California cotton Todd Fitchette
California cotton ready for harvest.

Newer cotton varieties take on pest and disease challenges

Growers across the West still have many varieties to choose from when selecting cotton seed for planting

Farmers wishing to plant cotton this year in the West will have a number of suitable options from which to choose, ranging from short-staple Upland and Acala varieties, to extra-long-staple Pima varieties popular with some apparel companies.

Growers will continue to have their choice of seed from a variety of companies, including Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, and Monsanto. Of these, Dow and Monsanto produce Upland, Acala and Pima varieties. Bayer offers only Upland and Acala varieties.


Fusarium Race 4 continues to be an issue in California, forcing growers to pick varieties tolerant to the soil condition or simply abandoning certain fields altogether. Still, growers have options to pick from as the seed companies continue to breed for tolerant traits in the tough soil conditions.


PhytoGen brand cotton by Dow AgroSciences continues to be popular among San Joaquin Valley growers as varieties change to address Fusarium and other issues.

PHY 725 RF is an Acala variety with Genuity, Roundup Ready Flex technologies. It has excellent staple length and high yield potential across the San Joaquin Valley of California.

PHY 764 WRF is the newest Acala variety that gained quick notoriety for producing five bales in some cases. The variety includes Widestrike insect protection and Genuity Roundup Ready Flex technologies.

PHY 805 RF is the first commercial Pima variety available with Genuity Roundup Ready Flex, offering tolerance to Fusarium Race 4.

PHY 811 RF is an early maturity Pima with high tolerance to Fusarium Race 4.

PHY 830 Is a conventional Pima with good yield potential and excellent fiber quality. It matures 5-6 days earlier than PHY 800 and is adapted more for the northern San Joaquin Valley.

PHY 841 RF Offers high yield potential on highly fertile soil; responds well to high inputs and strong growing environments. Good tolerance to Fusarium Race 4.

PHY 881 RF Is a robust variety suited for medium to heavy soils, providing high yield potential in water-stressed environments. Good tolerance to Fusarium Race 4.

Find more information on PhytoGen cotton online at


Deltapine by Monsanto will offer seven Upland cotton varieties and two Pima varieties for California growers in 2017.

DP 1359 B2RF is a full maturity Upland with outstanding yield and excellent fiber quality potential. It will require an aggressive plant growth regulator treatment under vigorous growing conditions.

B2RF signifies the seed has Genuity Roundup Ready technology.

DP 1522 B2XF is an early-to-mid maturing Upland suitable for the cooler, northern San Joaquin Valley growing region of Dos Palos and Los Banos. It has a great combination of yield potential and fiber quality.

DP 1612 B2XF is an early-maturity Upland suitable for the northern San Joaquin Valley’s cooler climate and shorter growing season. It has a higher reported tolerance for Fusarium, but a lower reported tolerance for Verticillium than DP 1522 B2XF.

B2XF signifies Bollgard II with XtendFlex technology.

DP 1553 B2XF is a full maturity Upland with great combination of yield potential and fiber quality.

DP 1555 B2RF is a full-season Upland with excellent yield potential, especially in high yield environments.

DP 1639 B2XF is a mid-maturity Upland with very good yield potential. Growers with strong soils will want an aggressive plant growth regulator plan in place. This is not recommended for soils with Fusarium.

DP 1646 B2XF is a mid-to-full season Upland with exceptional yield potential.

The next two Delta Pine offerings are mid-to-full season Pima varieties with excellent Fusarium Race 4 tolerance.

DP 348 RF Pima is the newer of the two varieties. It includes the new Roundup Ready flex technology and offers a great combination of yield and quality.

DP 358 RF Pima likewise offers a great combination of yield and quality. It too has the new Roundup Ready flex technology.

Check with your Monsanto seed representative for the best recommendations for challenging growing conditions such as Verticillium or Fusarium Race 4. Information for Deltapine cotton seed can be found online at

Bayer CropScience

Bayer will continue to offer California cotton growers its Daytona RF, an Acala San Joaquin Valley cotton growers have successfully grown for several years. While it includes Roundup Ready Flex technology, it does not have Bt or Liberty Link technology against pests.

