Factors to Consider During Cotton Planting

Clint Thompson Cotton, Georgia

cotton planting
Image credit: Planting cotton in Bacom, FL.
Photo credit: J. Thompson, Northwest Extension District, UF/IFAS)

Georgia cotton producers have begun planting this year’s crop. According to the University of Georgia (UGA) Cotton Team Newsletter, there are various factors to consider when planting your crop. One pertains to varieties that are not included in the on-farm variety trials.

“Although the on-farm variety trial does a great job of evaluating varieties across a wide range of environments, we are limited to how many we can look at,” said Camp Hand, UGA Extension Cotton Agronomist. “The 12 that were planted in last year’s trial accounted for nearly 75% of the planted acres in Georgia, but there are other varieties out there and new ones coming out every year.

“A fantastic resource that we have at UGA is our OVT program, which evaluated 76 varieties last year. They get to test varieties as they are released and do it in both irrigated and dryland environments. To find the yield data from last year’s OVTs, please follow this link: Yield Summary.”

Another question relates to plant populations. How can growers stretch seed out so they can plant more acres on a bag? Cole Moon, an agricultural and natural resources agent in Bleckley and Twiggs counties, conducted a research trial and found that a plant stand of 30,000 plants per acre produced the same yield as higher plant populations but was economically the best option.

This trial was conducted in an irrigated field. Further research is needed in dryland environments.