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).

I saw an article this morning where my good friend Dr. Bill Robertson, Arkansas Cotton Specialist, said, “put away the thermometer and plant cotton.” I tend to agree.  Soil temperatures at 6:45AM fell close to 55F, but we have a warm and favorable forecast, with only slight chances of rain beginning the end of this week (according to the National Weather Service on 5/1).  Should our forecast hold, our 5 day DD60 accumulation should be very good.  By lunch, our soil temperatures should be tolerable.

We will start today on our higher ground which typically warms faster and I’m going to try to stick with larger seeded varieties (when possible) until soil temps creep back into a more comfortable range.  The current long-range forecast seems to show another window opening early next week.

Loosely quoting a consultant I spoke with yesterday: ‘If someone calls and asks about planting, I’ve been telling them to go ahead- but go slow.’

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