FM 1830GLT is an Upland with the full portfolio of pest control with two Bt genes and tolerance to Liberty and glyphosate herbicides. It matures slightly earlier than FM 2484 B2F, with similar yield potential and improved fiber quality.

FM 2334GLT is a medium maturity Upland with GlyTol LibertyLink TwinLink technology, with full tolerance to both Liberty and glyphosate herbicides, plus broad-spectrum lepidopteran insect protection utilizing two Bt genes. Additionally, it has a moderate growth habit and a maturity similar to FM 2484B2F.

Find more information on Bayer cotton online at


In Arizona, cotton acreage – Upland and Pima - is expected to increase in 2017 – perhaps in the 10 percent to 15 percent range to 135,000 to 147,000 total acres statewide, according to two Western Farm Press sources.

The reason for the cotton increase is cotton is viewed as a more attractive economic crop option for growers this year compared to wheat, alfalfa, and corn (grain and silage). The percentage of Upland and Pima are expected to stay about the same.

In Monsanto’s Deltapine cottonseed lineup, 2017 Upland varieties will include DP 1549 B2XF (Xtend-Flex dicamba tolerant). Monsanto predicts this variety will become its best-selling variety in Arizona in the future.

DP 1549 B2XF was bred in Arizona and its best geographic fit is in the high desert in Safford with good performance also noted in the low desert areas of Buckeye, Casa Grande, and Coolidge.

DP 1044 B2RF Upland, Deltapine’s “MVP workhorse,” will again be available this year. It’s the current best-selling cottonseed variety in the Grand Canyon State, and a top performer in low desert fields.

Other Deltapine Uplands include DP 1646 B2XF which has good fiber and yield. A seed block near Coolidge last year yielded four-bales-plus with a 39 average staple.

DP 1555 B2RF is a bushier plant with high yield potential which Monsanto calls “a true racehorse variety.” It has small seed so make sure emergence is ideal to ensure a good stand.

Other Deltapine varieties include DP 1359 B2RF which has “Acala Lite” and high yield potential. It requires aggressive plant growth regulator use on strong ground, and can be planted on weaker ground to control vegetative growth.

Shorter season Uplands include DP 1549 B2XF, DP 1044 B2RF, and DP 1522 B2XF – a good double crop fit after grain in the low deserts. Shortest season variety fits for Yuma and Willcox include DP 1612 B2XF, DP 1522 B2XF, and DP 0912 B2RF.

On the Pima side, Deltapine offers DP 358 RF, a Roundup Flex variety with good performance; and DP 348 RF, a slightly earlier variety with better performance than DP 358 RF (best planted in the Safford Valley).

Available from Bayer CropScience is its FiberMax and Stoneville Upland lines for 2017 including FM 1830GLT with its best production fit in eastern Arizona. It features good yield potential, improved fiber package with higher micronaire, high gin turnout, and more. This variety also fits well in central and western Arizona.

FiberMax 1911GLT, a good fit in eastern Arizona, is a large-seed variety (sold in 170,000 seed count bags) with high yield potential and a good fiber package. Variety strengths include early-season vigor; strong yield potential and fiber package; good storm, root-knot nematode and Verticillium wilt tolerances; and bacterial blight resistance.

Bayer offers two Stoneville Upland varieties in Arizona. ST 4949GTL is an early-medium variety with good yield potential and fiber quality with a high lint percentage. Other variety strengths include TwinLink protection against insects, and intermediate Verticillium wilt tolerance.

Stoneville ST 6182GLT is a full-season variety with good fiber quality, high gin turnout, suited for heavy and light soils, GlyTol LibertyLink TwinLink, with full tolerance to glyphosate and Liberty herbicides, and lepidopteran resistant.

Cottonseed varieties from Dow AgroSciences this year include the PhytoGen brand. According to USDA, PhytoGen was the fourth most planted cotton variety in the U.S. last year - about 13 percent of all planted U.S. acreage, and about 23 percent of all acreage in the West.

The National Cotton Council says about two-thirds of the Pima cotton planted in Arizona last year was PhytoGen varieties, including PHY 805 RF (about 55 percent), PHY 881 RF (9 percent), and PHY 841 RF (about 3 percent).


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