All posts by Tyson Raper, Cotton & Small Grains Specialist

Prevention of Plastic Contamination

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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

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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.

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Increased reports of boll cavitation

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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

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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

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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


Easing off the clutch: 2018 cotton planting

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I’ve visited with several over the past few days who either started planting yesterday (4/30), who plan to begin today (5/1), or who will be planting by tomorrow (5/2).  While we have a few very early planting-date trials established here in Jackson, none of our large-plot trials have been planted and none of our small-plot work requiring normal planting dates have been planted either.  That will change for my program today (5/1). Continue reading


Freeze damage to winter wheat, forecast April 8th

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Our wheat crop has matured rapidly in the relatively warm weather.  Several of the fields I walk are past Feekes 8 and are quickly approaching Feekes 9. This puts us several weeks past jointing.  With the head roughly 12 or more inches above the ground at those growth stages, concerns about the temperatures forecast for the weekend have been raised.    Continue reading


REMINDER: Cotton Focus THIS THURSDAY, Feb 8th @ First United Methodist Church in Downtown Jackson

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The 2018 Cotton Focus will be held at the First United Methodist Church (200 S. Church St, Jackson, TN 38301) this Thursday, Feb. 8th beginning at 8 AM and concluding with lunch. Pesticide recertification points and CCA/CEUs will be offered.  A dicamba training will be offered after lunch.  Parking information and detailed agenda information is included below: Continue reading