All posts by Tyson Raper, Cotton & Small Grains Specialist

Defoliation thoughts heading into a cold front

Defoliation became a little more complicated this week.  While we were lucky enough to miss the mid-week rain, the next few nights are going to be quite cold (upper 40s to low 50s) and it looks like it may be next weekend before lows reach the 60s again.  Changing conditions justify a change in rate and often a change in product.  In this blog, I highlight a few thoughts on building concoctions as we move through a pretty substantial shift in temperatures. Continue reading


2020 Cotton Tour VIRTUAL Videos now online

Author:  Comments Off on 2020 Cotton Tour VIRTUAL Videos now online

The 2020 Cotton Tour Videos are now available. Presentations covering variety performance, weed, pest and disease management, irrigation and other topics have been recorded and posted on the UT Crops YouTube channel.  You can access the entire Cotton Tour by following this link.  We will be highlighting individual videos in the coming weeks on this blog. Continue reading


Visual Symptoms: A Handy Tool in Identifying Nutrient Deficiency in Row Crops

Author: , and  Comments Off on Visual Symptoms: A Handy Tool in Identifying Nutrient Deficiency in Row Crops

Generally, a nutrient deficiency occurs as a result of low soil nutrient levels. However, prevailing environmental conditions, soil properties, and growth conditions may restrict nutrient uptake and induce deficiencies in crops even if soil nutrient levels are deemed sufficient for optimum yield. For example, low or high soil pH, soil compaction, and excessively wet or dry soil may prevent nutrient uptake. A handy diagnostic tool to identify nutrient deficiency in crops is via visual symptoms. In some instances, this tool may not provide a definite diagnosis of the nutrient status of the plant. Keep in mind that there are other conditions that are cable of inducing symptoms that closely resemble those of nutrient deficiencies. Visual symptoms should be corroborated with tissue and/or soil testing. Adequate knowledge of visual symptoms and tissue testing may help guide corrective actions in-season or preventive action in the following season to avoid yield loss.

Continue reading


Cotton growth stages and water requirements

Author: and  Comments Off on Cotton growth stages and water requirements

While May brought a great deal of rain, June and July have been dry for much of West Tennessee.  We are already beginning to see the impacts on cotton growth and development.  While we still have very good cotton yield potential, we need a good soaking rain in the coming weeks.  This blog highlights impacts of drought on cotton during the growth stage, provides general information on scheduling irrigation and highlights a few scheduling methods.

Ideally, the soil profile needs to provide sufficient plant available water throughout the blooming period. As we begin to move towards the permanent wilting point during the blooming window, fruit retention may begin to decline and maturity may be delayed.  If a rainfall or irrigation event does not ameliorate the stress, yield penalties may develop.  Cotton plants are particularly susceptible to drought during the early boll development stages which immediately follow flowering (Table 1). Keeping soil profile at or near field capacity at early bloom through peak bloom will support earliness and maximize yields.

Continue reading


Linking visual cotton auxin injury to yield penalties

Author: and  Comments Off on Linking visual cotton auxin injury to yield penalties

Information regarding cotton management following an off-target auxin event has been requested by several producers in our area. This blog briefly covers factors which can impact the yield penalties associated with auxin injury and best management practices after the injury occurs. Continue reading


Cotton Producers’ Prevented Planting Decision

Author:  Comments Off on Cotton Producers’ Prevented Planting Decision

Christopher N. Boyer, Tyson B. Raper, and S. Aaron Smith

May 20th (Final Planting date) has come and gone and June 4th (End of Late Planting) is around the corner for cotton producers. If you haven’t planted yet and have Revenue Protection or Yield Protection insurance policies, there are four options:

  1. Plant cotton in the late planting period. This option comes with reduced insurance; the farmer’s production guarantee would decrease 1% per day, for each day of delay after the final planting date until the crop is planted or the end of the late planting period. Production guarantee is the guaranteed revenue amount offered by a crop insurance provider and is calculated by multiplying guaranteed insurance price by actual production history (APH) yield, which is a 4 to 10-year trend adjusted average yield used for future crop insurance purchases, by insurance coverage level.
  2. Take the full prevented planting payment. The full prevented planting payment is the farmer’s production guarantee multiplied by the prevented planting coverage factor. The prevented planting coverage factor for cotton is 50%. This option requires leaving the land fallow or planting a summer cover crop after the late planting period that cannot be harvested or grazed before November 1st. This option does not impact the producer’s APH.
  3. Receive a 35% of their full prevented planting payment for cotton and switch to a second crop. If a partial indemnity payment was received for the first crop, the second crop will be uninsured, and a farmer must wait until after the late planting period for the first crop to plant the second crop.
  4. Forgo the prevented planting payment for cotton and plant a second crop. If a farmer did not receive an indemnity payment for the first crop, they can switch their insurance to a second crop and plant immediately.

In this report, we examine each of these alternatives by assessing the profit-maximizing option using historical crop yield data, and also lay out information producers should consider if they are faced with a prevented planting decision.  Continue reading


Cotton yield potential and planting date

Author:  Comments Off on Cotton yield potential and planting date

With the majority of our cotton acreage yet to be planted, many have asked how late should I plant?  To answer that question, you must estimate current lint yield potential.  Dr. Shawn Butler, who recently finished his PhD in the UT Cotton Agronomy Program, compiled data from 10 field trials in Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri to assist those interested in estimating lint yield potential based on planting date and plant population (not seeding rate, but actual plants emerged per acre). The figure above was generated with that data.

Continue reading