Evaluation of the Effect of Methanol on Cotton Growth and Yield under Dryland and Irrigated Conditions

Daryl Moseley, Juan A. Landivar, Darlene Locke


Methanol has been proposed to have a pronounced effect upon plant growth and development. Methanol is reported to increase water use efficiency, growth, and development of C(3) plants in arid conditions under intense sunlight. Great interest in applying methanol to cotton crops has been generated as a result of these findings. The cotton production season in the Lower Coastal Bend Region of Texas spans approximately 140 days with planting usually occurring in March. A decreasing amount of rainfall is often observed during the months of June and July resulting in water stress conditions. This period coincides with the peak bloom and boll filling phases of the production season. Therefore, water is often the most significant yield limiting factor. If methanol improves water use efficiency, it may have a significant impact on cotton production of this region. The study was performed to evaluate the effect of methanol on cotton biomass production and lint yield under irrigated and dryland conditions. The study was conducted at the Texas A&M Agricultural Research Center at Corpus Christi during the 1993 cotton production season. The experimental design was split-plots with two soil moisture regimes as main blocks and foliar spray treatments as sub-plots. The foliar spray treatments were applied six times during the growing season beginning at first white bloom. The spray treatments included the following: 1) Check 2) Nutrient solution 3) Methanol solution 4) Nutrient and Methanol Solution. Results of this study indicated that methanol did not have a significant effect on cotton biomass production, boll load, or lint yield regardless of the soil moisture regime. However, irrigation increased mean lint yield across foliar spray treatments by 18%.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1293 - 1294
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998