All posts by Tyson Raper, Cotton & Small Grains Specialist

When should I resume picking?

Author:  Comments Off on When should I resume picking?

Weather over the past few days has allowed our cotton crop to dry down substantially. Still, it is unlikely the areas which noted sprouting will be dry enough to pick until mid-week (Oct. 3). In this post, I cover the factors to consider and potential impacts should you rush into harvest before the crop has sufficiently dried.  Continue reading


After sprouting: Protecting existing cotton fiber quality

Author:  Comments Off on After sprouting: Protecting existing cotton fiber quality

The past six days of rain found the vast majority of our Upper-MidSouth cotton crop defoliated and open.  Unfortunately, these conditions supported emergence of cottonseed while still within the boll- commonly referred to as sprouting.  In this blog, I briefly cover best management practices to protect the existing fiber quality.   Continue reading


Warm weather defoliation mixes (1 and 2 shot) with and without thidiazuron

Author:  Comments Off on Warm weather defoliation mixes (1 and 2 shot) with and without thidiazuron

Our forecast for the next 7 days contains ideal conditions for defoliating and opening bolls.  In this blog, I cover my current 1 and 2 shot go-to mixes and briefly describe how I would approach defoliation without thidiazuron.   Continue reading


Prevention of Plastic Contamination

Author:  Comments Off on Prevention of Plastic Contamination

Although US cotton currently has a reputation as one of the least contaminated sources in the world, USDA-AMS Cotton Programs reported more ‘other extraneous matter’ during 2017 than ever before- primarily due to plastic.  Beginning in 2018, a new remark for plastic contamination will be included in the classing process.  Unfortunately, the negative financial implications associated with receiving a plastic remark could potentially spread beyond a single bale.  As a result, I’ve personally heard several refer to plastic contamination as the biggest single threat to the US cotton industry.   Continue reading


2018 Mid-South Cotton Defoliation Guide now available

Author:  Comments Off on 2018 Mid-South Cotton Defoliation Guide now available

The 2018 Mid-South Cotton Defoliation Guide is now available online.  You can access the guide by clicking the above image or any of the embedded links within this post. This guide was compiled by Extension Specialists from throughout the Mid-South and is updated yearly.

Continue reading


Increased reports of boll cavitation

Author:  Comments Off on Increased reports of boll cavitation

Authors: Tyson Raper, Avat Shekoofa, and John Snider.

Over the past few weeks, reports of thumbnail-sized boll abortion have emerged in some areas of West Tennessee.  While square and small boll abortion is very common every year, recent reports have indicated many of these aborting bolls are not shedding; instead, the small, dead bolls are remaining on the plants.  This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘boll freeze’, ‘boll dangle’, or most commonly, ‘cavitation’.

Figure 1: Severe drought stress in this plant resulted in the cavitation of small reproductive structures. Continue reading


Regulating growth under ideal growing conditions

Author:  Comments Off on Regulating growth under ideal growing conditions

At the moment, cotton appears to be growing almost as fast as palmer amaranth; rains and abnormally warm temperatures have promoted rapid growth and the second (or third) application of Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs) are currently being applied.  With our current growing conditions, forecast, and planted cultivars, I’m applying and recommending aggressive rates; now that the root zone has expanded and N uptake has begun to increase exponentially, expect rapid plant growth to continue in areas which have adequate moisture.  This blog highlights points to be considered when attempting to regulate growth in 2018. Continue reading


Herbicide injured cotton: Deciding to keep it and management after

Author:  Comments Off on Herbicide injured cotton: Deciding to keep it and management after

I’ve received several calls this week requesting information on whether or not to keep injured cotton and management after the injury.  In this brief article, I will cover the ‘keep or discard’ decision and briefly cover best management practices after the decision to keep the crop has been made. Depending on your situation, you may need to document the injury and/or keep a portion of the field to determine the yield penalty. That information is beyond the scope of this article but should be available from your insurance agent or attorney.  Continue reading