U.S. cotton producers are getting revved up about cotton again, especially after cotton futures prices rose to their highest levels in almost 20 months in February. As a result, U.S. cotton acreage is expected to rise to over 10 million acres in 2010, signaling a rebound after three straight years of declines.

No doubt, cotton producers will be evaluating dozens of new and existing cotton varieties to replace old favorites that are phasing out after 2010.

Descriptions of the new cotton varieties listed below are provided by seed companies. Some varieties included are in a second year of release and/or may have only been offered in introductory quantities.

Bayer CropScience is releasing FM 1773 LLB2 into the cotton growing region east of the Mississippi River.

FM 1773 LLB2 is a LibertyLink, Bollgard II variety available for the Southeast and Mid-South. Yields are equal to or better than FM 1845 LLB2. Fiber properties are comparable to FM 1845 LLB2 as well.

According to Bayer’s Jeff Brehmer, the LibertyLink technology can address the growing glyphosate-resistance issue in the Southeast and Mid-South. The LibertyLink system with Ignite herbicide has proven to be very successful. One of the key things we see is that farmers spraying the right rate at the right time are highly satisfied with the results.”

Brehmer said that FM 1773 LLB2 “complements FM 1845 LLB2 in that it is more of medium maturity cotton, whereas FM 1845 LLB2 is more of a medium-full maturing variety.”

For 2011, “we’re looking at evaluating several LLB2s in both Stoneville and FiberMax brands, and we’re looking to advance our first Stoneville LLB2 variety,” Brehmer said. “Pending regulatory approval, we should also be advancing some Glytol, LibertyLink, Bollgard II varieties.

“We’ll continue to develop Bollgard II/Flex varieties.”

Visit Bayer for more information.

Deltapine is offering six new Class of 2010 cotton varieties. The following two varieties are best suited for farmers in Texas:

DP 1032 B2RF is a variety with mid-maturity, smooth leaf, broadly adapted variety with great combination of yield potential and fiber quality for mid-maturity markets in west Texas. Its best overall performance has been on irrigated acres.

DP 1044 B2RF is a mid-full maturity, smooth leaf variety with a great combination of yield and fiber quality for dryland and limited-water irrigated acres.

The following two varieties have maturities that are best suited to the northern part of the Mid-South and Southeast:

DP 1028 B2RF is an early-to-mid maturing variety with smooth leaf, excellent yield potential with improved staple and micronaire when compared to DP 0912 B2RF, a great performer in 2009.

DP 1034 B2RF is a mid maturing variety with excellent yield potential for mid-maturity markets. Great combination of yield and fiber quality.

The following two varieties are best-suited for growers in the lower Southeast, Mid-South and south Texas:

DP 1048 B2RF is a mid-to-full maturing variety with semi-smooth leaf, broadly-adapted variety with improved staple and uniformity (vs. DP 555 BG/RR) and with excellent yield potential as a DP 555 BG/RR replacement.

DP 1050 B2RF is a mid-to-full maturing variety with smooth leaf, improved fiber quality (vs. DP 555 BG/RR), with excellent yield potential as a DP 555 BG/RR replacement; a similar plant type to DP 555 BG/RR.

Visit Deltapine for more information.

Dyna-Gro is a proprietary seed brand offered by Loveland Products, Inc. and sold to farm customers through both Crop Production Services distribution retail locations and through other seed retailers that desire to market this premier brand of seed. Visit Dyna-Gro for more information on varieties.

Dyna-Gro is offering one signature variety for 2010:

DG 2570 B2RF — An early mid-maturity upland variety that has shown excellent seedling vigor. It is smooth leaf cotton that has an open architecture with an associated robust plant growth. It is a medium-tall variety averaging about 42 inches in height. This variety has medium size bolls averaging about 6 grams. DG 2570 B2RF has shown very good drought tolerance and good storm resistance. It has also shown excellent tolerance to Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt. Overall in all trials, gin turnout has ranged from 39-42 percent, fiber uniformity has ranged from 83percent to 85 percent, micronaire has ranged from 4.4 to 4.9, fiber length has ranged from 1.12 to 1.15 inches, and strength has ranged from 29 to 31 grams per tex.

Overall plant performance of this variety was determined to be very adaptable throughout most of the cotton growing regions and especially well on lighter soils under heat stress and droughty conditions. Limited data has show very favorable yield responses on clay soils. No-till production practices also compliment this variety. DG 2570 additionally responds very well to irrigation for enhanced yields.

PhytoGen is offering these new cotton varieties for 2010:

PHY 367 WRF — This early maturing variety has excellent early season vigor, root knot nematode tolerance, high yield potential and good fiber quality. It is another variety stacked with both WideStrike and Genuity Roundup Ready Flex.

PHY 565 WRF — A mid- to full-maturing variety with high yield potential, PHY 565 WRF is a new variety selected for broad adaptation and good-to-excellent fiber quality. This option for growers is stacked with WideStrike and Genuity Roundup Ready Flex.

PHY 525 RF — Is a mid- to full-maturing variety selected for broad adaptation, high yield potential and good-to-excellent fiber quality. This variety should appeal to growers looking for a Genuity Roundup Ready Flex-only variety.

PHY 375 WRF — Although availability was limited in 2009, PHY 375 WRF has become a leading upland variety across the Cotton Belt. In fact, it was the No. 1 planted variety in the Delta region in 2009. PHY 375 WRF is a WideStrike and Roundup Ready Flex stacked variety. This indeterminate, early maturing line has the capacity to keep growing in stressful environments and matures quicker than other varieties when the crop is protected from early season insects. The excellent vigor and growth habit leads to a high degree of yield stability and fiber quality atypical of early maturing cotton varieties.

Find data specific to your area at PhytoGen, or call (800) 258-3033 for more information.

Americot, Inc., offers Americot and NexGen brand cotton. Americot is developing new varieties for the Mid-South that will be released over the next two to three years. The next generation of Americot varieties will be improvements on current varieties, with better fiber traits and yield potential.

One of the most popular Americot varieties is AM 1550 B2RF, which will be planted more extensively in the 2010 season. It is targeted for the north Mississippi River Delta area. This Bollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex cotton has an early-mid maturity and is a semi-smooth leaf cotton. Its average staple length is 35.6; strength, 27.5; and micronaire, 4.5. It offers excellent yield potential and a solid fiber package. AM 1550 B2RF is widely adapted, performs well in the Mid-South and is well-suited for irrigated, high input acres.

For more information on AM 1550 B2RF and other cottons from Americot, Inc., go to Americot.

Croplan Genetics is the proprietary brand of the farmer-owned, full-line seed division of Land O’Lakes, Inc., marketing in more than 40 states. Its seed division touts 25 varieties of alfalfa seed, 201 corn hybrids, 146 varieties of soybean seed, and a large variety of canola, sunflower, forage, wheat and cotton seeds. For more information on its cotton lines for 2010, go to Croplan Genetics.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com