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Simulated Early Season Weather Damage Effects on Cotton Growth and Yield

D. F. Wanjura and D. R. Upchurch


Wind and hail events commonly damage young cotton seedlings. This reduces vigor and calls into question a replanting decision. Quantitative information that relates damage to young seedlings to yield is needed to make informed production management decisions. Simulated weather damage studies using young cotton seedlings were conducted under full irrigation in 1996 and under limited irrigation in 1997. The treatments included removing (a) no leaves removed - Control, (b) one cotyledon -C, (c) two cotyledons -2C, (d) all true leaves -TL, (e) one cotyledon and all true leaves -C-TL, and (f) two cotyledons and all true leaves -2C-TL. Cotton seedlings had leaf areas of 362 cm2/m2 and 592 cm2/m2 when treatments were imposed in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The difference in leaf area between years was due to greater true leaf area in 1997 than in 1996. Seedlings had between 2 and 3 mainstem nodes each year when weather damage treatments were applied. Plant survival was significantly reduced by the most severe treatment, -2C-TL, in both years. Water supply differences between years did not affect vegetative development prior to four weeks after treatments were applied. Lint yield was reduced by the most severe simulated weather damage treatment, -2C-TL, in both years. In 1996 when water was not limited there was a strong relationship between leaf area immediately after treatments were applied and lint yield; however, the limited water supply in 1997 diminished the relationship between post treatment leaf area and yield.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 412 - 417
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998