Bollgard® II thrives on low Heliothis density

11 February, 2003

___CSIRO/CSD experimental Bollgard® II varieties in most trials have not needed spraying for heliothis this season due to low heliothis density and the additional advantage of the extra gene in Bollgard® II cotton, although some required spraying for mirids._

Growers attending a field walk at “The Anchorage”, St George, were able to view the performance of experimental lines of full season Bollgard® II lines, including some Roundup Ready® lines.

Pictured: Craig Brimblecombe (left) of “The Anchorage” with consultant Peter Haslem at St George.

Anna Hedger, Monsanto’s manager for the St George and Goondiwindi regions, who addressed the gathering, reaffirmed that Bollgard® II was a necessary replacement for INGARD® technology for resistance management over the next two years, with 50,000 hectares planned for the transition year.

CSD extension and development agronomist, John Marshall, told the group that although a limited number of Bollgard® II varieties would be available for planting in 2003, a wider range of elite CSD Bollgard® II varieties would be available in 2004.

“Current evidence suggests that a lack of tipping out and very high early fruit retention will be a regular management challenge for these new varieties, which should possess a good disease resistance package, and yield and fibre characteristics equal to current INGARD® varieties.

Fellow CSD extension and development agronomist, Greg Kauter, told the group that the advanced maturity of many Bollgard® II varieties in demonstration trials, highlighted their potential for slightly later planting in areas usually troubled by early season pests and diseases, particularly black root rot.

“Actively managing crop progress and nutrition up to flowering, along with sucking pest management, will be critical to get the best out of this technology.

“Because the fruiting window is somewhat compressed with Bollgard® II lines, compared to conventional varieties, management of fertilisers and irrigation will also be critical and will need to be timely,” Greg Kauter said.

Further Information: *"Robert Eveleigh**, John Marshall, Greg Kauter or Craig McDonald":showstaff.asp?staff=1