Cotton Progress/Heat Unit Accumulation For 2015


   A rough start for many of Tenn.’s cotton acres has turned into a decent summer for the majority of our acreage.  This is very evident when looking at accumulated heat units noted at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, Tenn. As you can see in the below graph, we are quite a bit ahead of the last two years on accumulated heat units. Warm temperatures in mid/late June and timely rains have supported strong vegetative growth followed by good fruit set. Although the forecast looks dry, the crop as a whole looks very good. Plant bugs continue to be an issue for many but pressure seems normal for our area. Irrigation events have been triggered on several acres over the past week, but up to this point much of our cotton has had sufficient rainfall to support adequate growth.
   There is a clear break between our acreages this year, with acres planted during the first of May moving quickly towards peak bloom (some of these acres actually had blooms by the 4th of July- please see Sandy Steckel’s image below taken on the 5th) and those planted late May/early June moving into flower now. Although these late planted acres are growing off now, we will need a little help from Mother Nature in a long fall to see full yield potential. Properly timing defoliation on the late planted crop will be a balance between maximizing yields while triggering in a timely enough manner to adequately defoliate and open the crop before cold temperatures catch up to us. For additional information on mid to late-season management techniques to maximize earliness, please consult our Guide to Earliness Management in Short-season Cotton Production (PB 1830). ∆
   DR. TYSON RAPER: Cotton & Small Grains Specialist, University of Tennessee

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