Cotton Progress

Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist June 15, 2013 09:30

For all intensive purposes cotton planting has been completed in Mississippi for 2013.  In my estimation the majority of the 2013 crop is two to four weeks behind normal.  The youngest cotton in the state is at 1 to 2 leaf with the oldest beginning to square.  Issues with thrips have been widespread and will likely need to be addressed when planning for next years crop.

Nitrogen applications are being made to several acres as we are finally starting to get into this growing season.  As mentioned in previous blog entries, managing for earliness is critical given the late start and uncertain fall weather.  Nitrogen has a large effect on cotton growth and development and ultimately maturity.  Too little nitrogen limits plant growth and development as well as yield while too much can cause rank growth that leads to difficulties with insecticide applications and defoliation.  Mississippi State University recommendations for nitrogen are 50-60 lbs on nitrogen per bale of expected yield on coarse textured soils, 60-70 lbs per bale on medium textured soils, and 70-80 lbs per bale on fine textured soils.  Having said that, some adjustments to these recommendations can be made.  Several research projects have indicated that 80-100 lbs of nitrogen per acre is adequate to maximize yields and not delay maturity or lead to rank growth.  If you have been applying 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre and have observed no signs of nitrogen deficiency in the past, I would suggest trimming nitrogen rates back to ~100 pounds on a few acres.  This can potentially save you money and help get your crop off a little sooner.

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Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist June 15, 2013 09:30
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