Mike Robinson, Americot Eastern Region Breeding Manager. “But from what I’ve heard and seen so far, NG 3195 B3XF and NG 4190 B3XF are having a good year. Growers seem to really like the performance they’re getting from these varieties.”
Both varieties are fairly well adapted across a large portion of the Cotton Belt. In particular, NG 3195 B3XF, which is a very early maturing line, showed strong performance in South Georgia, the northern Mid-South, and even into the Texas High Plains.
“You know, varieties change in and out so much it’s sometimes hard on growers to keep up,” says Robinson. “But they learn how to grow the newer varieties. These varieties are a couple of years in, and farmers are really learning where to place them for maximum performance.”
Robinson also highlighted NG 3299 B3XF, a new early maturity variety for 2022.
“It’s been interesting to see the placement and performance of the variety because it’s another real early maturing line,” he points out. “For the next couple of years, we should have a good story to tell for that variety as well.”
Increased Emphasis on Fiber Quality
As an independent cottonseed company, NexGen is committed to finding points of differentiation with other seed companies. Several years ago, the company’s breeding program transitioned to focus on high quality, long fiber in addition to yield.
“We’re seeing a lot of advancement in that work,” reports Lloyd McCall, Americot Cotton Breeder. “We have a pipeline full of material, and we’re in really good shape as far as fiber quality goes. We’re making a lot of progress there.
“Fiber length and quality is just as important as yield these days,” he explains. “We really feel pressure from growers to have high quality fiber in our varieties as well as yield. But we can’t give up yield for quality. There’s a strong demand for it, much stronger than what we anticipated five years ago. I think right now we’re really close to having Acala quality in our varieties.”
The breeding program is also working to develop nematode resistance for their varieties, as well as working with Bayer on introgression work with the ThryvOn insect protection trait.
“This year, we got a little more data on some of the nematode work, and it appears that some look like they have good tolerance to nematodes and are performing really well,” McCall says. “They’re good traits to have, but yield and fiber quality are still our main priorities.
“With ThryvOn, we’re waiting on commercialization of course, but we have a good pipeline of materials right now. We’ll be ready and will stay flexible so that we can adjust either way depending on final decisions about the technology. Plus, we’ve also kept a good pipeline of B3XF materials coming forward, too.”
From Cotton Grower – November 2022
Jim Steadman is Senior Editor for Cotton Grower magazine. He has spent more than 40 years in agricultural writing and marketing.