U.S. cotton producers wanted choices, and next year they're getting them. In 2006, there will be three Bt technologies and three herbicide-resistant technologies working together in a number of combinations in U.S. cotton fields.

As for Bt cottons, there's the old standard, Bollgard, with its time-proven single Bt protein, and two relatively new kids on the stalk, WideStrike, from Dow AgroSciences, in PhytoGen varieties, and Bollgard II, from Monsanto, which will be in several brands. The latter are two-gene products which were introduced in 2005.

Next year will be the inaugural season of Monsanto's new herbicide-resistant technology in cotton varieties — Roundup Ready Flex. Roundup can be sprayed over-the-top of Roundup Ready Flex cotton further into the growing season than the current generation of Roundup Ready cotton.

Monsanto stresses that Roundup Ready Flex cotton has full regulatory clearance in the United States, but as of Oct. 1, 2005 did not have full import approval in all export markets. Processed fractions from Roundup Ready Flex cotton, including linters, oil, meal, cottonseed and gin trash, must be used and consumed domestically, and must not be exported without all necessary approvals in the importing country.

In addition, several new Liberty Link varieties, which are resistant to glufosinate, or Ignite, will be available in 2006.

Here's a list of new cotton varieties for 2006. Descriptions are provided by seed companies.

Americot Cottonseed:

Americot Cottonseed will offer six cotton varieties, including two new Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked lines, for the Mid-South and Southeast for 2006:

Americot 1521B2RF is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked picker type cotton variety. This new line shows tolerance to Verticillium wilt. Fiber traits are, micronaire, 3.8-4.7, length, 35-37 and strength, 27-32.

Americot 1532B2RF is a mid-season Roundup Ready Flex/Bollgard II stacked picker type cotton variety. This line has excellent yield potential and stability. Fiber traits are, micronaire, 3.6-4.6, length, 35-37 and strength, 27-31.

Americot 427R is an early-maturing Roundup Ready picker cotton variety with excellent seedling vigor. Fiber traits are, micronaire, 3.6-4.8, length, 34-37 and strength, 28-31.

Americot 262R is a mid-season Roundup Ready variety with excellent yield potential. Fiber traits are, micronaire, 3.7-4.8, length, 34-37 and strength, 27-31.

Americot 821R is a mid-season Roundup Ready variety with good yield potential and stability. Fiber traits are, micronaire, 3.8-4.8, length, 34-36 and strength, 27-31.

Americot 4207 is a conventional picker type cotton variety with good yield potential and stability. This early-maturing variety has excellent seedling vigor and works well in Mid-South ultra-narrow-row management systems.

Beltwide Cotton Genetics:

Beltwide Cotton Genetics may be offering as many as 14 new stacked Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex varieties in 2006. All varieties are marked with an “x” to indicate experimental designation.

xBCG-3255 is a medium maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.15 staple, 4.6 micronaire and 26 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

xBCG-4575 is an early maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.12 staple, 4.2 micronaire and 27.3 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

xBCG-4630 is an medium maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.2 staple, 4.4 micronaire and 29.5 strength. Adapted for the Mid-South.

xBCG-9775 is a medium maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.22 staple, 4.0 micronaire and 29 strength. Adapted to west Texas.

xBCG-4153 is an early-medium maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.16 staple, 4.1 micronaire and 28 strength. Adapted to west Texas.

xBCG-6896 is a medium maturing, semi-smooth leaf variety with an average 1.16 staple, 3.5 micronaire and 31.9 strength. Adapted for south Texas.

xBCG-8391 is a full maturing, smooth leaf variety with an average 1.23 staple, 4.1 micronaire and 29 strength. Adapted for south Texas.

Croplan Genetics:

Three cotton varieties are tentatively slated for commercial launch in 2006 by Croplan Genetics:

CG 3020B2RF is a very early-maturity, smooth leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential and premium fiber quality to better help U.S. cotton growers market their fiber in base international and high-end domestic markets. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2; staple 36.8; strength 27.4

CG 3520B2RF is an early-maturity, semi-smooth leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential and premium fiber quality. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2; staple 37.8; strength 27.4

CG 4020B2RF is an early- to mid-maturity, smooth leaf picker variety with excellent yield potential. This variety will come stacked with Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex. Fiber quality measurements: micronaire 4.2; staple 38.1; strength 28.7

Delta and Pine Land:

D&PL has major seed production in place on 10 new varieties containing the Roundup Ready Flex technology. Five of these varieties contain the Roundup Ready Flex technology stacked with Bollgard II. The lineup also includes three new Bollgard/Roundup Ready varieties.

The varieties are:

DP 113 B2RF is an early maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

DP 117 B2RF is an early maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

DP 108 RF, is an early maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 110 RF is an early maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, hairy leaf plant with fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, excellent strength and very good uniformity.

DP 143 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, semi-smooth leaf plant with premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 147 RF is a mid- to full maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a medium-tall, semi-smooth leaf plant, with good storm resistance. It has premium micronaire, excellent staple, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 164 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a tall, smooth leaf plant with good storm resistance. It has premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 167 RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety. It is a tall, smooth leaf plant with good storm resistance, premium micronaire, excellent staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 156 B2RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Bollgard II, Roundup Ready Flex variety with a smooth leaf and medium-tall plant height. It has fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 152 RF is a mid- to full-maturity, Roundup Ready Flex variety, with medium-tall height and a smooth leaf. It has fair storm resistance, premium micronaire, very good staple length, very good strength and very good length uniformity.

