Virginia Cotton: First-and-Goal at the 1-Yard Line

    I am in a bit of a quandary today trying to decide on what to discuss regarding cotton.

    Some people say to stick a fork in it, it’s done. Others see a high potential that justifies investment if it will do any good at all.

    For me, I think it is like being first-and-goal at the 1-yard line with a powerful offensive line and the Heisman winner at the helm in the Championship Game.

    So with all my fingers and toes crossed, I think the good thing is going to happen.

    I think I’ll offer a few generalities that could generate a phone call or two.

    Bollworms moths are low with a few hot spots. Some stinkbugs are coming out of corn; corn seems to have stayed green longer but is drying down now.

    Cotton on light soils, early planting dates, and normal fertility is cutting out. I think this represents well over half of our cotton. This type of cotton is safe and will be ready to defoliate by the end of September or early October.

    Young cotton is not done yet as young bolls are susceptible to stinkbugs, and blooms are a crack in the door of otherwise excellent Bt technology. Probably comes down to protecting the change is all (in other words, if your yield is going to be twelve hundred pounds and change, we are only talking about protecting the change).

    A lot of this later cotton has already had the second protective spray. If you didn’t spray twice, check it again next week. A bloom today (if it stays on the plant) will be mature enough to defoliate by or soon after mid-October with normal temperatures for the rest of the season.

    Target spot is not directly related to variety, it is related to canopy density. Boll counts over 21/ft. typically produce over two bales in 36 inch rows.

    Labor Day is a good time to estimate yield.

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