Systems Agronomic and Economic Evaluation of Transgenic and
Conventional Varieties in the Texas High Plains
Dr. Randy Boman, Extension Agronomist-Cotton
Mr. Mark Kelley, Extension Assistant-Cotton
Mr. Alan Helm, Extension Assistant-Cotton
Texas Agricultural Extension Service
Summary and Conclusions
At the medium weed control input location at Muleshoe, PM 2326RR produced the same net value as the FiberMax 819, even though it numerically produced less lint. The BXN 16 variety and system produced significantly lower net value per acre than several of the Roundup Ready varieties and the conventional FiberMax 819. The main economic components resulting in similar net value were the cultivation, hoeing and graminicide costs. These results indicate that in this medium weed control input production scenario, many of the transgenic Roundup Ready varieties competed very well with existing conventional varieties in terms of overall economics of production. However, the conventional okra-leaf FiberMax 819 produced higher net value than all varieties except PM 2326RR. At the high weed control input site at Ralls, net value per acre was lowest for Stoneville BXN 47 and highest for FiberMax 989. No statistically significant differences were noted for net value per acre for FiberMax 989, PM 280, PM 2280BG/RR, PM 2326RR, and PM HS 26. These data indicate that some transgenic Roundup Ready and stacked gene varieties were competitive with conventional types in terms of production economics. The BXN 47 variety and system resulted in lowest numerical net value at this site. Results from the low weed control input site at Tokio indicated that Deltapine 237B produced significantly greater net value per acre than all other varieties. PM 2200RR, PM 2326BG/RR, and PM HS 26 produced statistically similar net values per acre. These data indicate that even though additional post-emergence applications of herbicides were not required at this site, several transgenic varieties produced economically competitive net value results, even when considering higher seed and technology fee costs on a per acre basis. Due to the fact that the recurrent parent of DP 237B, DP 2379, was not in this test, the impact of the Bollgard gene on the overall higher profitability of this background type cannot be determined. This site had considerable beet armyworm pressure over an extended period of time and the Bollgard gene in DP 237B may have contributed to increased yield. When comparisons were made between PM 2326BG/RR and PM 2326RR (same recurrent parent), yields were about 135 lb/acre greater for the Bollgard type. However, when comparing the PM 2200RR and the PM 2280BG/RR (same recurrent parent), there was only a 7 lb/acre advantage for the Bollgard type. Results from the 2000 production season at three varying locations in the Texas High Plains indicate that some transgenic Roundup Ready and Roundup Ready/Bollgard stacked gene varieties can be competitive with standard conventional varieties in terms of production economics. However, at two of three locations, conventional FiberMax varieties numerically produced the highest net values on a per acre basis.