All posts by Tyson Raper, Cotton & Small Grains Specialist

Couple of thoughts on cotton and a field day in Fayette County Sept 13th

In the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to walk several excellent fields that will likely be defoliated in September and many of our later planted acres have narrowed the maturity gap despite the weather continuing to fall below our 30 year average for heat unit accumulation.  On farm visits throughout this summer, I often found myself repeating the old verbiage about ‘cotton knowing how long it has left in the season’- half to provide a positive outlook on the crop, and half to convince myself that some of this top crop had a chance.   We still have a ways to go, but in the last few weeks, that saying about cotton knowing where it is in the season again appears to be true. In this blog, I share a few last-minute management thoughts, make a few comments about defoliating some of our earliest cotton, and highlight a field day coming up next Monday, Sept. 13th in Fayette County.

Continue reading


Environmental shed and abnormal growth appearing in some areas

Author:  Comments Off on Environmental shed and abnormal growth appearing in some areas

Over the past few weeks, several have reported poor retention in an area just northwest of Jackson.  I’ve spent several days walking some of the impacted fields- this crosses multiple growers and a substantial number of acres- and the cause is becoming more clear.  The adjacent image is characteristic of retention and growth noted within the impacted area. In this blog, I attempt to describe the mechanisms that drive environmental shed, our current hypothesis on the cause of poor retention in the area just north of Jackson, and the decisions you’ll need to make if you see this on one of your farms.

Continue reading


2021 Cotton Tour STILL ON! Join us THIS WEDNESDAY (Sept. 1st) at 8AM

Author:  Comments Off on 2021 Cotton Tour STILL ON! Join us THIS WEDNESDAY (Sept. 1st) at 8AM

Join us this Wednesday for the 2021 Cotton Tour!  The remnants of Hurricane Ida and the three doves that were in the area will be gone by Tuesday afternoon.  Partly cloudy weather with mild temperatures are forecast for Wednesday- hard to ask for better field day weather! Continue reading


Agenda for Sept 1st Cotton Tour now available

Author:  Comments Off on Agenda for Sept 1st Cotton Tour now available

The 2021 Cotton Tour is less than a week away.  You can access the agenda by clicking the above banner or here.

This event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1st at the WTREC (605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301).  Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the tour departing at 8:30 a.m.  The tour will end at noon with lunch. University of Tennessee Extension and Research personnel from across the state will be presenting on a wide range of topics including: variety testing, including updates on ThryvOn; fungicides and target spot; weed and resistance management; defoliation; insect control; market outlook; and drought mitigation, just to mention a few.  Pesticide Re-certification and CCA points will be available.

Cajun Express will be catering the event with fried catfish and chicken.  Come join us Wednesday morning to pick up some useful information and eat a great meal right before dove season opens!


Accumulated heat units during 2021 and our last effective bloom date

Author:  Comments Off on Accumulated heat units during 2021 and our last effective bloom date

If I were to ignore the calendar, I’d rate Tennessee’s cotton crop as above average.  Another half inch of rain would be nice, but considering, it appears things are progressing nicely.  Unfortunately, we are staring at the last effective bloom date with fewer fruiting branches and subsequently fewer bolls on each plant than I’ve observed since I arrived in Tennessee.  In this blog, I highlight a few decisions which we will have to make in the coming weeks and reasons why this crop may fail to fall within the same yield ranges we’ve observed in recent years. Continue reading


2021 Cotton Tour, Sept 1st @ 8AM, WTREC

Author:  Comments Off on 2021 Cotton Tour, Sept 1st @ 8AM, WTREC

The West Tennessee Research and Education Center (WTREC) would like to cordially invite you to the 2021 University of Tennessee Cotton Tour.  This event is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1st at the WTREC (605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38301).  Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the tour departing at 8:30.  The tour will end at noon with lunch. University of Tennessee Extension and Research personnel from across the state will be presenting on a wide range of topics including: variety testing, including updates on ThryvOn; fungicides and target spot; weed and resistance management; defoliation; insect control; market outlook; and drought mitigation, just to mention a few.  Pesticide Re-certification and CCA points will be available.

Cajun Express will be catering the event with fried catfish and chicken.  Come join us Wednesday morning to pick up some useful information and eat a great meal right before dove season opens!


Cotton growth- managing the ‘runaway’ acre

Author: and  Comments Off on Cotton growth- managing the ‘runaway’ acre
An example of cotton height from research plots in Jackson: PGRs were used (left) vs. No PGRs (right). WTREC, August 2021

July rains and a rain on the first of August supported rapid growth in many areas.  Over the past few days,  two of the most common questions have become, ‘How much mepiquat chloride is needed to slow growth?’ and ‘should I also include Stance in the application?’  In this article, we highlight some interesting results from a preliminary study conducted during 2020. Continue reading