Monitoring Cotton Growth and Development

Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist July 3, 2014 15:07

Tomorrow is July 4th which usually coincides with the arrival of blooms in cotton fields.  Although the crop is somewhat later than “normal” this year, blooms are arriving daily.  Monitoring nodes above white flower is a useful tool for determining horsepower with your crop.  In order to determine  how many nodes above white flower are present use the following technique.  Find the lower most first position white flower on the cotton plant.  Keep in mind that there may not be a first position white flower present.  If this is the case, locate the uppermost node (from the bottom of the plant) that has a bloom tag or a small boll.  Make sure that the first position fruiting structure above it has not yet developed into a bloom.  Once you have located this node, begin counting nodes upward on the plant.  When you reach the terminal it can get somewhat confusing on which ones to count.  My general rule of thumb is to count all nodes that have leaves that are the size of a quarter or larger.  Once you have determined how many nodes above white flower you have, below are some guidelines for determining relative horsepower of your crop:

9-10 nodes above white flower:  high yield potential

7-8 nodes above white flower:  moderate yield potential

5-6 nodes above white flower:  yield potential has been reduced

Keep in mind that this should be used as a guide only.  Many folks have made outstanding cotton crops with cotton that came into bloom at 7-8 nodes above white flower.

 

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Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist July 3, 2014 15:07
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