The weather has taken a lot of strange turns during the 2013 planting and growing seasons for cotton and other crops. Farmers who would normally plant in late April and harvest in September finally got planted in late May and, hopefully, will harvest in October. Mississippi State University’s Darrin Dodds discussed farmers’ options in this video shot during a presentation on the 2013 UT Cotton Tour in Jackson, Tenn.
Extension specialists from other states and universities don’t often speak at field days sponsored by institutions in another state. But Dodds was helping out because the Extension cotton specialist position at the University of Tennessee is currently vacant. While Dodds occasionally referred to his experiences in Mississippi, he tailored his remarks to west Tennessee where growers typically face a shorter growing season and the potential for an earlier frost.
If growers were in a position to begin apply harvest aids now, he said, he would recommend warmer weather materials such as thiadazuron, (Dropp, others) to aid in leaf desiccation and to inhibit regrowth. If the percent open means they have to defoliate later, he’s recommending greater reliance on older chemistry such as Folex. He cautioned growers to limit their initial applications of ethepon (Prep, others) so they can make an additional follow-up application to help complete defoliation and boll opening in the crop.
For more information on harvesting the 2013 crop, go to http://www.mississippi-crops.com/2013/09/06/determining-when-to-defoliate-the-2013-cotton-crop/