DP 454 BG/RR is a mid-maturity, semi-smooth leaf variety. Plant height is tall, but shorter than DP 555 BG/RR. Has a lot of early vigor, and establishes a strong boll load quickly. The variety's high gin turnout gives it outstanding yield potential. Micronaire runs in the low- to mid-4 range, staple, 35 and strength, 29.5-30.

DP 445 BG/RR is an early- to mid-maturity variety with medium plant height. It is 4-5 days later than DP 444 BG/RR. It is a semi-smooth leaf variety with excellent fiber properties. Micronaire runs 4.3-4.5, staple, 36, and strength, 31 plus.

DP 455 BG/RR is a mid-maturity, smooth-leaf variety with a medium to tall plant height and a good fiber package. Micronaire runs in the low 4.0 range, staple, 35.5-36 and strength, 30-31.

FiberMax:

FiberMax is releasing three Liberty Link/Bollgard II varieties, one Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex variety, three Roundup Ready Flex varieties and one Bollgard II line:

FM 988LLB2 is a medium maturing LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety well adapted to the Southern Rolling Plains and the Southeast region. Plants are very compact and have a short to medium stature. Boll retention is high on the first fruiting positions for a consistent fruiting pattern. Fiber quality is good.

FM 965LLB2 is a mid- to full LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety suitable for most well-drained soils across the Cotton Belt. It has moderate early season growth that can respond to lower rates of plant growth regulator and fiber quality is very good.

FM 955LLB2 is an early-maturing LibertyLink/Bollgard II variety that has demonstrated excellent adaptation to the Mid-Atlantic regions, throughout the Mid-South and Texas. It is an easy to manage variety with short, compact plants. Fiber quality is very good.

FM 960B2 is a medium to full season variety with excellent adaptation to well-drained soils. It has high yield potential in management systems where the insect protection of Bollgard II is desired in a conventional herbicide program and produces excellent fiber quality, especially strength.

FM 9068F is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex variety with a wide range of adaptability throughout the Mid-South and Southeast with good productivity across soil types. It is an easy to manage variety requiring lower rate to no plant growth regulator. Fiber quality is very good.

FM 9060F is an early-maturing Roundup Ready Flex variety particularly suited to the central and northern regions of the Mid-South as well as the Mid-Atlantic states. Plants are compact and should work well in narrow row configurations and conventional row patterns. Fiber quality is very good, even under variable conditions.

FM 9058F is a new Roundup Ready Flex variety adapted to the Southern High Plains. FM 9058F offers growers in this area excellent yield potential and fiber quality in a Roundup Ready Flex herbicide system. Agronomic characteristics of this variety are similar to FM 958 with a compact plant type and large, storm-tolerant bolls.

FM 9063B2F is an early-maturing Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex variety with a compact plant type that is easy to manage. It has a wide range of adaptability throughout Texas, the Mid-South and the eastern Seaboard. Fiber quality is excellent.

PhytoGen Seed Company:

PhytoGen Seed Company is adding nine new varieties to its product line east of California, including varieties. WideStrike insect protection and the Roundup Ready and Roundup Ready Flex technologies.

PHY 370 WR is a new early maturity WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with good vigor, broad adaptation and high yield potential.

PHY 470 WR is a WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with early-to-mid maturity and broad adaptation. Most similar to PSC 355, with improved micronaire and grade.

PHY 480 WR is a WideStrike and Roundup Ready stacked variety with early-to-mid maturity and broad adaptation. Similar to PHY 470 WR with improved lint yield, staple and strength.

PHY 475 WRF is a new WideStrike and Roundup Ready Flex stacked variety with early-to-mid maturity and broad adaptation, similar to PHY 470 WR. Limited supply for 2006.

PHY 485 WRF is a new WideStrike and Roundup Ready Flex stacked variety with early-to-mid maturity and broad adaptation, similar to PHY 480 WR. Limited supply for 2006.

PHY 125 RF is a new Roundup Ready Flex stripper variety for the High Plains, with excellent yield potential. Good fiber quality and grades.

PHY 415 RF and PHY 425 RF are new early-to-mid maturity Roundup Ready Flex varieties adapted for the Mid-South, Southeast and Southwest. Both have shown high yield potential with excellent fiber quality.

NM 1517-99 W is a new WideStrike variety for New Mexico and other Southwest markets, with good fiber quality and grades.

Returning varieties include PHY 440 W, an early-to-mid maturity WideStrike-only variety; PHY 310 R, an early maturity Roundup Ready variety; PHY 410 R, an early-to-mid maturity Roundup Ready variety; and PHY 510 R, a full season Roundup Ready variety.

NexGen and Stoneville:

ST 4554B2RF is an early-to-mid maturity picker product that offers growers exceptional yield potential, excellent fiber quality and broad adaptation. It stacks the Bollgard II technology to protect more bolls, with the weed control and application advantages of the new Roundup Ready Flex Cotton System.

ST 4664RF is an early-to-mid maturity picker product that offers growers exceptional yield potential, excellent fiber quality and broad adaptation, along with the simple and economical weed control of the new Roundup Ready Flex Cotton System.

ST 6611B2RF is a full-season maturity Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex with premium fiber quality. This picker product offers exceptional yield potential, smooth leaf and excellent early-season vigor.

ST 6622RF is a new, full-season Roundup Ready Flex picker product that offers premium fiber quality, smooth leaf, exceptional yield potential, and excellent early-season vigor.

NG 3550RF is a new medium maturity Roundup Ready Flex cotton product that offers a very good fiber package and good yielding ability.

NG 3969R is a new medium maturity Roundup Ready product that delivers outstanding fiber quality and stormproof bolls all in one seed. This product offers excellent yield potential and will fit both dryland and irrigated production systems. It is suitable for planting in the High Plains from Plainview south, the Rolling Plains and southwestern Oklahoma.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com