"These results affirm that Indigo's proprietary discovery and development processes lead to continuous performance improvement," said Dr Jonathan McIntyre, Indigo's head of research and development. "Not only do we utilise data generated in lab assays and greenhouse experiments, but also we collect information from commercial fields, gaining insights to improve our products even after commercialisation. These insights translate into better results for growers, processors, and consumers."
Indigo harvest has thus far been collected from 23 commercial fields across Texas, comprising over 2,500 acres. Yield increases were evaluated based on the control — cotton grown in adjacent fields from seeds without microbial treatment — and were achieved without increased water or chemical application. Seed variety and management practices were consistent across fields. Indigo Cotton's overall win rate in West Texas was 91 per cent, with yield increases seen on both dryland and irrigated acres. These results are consistent with five years of company field trials. The 14 per cent average yield gain demonstrated represents an additional $68 per acre for US.
"I had Indigo-treated cotton in a side-by-side comparison with untreated cotton. Throughout the year, the Indigo plants were visibly healthier and taller," said Justin Busenlehner, a cotton grower from Ballinger, Texas. "The Indigo-treated cotton had at least a third more root mass than the untreated cotton. When scouting the field, I noticed 1-1.25 more bolls per foot on the Indigo-treated cotton. I was pleased with the results last year and I have already contracted cotton acres this year."
"Consistent with the work that we've been doing at Texas A&M since 2011, we see that microbes isolated under drought conditions can have a significant positive impact on plant health and growth," said Dr Gregory Sword, Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist and Indigo collaborator. "Partnering microbes with cotton plants in fields throughout Texas and beyond can help to support farmer yields and profits, despite challenging growing conditions. We're excited to see a second year of effective commercial products on the market." (RR)
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