Effect of Foliar Applied Nitrogen to Cotton with Artificial Terminal and Node Removal
Michael T. Plumblee, Darrin M. Dodds, L. Jason Krutz, Angus L. Catchot, J. Trenton Irby, and Johnie N. Jenkins
Management decisions are needed for producers who experience hail or wildlife damage to cotton when replanting is not an option. This research was conducted to determine if applications of foliar nitrogen (N) fertilizer had an effect on cotton growth, lint yield, lint turnout, or fiber quality to cotton that had eight nodes of growth, including the apical meristem, removed at pinhead square or first bloom. The effects of foliar N (no foliar N, foliar N applied at the time of damage, one week after damage, two weeks after damage, at the time of damage + one week after damage, at the time of damage + two weeks after damage, one week after + two weeks after damage, and at the time of damage + one week after + two weeks after damage) were evaluated on Phytogen 499 WRF planted in Mississippi in 2016 and 2017.
The interaction of foliar N application timing and the time damage occurred did not affect cotton height at harvest, lint turnout, lint yield, or fiber quality. Cotton growth stage when damage occurred affected cotton height at harvest, lint turnout, lint yield, micronaire, strength, and fiber elongation. Timing of foliar N affected lint turnout, micronaire, and fiber strength. No differences in lint yield were observed following any foliar N application timing; however, a 28 to 37% lint yield reduction was observed in damaged cotton compared to the untreated. These data indicate that application of foliar N to damaged cotton did not increase cotton height, lint yield, lint turnout, or fiber quality compared to undamaged cotton; therefore, use of foliar N to bolster growth and yield of damaged cotton is not recommended.