Methanol for Cotton?

J.T. Cothren


Foliar applications of methanol have recently been reported to have positive effects on the growth and yield of cotton. Three studies (two greenhouse and one field) were conducted to examine the response of cotton to foliarly applied methanol. In the first greenhouse study, one foliar application of four concentrations of methanol [0, 10, 20, and 30% (v/v)] at 77 days after planting showed minimal response to treatment. Numerical, but insignificant, increases in internode length were observed for internodes 9-15. Photosynthetic response was unaffected by treatment. The second greenhouse study examined the response of cotton to number of methanol applications (0, 1, 2, or 3) of a 30% methanol + nutrient [2.17 lbs urea/A, 7.5g EDTA/A, and 0.25% (v/v) of Silwet L-77] solution at one-third grown square stage. In this study, the increase in internode length was not observed, but photosynthesis was increased at 20 days after treatment when methanol had been applied twice. The field study contained four treatments (an untreated control, 30% methanol, 30% methanol + nutri-ents, and nutrients) applied six times beginning at one-third grown square. Several parameters were significant-ly increased by treatments containing methanol during the season, but these responses were not consistent over sampling dates, nor did they significantly improve lint yield. The 30% methanol/nutrient treatment increased photosynthesis (17.7%) at first bloom and increased total plant dry weight (21.3%), total nodes (28.9 versus 26.9), total reproductive nodes (22.1 versus 20.9), and number of bolls at position 1 (5.0 versus 4.1) when measured at cutout compared to the untreated control. Despite these observed increases, final lint yield was not enhanced with any methanol treatment in this study.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 1330
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998