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Red cotton leaves: causes and implications

Leaf color is determined by pigment content and concentration. Pigments commonly present in cotton leaves include chlorophylls, carotenoids, tannins and anthocyanins. Differences in pigment properties give each pigment color characteristics; for example, chlorophylls a and b absorb light in the blue and red regions while reflecting light in the green. Similarly, carotenoids are visually associated with yellows and reds, tannins with browns, and anthocyanins with reds and purples. The content and concentration of these pigments can additionally provide insight into the plant’s current or past growing conditions. For instance, reddening of a leaf can indicate the plant has experienced abiotic or biotic stress such as excessive radiation (Fig. 1) or a nitrogen (N) deficiency (Fig. 2). Since changes in pigments within the plant also changes the color of the leaf, visual observations of the canopy collected through the growing season can be used to gauge plant health. In the case of a reduction of chlorophyll due to an N deficiency, a reduction in chlorophyll is directly associated with a shift from dark green to light green leaf color. Whether used subconsciously or consciously, pigment content and concentration has been used for hundreds of years to diagnose stresses, including nutrient deficiencies, disease, pest damage, and water deficits/excesses. Read More »

State climatologist: Rain forecast more a prelude than ‘true’ El Niño

The forecast of rains for Texas this week will be music to many farmers and ranchers ears, but the coming stormy weather is not the main El Niño event, according to a climatologist. It’s more like a prelude, said Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, state climatologist and Regents Professor at Texas A&M University, College Station. Texas is sure to get some rainfall, Nielsen-Gammon said. There’s an upper-level disturbance moving into the southwest, and a tropical cyclone in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico should feed some moisture into the state. Though El Niño may be contributing to the storms, it’s not the beginning of the main activity: the near-normal to wetter-than-normal fall and winter that climatologists are expecting. “Everything is impacted by El Niño in some way or another,” he said. “Some aspects of this weather pattern are consistent with what we expect with an El Niño. We have a fairly active subtropical jet stream developing, which is what brings the wet weather to Texas in the wintertime. The tropical cyclone activity over the eastern Pacific is also characteristic of El Niño.”But the coming wet weather doesn’t mean things have been normal so far, he said. At least 22 counties in Texas have received record low rainfall in the past 90 days. Rainfall the third week in October may help, but it is only expected to average about 2 inches statewide, which may not be enough to end the drought many parts of the state are experiencing. Read More »

At long last… it’s time to harvest

OKLAHOMA Although late, the Oklahoma cotton crop has made good progress in the past several weeks. A significant amount of irrigated cotton was on time with respect to cutout during the last half of August. Even though the crop pretty much reached cutout on time, the loss of about two weeks of blooming due to late planting will likely impact ... Read More »

The Value Of Timely Defoliation

By Rusty Mitchell Louisville, MS The objectives of any cotton defoliation program are to remove cotton leaves, assist in boll opening and desiccate weeds that can interfere in harvest efficacy. Timing of a harvest-aid application is determined by the crop maturity. However, crop and weather conditions, as well as harvest schedule, have to be considered. Boll maturity is the most ... Read More »

Arkansas Ginner Maleisa Finch Wants To Help Cotton Stage A Big Comeback

How are you dealing with the current situation? I could probably write a book about this. First, ginners love to gin cotton, but we know it will be a different fall with the reduced cotton acres. To me, the best thing to do is think positive. You can’t shut the doors while the game is still going on. We’ve had something that has been good, and it will probably be good again. It’s all about maintaining an attitude that will help you survive. Can cotton survive in a diversified crop mix in your area? We are definitely looking at a major shift in acres in Arkansas. Frankly, I don’t think we need to go back to a “fencerow to fencerow” cotton environment. I think we need to diversify. The farmers need it, and the soil needs it. The problem occurs when you see cotton harvesters on acres that reduced cotton by 25 to 50 percent. That is a concern. Read More »

Back To School Means More Cotton

For the 2015 back-to-school season, Cotton Incorporated wanted to learn what parents’ priorities are when making back-to-school purchasing decisions for their children – and to see how cotton fits into the back-to-school picture. Cotton Incorporated used its Lifestyle Monitor Survey to help gain additional knowledge. The mission of Cotton Incorporated is to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton, ... Read More »

GMOs to Receive Big Boost

A new Farm Bureau advocacy website is giving farmers and ranchers a simple way to “Get a Move On” for GMOs. Launched recently, GetaMoveOn.fb.org allows producers to support a national, science-based labeling standard similar to the approach taken in the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599). “This website has a very specific function: To motivate farmers and ranchers to take action in support of important innovation in agriculture,” says Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation biotechnology specialist. “Whether you grow corn and soybeans in the Midwest, cotton in the South, dairy and potatoes in the Northeast or apples in the West, access to crop traits that resist pests, diseases Read More »