Cotton Planting Progress

Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist May 9, 2015 06:44

Cotton planting began during the last few days in April in most areas of the state and really kicked into high gear beginning May 4.  Growers have covered as much or more ground in one week this year than in any other year that I have been at Mississippi State.  Needless to say, the 2015 cotton crop has been planted extremely quickly thus far.  However, there are still quite a few acres to be planted.  Rain (>50% chance) is in the forecast for many areas of the state on Monday (5/11) and/or Tuesday (5/11) so more acres are likely to be planted prior to that time.  Although we got started somewhat late based on the calendar, we are a full two weeks earlier than planting progress in 2013 and 2014.  In addition, environmental conditions have only gotten favorable for cotton planting within the past week.

The only concern with planting this crop in such a compressed window is that much of the crop will likely mature and be ready for harvest at the same time.  Many factors will influence maturity throughout the year including pest management, fertility management, fruit retention, etc.  Although harvest is a long way off, take steps now to enhance the maturity of this crop as best as possible.  Avoid over fertilization, particularly with nitrogen; manage pests based on established thresholds and experience; and maintain fruit retention at high levels if possible.  Plant growth regulators do not always enhance maturity of a crop; however, they will manage vegetative growth of cotton.  Use PGR’s as needed to keep height in check which will facilitate greater insect and weed control as well as make defoliation and harvest more efficient.

 

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Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist
By Darrin Dodds, Extension Cotton Specialist May 9, 2015 06:44
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