US farmers to plant Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton
Some 200 US farmers are to plant Monsanto's genetically modified insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton (MON88701xMON88913xMON15985) this year under its cotton seed business Deltapine's new product evaluator programme. Eight pre-commercial Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton varieties are being considered for inclusion in Deltapine's "Class of 16". The cotton lines are tolerant to the herbicides, dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium, but dicamba cannot be used because its application has yet to be approved by the EPA. Dicamba- and glufosinate-tolerant MON88701 cotton was deregulated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in January. Some 500,000 acres (202,000 ha) of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton is due to be planted this year through Deltapine and select licensees across the Cotton Belt.