Cotton producers who raise Stoneville's BXN varieties can reduce their cost of production this season through participation in a new program for Aventis cotton products. BXN cotton varieties contain the BXN gene for resistance to Buctril 4EC herbicide.

The program awards points — which can be redeemed for dollars — to growers for their purchases of Aventis cotton products, including Buctril 4EC herbicide.

“Temik Saver's Choice is administered through Harvest Partners, a mechanism for crediting a grower's purchases regardless of who the grower buys from,” said Andy Hurst, Aventis product manager for cotton herbicides.

The grower is awarded Harvest points which can be converted to cash or merchandise. “The only qualifier is that the grower buys Temik,” said Hurst.

The program makes the BXN/Buctril cotton system more affordable because it reduces the cost of Buctril herbicide, noted representatives from Aventis and Stoneville Pedigreed Seed, which markets BXN cotton varieties.

For example, a grower who purchases enough Temik to treat 1,500 acres at the 4.5 pound per acre rate and enough Buctril to treat the same acreage at the one pint per acre rate would save $2,689. The savings on Buctril would be $12 a gallon with Temik Saver's Choice.

On a per acre basis, a grower could shave as much as $3 an acre off the cost of two applications of Buctril at a pint per acre. Currently, Buctril sells for $12 to $13 per application compared to an application of Roundup in the $7 to $8 range.

Currently, there are two BXN cotton varieties in the Mid-South market, BXN 47 and the newly released BXN 49B. BXN 49B, which contains Monsanto's Bollgard gene, “will be a great fit for a lot of growers who haven't been able to use the BXN system because there was no Bt gene associated with it,” noted Hurst.

“With the BXN 49B, we have actually backcrossed BXN and the Bollgard technology into ST 474,” said Lloyd McCall, who heads up cotton breeding for Stoneville Pedigreed Seed. “What we have come up with is a variety that looks and acts exactly like ST 474. It performs the same way, has the same high yield potential and has a broad adaptation. ST 474 has been one of our workhorse products.”

In addition, Stoneville has improved the fiber package of BXN 49B, according to McCall. “It has significantly longer fiber than BXN 47 or ST 474. We've also decreased the micronaire significantly. And BXN 49B has the same fiber strength as ST 474. So we made improvements and didn't give up anything.

“We're really excited about bringing a product like this to market. We think there are some weed spectrums on the farm that the BXN system can address very effectively.

The system could be especially useful in areas which have chronic morningglory, cocklebur and hemp sesbania problems. BXN 49B has been tested in the Southeast, Mid-South and Southwest and has performed similarly to ST 474 in all those areas, according to McCall.

“One of the things that producers really have liked about the Roundup Ready and Roundup/Bollgard system was when they planted their refugia, they've also had a Roundup Ready variety they could plant there — so they had the same herbicide program across the board,” McCall added.

The release of BXN 49B, “will allow you to do the same thing. Growers can use BXN 47 as refugia and BXN 49B for the rest of the field. And the BXN 47 and BXN 49B have exactly the same maturity.”

The Temik Saver's Choice program is the result of focus group research conducted by Aventis, according to Hurst. “One thing growers told us that they did not want was any sort of program that requires a commitment to purchase multiple products early in the season or on the front end. This program does not require growers to do that. They choose the products as needed.”

Aventis sales representatives will have a hand-held calculator which will allow a grower to run different scenarios on the acres he might treat with various products and the savings he can earn. The calculator is also on the Aventis website at www.cottonexperts.com.