BY BRUCE KIRKSEY
I am very proud of the fact that Agricenter gets to work with a lot of good companies. We hope that the work that we do will help the companies make useful decisions, and the data that is provided will help producers make decisions for their farming operations.
We got off to a good start preparing our fields for planting in 2013. We were able to run a chisel plow through the research field last spring to help break up the traffic pan. Our soil at Agricenter is very prone to developing a traffic pan about six to eight inches deep. Pre-plant fertilizer was applied, and all of our hipped ground for cotton was ready to plant by mid-April.
We generally try to plant our cotton by May 10. We received about three inches of rain during the first week of May. We then received another 1.6 inches of rain on May 10. Last year’s cotton trial was planted on May 27, quite a bit earlier than we were able to plant during the previous year, and cotton was harvested on Nov. 8. Cotton was harvested in 2012 on the same day.
Earlier Planting Date
During the growing season, we received 22.2 inches of rainfall. DD60s averaged 18.8 heat units for the months of June and July and 19 heat units in August. We were lucky that we could plant earlier than last year and still accumulate enough heat units to finish off the crop. We accumulated a total of 2,333 heat units for the 2013 cotton growing season.
Our cotton variety trials were managed for optimum yields and quality. The variety trials were conducted on a Falaya silt loam with a pH of 6.5 and OM content of 0.9 percent. We applied Cotoran and Dual Magnum preemergence and came back over the top with glyphosate two times. We also came in with a post-direct rig at layby. With the cool summer that we had, we were worrying about getting the bolls open. At about 60 percent open bolls, we went with a half rate of a defoliant and eight ounces of plant growth regulator (PGR). This seemed to work extremely well by knocking off some of the top leaves.
Numerous Variety Choices
We came back 10 days later with a full shot of Folex followed by a full shot of PGR. This combination seemed to work well, and we will evaluate it more next year. As I have said before, there are a lot of good cotton varieties on the market, and it seems like we test some very good experimental lines every year. And, if possible, multiple-year data as well.
The Agricenter represents just one location, and the data presented here corresponds to the growing conditions that we had this year on that particular location planted on a certain date. Consult your University variety trials, local county variety trials as well as data from the seed companies.
The Agricenter and I would like to thank everyone for their support in fulfilling our commitment to those in the agricultural industry. We hope that you had a good year, and we wish you a very successful 2014.
Bruce Kirksey is the Director of Research at Agricenter International in Memphis, Tenn. Contact him at (901) 757-7754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.