Cotton Regrowth Potential Following Partial and Complete Seedling Defoliation

D.E. Longer, D.M. Oosterhuis and M. Withrow


Field trials were conducted during 1993 to assess the effect of partial and complete defoliation of 9 day old cotton [Gossypium hirsutum L.] seedlings on regrowth and lint yield. Treatments included; one cotyledon removed and true leaves intact, both cotyledons removed with true leaves intact, one cotyledon removed and true leaves removed, both cotyledons and true leaves removed and an untreated control. Weekly growth analyses were conducted to measure vegetative growth and development in response to the defoliation treatments. Fruit development and yield were determined at harvest. The single cotyledon removal treatment was not significantly different than the control in most of the growth parameters examined and demonstrated good potential for regrowth. Removal of both cotyledons, and one cotyledon plus true leaves greatly restricted seedling regrowth. Removal of cotyledons and true leaves resulted in plant death within 10 to 14 days. Yield estimates based on harvested lint and total boll number showed that removal of one cotyledon did not prevent expression of maximum yield when compared with the control treatment. More extensive leaf removal treatments resulted in greatly suppressed lint yield.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1994 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pg. 1374
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998