Cotton Irrigation and Plant Growth Regulator Applications

Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist June 28, 2012 23:33

Up until this week, much of the crop throughout the state appeared to be in good shape.  However, the onset of high heat combined with the lack of rainfall has made this a pivotal week for cotton in many areas of the state.  If irrigation is a possibility and not yet begun, applications should be strongly considered if your crop is at or approaching bloom.  One of the primary deterrents to irrigation at or just prior to bloom has been getting across fields with layby herbicide applications.  This is a valid concern as crossing irrigation pipe with layby rigs often times leads to damaged or unusable pipe.  However, given the heat and lack of rainfall predicted for the next 10 days, irrigation applications will likely prove beneficial. 

Plant growth regulator applications should be approached with caution during the next few weeks.  As indicated above, environmental conditions are putting stress on this crop.  Do not make a blanket application simply because you are crossing the field already.  Let growth and development of the plant guide you regarding application timing and rates.  Dryland cotton in particular should be approached with caution.  In general, if the crop has less than 7 nodes above white flower, plant growth regulator applications should not be made as they may lead to premature cutout and potential yield reductions.

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Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist June 28, 2012 23:33
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