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Nitrogen Fertilizer Rates and Plant Density for Cotton Planted in a 10-Inch Row Spacing

Donald J. Boquet, W. James Thomas and Robert E.A. Brown


Stripper production of cotton planted in a 10-inch row spacing may be a viable alternative to wide-row spindle-picked cotton on the droughty loess soils of the mid-South USA. We performance of cotton in 10-inch row spacings with the conventional 40-inch row spacing. A single irrigated experiment was planted in 1996 conducted experiments to: 1) determine the optimal plant density and N rate for irrigated and dryland cotton planted in a 10-inch row spacing and 2) compare the and two experiments were planted in 1997 - irrigated and dryland. The soil type was a Gigger silt loam. Stoneville 495 was planted in 1996 and Paymaster 1220BG/RR was planted in 1997. The 1996 experiment evaluated plant densities of 45000 to 75000 in increments of 5000 plants. The 1997 experiments were a factorial arrangement of three plant densities (52000, 104000 or 156000 plants per acre), and four N rates (80, 100, 120, or 140 pounds per acre). To control plant height, Pix was applied as- needed to the irrigated tests. For comparison, each density-N rate treatment was paired with a conventional 40-inch row spacing treatment (cotton planted in a 40-inch row spacing at a density of 47000 plants per acre and fertilized with 80 pounds N per acre. Plant density had no effect on cotton yield in 1996 (avg. 1071 lb lint/a), or in the 1997 irrigated (avg. 957 lb lint/a) and dryland (avg. 457 lb lint/a) experiments. In comparison, yield of the 40-inch row spacing treatment in the 1997 irrigated test was 1092 lb lint/a and in the dryland experiment was 766 lb lint/a. Increase in plant density decreased boll number per plant and individual boll weight. Increasing the N rate had no effect on boll number per plant. Increase in N rate had little or no effect on boll weight. Cotton planted in a 40-inch row spacing yielded more than that planted in a 10-inch row spacing under both irrigated and dryland conditions.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 673 - 676
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998