Agribusiness: New Fibermax cotton varieties bred for Southeast

High yields and high quality fiber are two must-haves for any cotton producer who wants maximum profits. Because of continued research at the FiberMax cotton seed breeding stations in Leland, Miss., Sellers, S.C., and Lubbock, Texas, FiberMax will offer new cottonseed varieties in 2007 that have the potential for high yields and high lint quality.

“These three breeding stations allow us to select, develop and evaluate new varieties for optimal performance in widely variable soil types and environmental conditions,” said Steve P. Nichols, U.S. agronomic manager for FiberMax. “In the Southeast, we have a number of new varieties for 2007 that have been developed specifically for the environmental and growing conditions of that area.”

Nichols said the Southeast production region has become a hotbed of glyphosate resistance issues in recent years. Many cotton growers face glyphosate-resistant strains of pigweed and horseweed, plus volunteer corn and soybeans. These growers have an alternative with LibertyLink technology.

Growers who choose FiberMax LibertyLink varieties can use Ignite herbicide season-long for broad-spectrum control of more than 100 weed species, including glyphosate-resistant weeds.

In particular, Nichols noted the following new FiberMax varieties for 2007 that are adapted for areas in the Southeast:

• FM 955LLB2 is an early-maturing variety with LibertyLink and Bollgard II technology. It does not require large amounts of growth regulators. It produces very large bolls and excellent fiber quality, and it performs best on sandy and silty loam soils with irrigation.

• FM 965LLB2 sets many bolls quickly later in the season. It produces a higher-than-average percentage of total yield on the second- and third-position bolls. It has a semi-tight boll and above-average fiber length, excellent fiber strength and premium to high-base micronaire that is rarely discounted.

• FM 1800LL is a medium to full-season variety that produces large bolls. Plants are tall and vigorous, and bolls produce a long, strong fiber that has high length uniformity.

• FM 9063B2F is an early-medium maturing variety Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technology. It is easy to manage with low amounts of plant regulators and has a large boll type with excellent fiber quality. It performs consistently across sandy and silt loams with irrigation.

• FM 1880B2F is a full-maturing variety with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technology. Management will require plant regulators early in growthy soil types. It produces medium-open bolls and has a good fiber quality package.

Nichols noted new varieties that will be released in limited testing quantities include FM 1735LLB2, FM 1835LLB2, FM 1740B2F and FM 1840B2F. “Watch for them in 2007 and beyond,” he said.

New FiberMax varieties must meet standards for high yield and quality potential before they are commercially released, Nichols added.

“The profit equation for cotton growers includes yield and quality,” he said. “Yield generates revenue, and fiber quality pays a premium. A new variety needs to meet these standards before we put it in a FiberMax bag.”

Nichols also noted that the market share for FiberMax has increased for eight consecutive years. According to a newly issued U.S. Department of Agriculture acreage report, FiberMax varieties accounted for 26.7 percent of all U.S. cotton acreage in 2006. The report, “Cotton Varieties Planted – 2006 Crop,” was issued in September by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Cotton Program division in Memphis.

For more information on FiberMax cotton seed, visit

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