Category Archives: Cotton

2019 CST Soybean Data

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The 2019 County Standardized Trial-Soybean Results are now available.

This year, the trials evaluated 88 soybean varieties from 15 companies at 71 locations.  Across all varieties and maturities, the tests averaged just over 60 bu/ac.  Sufficient rains and soil moisture got this crop off to a great start and earlier planted beans showed no sign of drought stress in most locations.  As the season went on, July and August offered little rain to much of TN and later planted beans suffered during pod fill and showed reduced yields in many locations.  Maturity and herbicide tolerance is split into 6 protocols.  Glyphosate/Dicamba tolerant varieties are tested in four separate trials; late MG III, early MG IV, late MG IV, and early MG V.  Our Glufosinate tolerant trial, now hosting some 2-4-D tolerant varieties are separated into two trials; early MG IV and late MG IV.

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String-out, fall out, and estimating yield loss in cotton

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While the finish line is either within sight or has been reached by most, Tennessee still has several acres of cotton in the field.  Several have reported fall out, or seed cotton on the ground, on some of these acres.  There are several methods to estimate yield loss from fall out.  This article explains string-out, fall out, the method for estimating harvest loss from lock counts and covers potential sources of error in the estimate.  Continue reading

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Picking cotton in below freezing temperatures

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With the arctic blast in the forecast and the substantial number of cotton acres left in the field, several have recently asked about how to keep water in their cotton pickers moisture system from freezing. Some operators occasionally mix a small percentage of methanol with water to lower the freezing point of water, but extreme caution must be used with this liquid since it is highly flammable. This post includes a brief demonstration concerning methanol/water mixtures and freeze points of different mixtures. Please note prior to using methanol or any other liquid in your moisture system you should consult the manufacturer.   Continue reading

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Opening bolls immediately before a freeze

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The forecast lows for Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights have bounced around over the past few days, but this morning they included a 26, 28, 28 and 31.  I’ve passed many fields with a large percentage of large bolls in the upper canopy still closed.  Today (10/29) is the day to make any last-ditch effort at opening those bolls; it is likely all bolls remaining closed after this weekend will freeze shut. Continue reading

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Tennessee Weekly Crop Weather Update

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Rains across much of the state provided much needed moisture to most farmers. These rains also brought with them cooler temperatures with many areas reporting frost. Corn, soybean, and cotton harvests continued with most farmers continuing to post favorable yields. The added soil moisture from the recent rains have helped in the emergence of early planted winter wheat. Pasture conditions improved slightly after the rains, but frost kept pastures from making any big improvement and effectively put a stop to the grazing season in many areas. There were 5.2 days suitable for field work. Topsoil moisture was rated 20 percent very short, 24 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 22 percent very short, 34 percent short, 43 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. You can read the entire report here: TN Crop Weather 10_21_2019.

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Soil sampling and testing

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Planning to get the most out of your crop next spring? Soil testing after post-harvest is a valuable step in accomplishing this goal. While soil testing is the only practical means to adequately evaluate the nutritional needs in a field to prescribe appropriate lime and fertilizer recommendations, the reliability of soil test results depends on the quality of the sample submitted to the soil testing laboratory. Poor sampling can result in inaccurate soil test results and produce unreliable lime and fertilizer recommendations. Some helpful soil sampling information:

  •  Soil samples can be collected at any time, but some soil properties (soil pH, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), for example) can vary depending on the time of sampling.
  • While soil test results from University of Tennessee Soil, Plant, & Pest Center come back within 3 to 5 days, it is best to sample months ahead of planting to allow for planning and getting prices on lime or fertilizer.
  • A good rule of thumb for soil sampling is to collect samples in a way that adequately represents the soil in that field. A well represented sample will consist of 10 – 20 core samples taken at the appropriate depth within a 5/10-acre grid.
  • University of Tennessee Soil, Plant, & Pest Center as well as commercial soil testing laboratories in Tennessee recommend taking soil samples to a depth of 6 inches.
  • The frequency of soil testing depends on cropping intensities, soil types, fertilization rate, tillage methods, and weather conditions; however, fields should be tested every two to three year to estimate the residual nutrient levels. For high-value cash crops (tobacco, vegetables, etc.) soils should be tested annually.
  • Soil testing is also recommended any time a nutrient deficiency problem is suspected or at the beginning of different crop rotation system.
  • Soil samples and a completed soil information sheet can be taken to your county Extension office or directly sent to University of Tennessee Soil, Plant, & Pest Center, Nashville.•
  • Addition information about UT Soil, Plant & Pest Center can be obtained from your County UT Extension Offices or at



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Tennessee Crop Weather Update

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Widely scattered showers occurred across the state last week, but these did little to relieve extremely dry conditions. Corn and soybean harvest continued with producers continuing to report favorable yields for both corn and early crop beans. In some areas, deteriorating pasture conditions forced livestock producers to start feeding hay, leading to concerns that they may run short of hay during the winter months. Availability of water for livestock was also a concern, with some farmers having to haul in water for their herds. There were 6.1 days suitable for field work. Topsoil moisture was rated 35 percent very short, 43 percent short, and 22 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 28 percent very short, 53 percent short, and 19 percent adequate. Hay & Roughage Supplies rated 1percent very short, 13 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 14 percent surplus. You can read the entire report here: TN Crop Weather 09_30_2019. You can also read the latest U.S. Crop Condition report here: US Crop Progress 09_30_2019.

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