It has been a soggy summer for many of Alabama’s row crop producers. According to the Alabama Mid-Summer Row Crop Update from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES), while it made grain harvest difficult, corn and seedling cotton welcomed the rainfall. The report looks at row crop conditions across the state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) planting estimates from June 30 show 410,000 acres of cotton in Alabama in 2021. This number is down from 450,000 acres in 2020 and 2019.
Alabama Extension Cotton Agronomist Steve Brown said, “Much of our cotton is late, but favorable rainfall and moderate temperatures have pushed the crop along. This is perhaps making up for some of the delays brought on by harsh conditions and late planting.”
Brown and the crops team recommend some tweaks from normal cotton management.
- With late-planted cotton, be more conservative with nitrogen and more aggressive with plant growth regulators (PGRs).
- With sustained, favorable weather, be more aggressive with PGRs.
As for the soybean crop, the ACES report notes many growers made the shift to early and ultra-early planting. Regional Extension Agent, Eddie McGriff, said ultra-early beans have a late-March to early-April planting window. Producers plant early beans in mid April and through the first of May. He said the beans planted during April are podding in late June and early July, so those beans are able to take advantage of longer days and increased photosynthesis.
More information on row crops in Alabama can be found in recent episodes of the Alabama Crops Report Podcast.