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Planting Date Effects on Cotton Lint Yield and Fiber Quality in the U.S. Southern High Plains

Mauget, Steven, Ulloa, Mauricio, Dever, Jane
Agriculture 2019 v.9 no.4
cold, cultivars, genetics, germination, growing season, heat sums, irrigation, lint cotton, lint yield, micronaire, planting date, temperature, variety trials, vigor, High Plains (United States)
Cotton planting date effects in the U.S. Southern High Plains (SHP) were evaluated based on 11 years of May-planted and June-planted irrigated variety trials. Multiple cultivars planted in each year&rsquo;s trial allowed for the calculation of 153 yield effects and 162 effects in 5 fiber quality parameters. Yield and quality effects were considered in the context of related changes in total growing season degree days (GDD<inf>S</inf>) and total cool hours (CHRS) during a boll formation period 80 to 110 days after planting. May planting increased GDD<inf>S</inf> and significantly increased yields in 8 of 10 years that comparisons could be made. Micronaire and fiber elongation were the most sensitive quality parameters to planting date. June planting resulted in increased CHRS every year and a significantly higher incidence of low micronaire in 7 of 11 years. In 7 of 11 years May planting significantly reduced fiber elongation relative to June planting. Analysis of SHP temperature data show that late-April to early-May planting dates may increase yield and micronaire by maximizing GDD<inf>S</inf> and minimizing CHRS. Although this practice may be optimal to the SHP environment it may also require high-vigor seed and pre-planting irrigation. Adapting genetics to an early planting strategy might include selecting for improved seed vigor and cold germination with acceptable yield and fiber quality traits.