With the lateness of our 2015 crop, this should be a good time to share some results from our 2014 Managed Maturity Cotton Trial / Demonstration Plot. I should state up front that I do not feel this is for every acre of area cotton. There is even a chance that if applied to the wrong acres in the wrong situation, it could do more harm than good.
That being said, I feel there will be many more acres in need of this type of management this season than an ‘average’ season. I also feel that if the field is truly late and likely to run out of developmental time, has a bunch of junk fruit up top, or has a huge amount of regrowth, a treatment of this type can save quite a bit in terms of fiber quality and ensure the field gets out in a timely manner.
So, if you feel you have a cotton field or two that is late, lush, rank, is still trying to put on fruit that will never make, or can be considered ‘rank’ by any other definition, please continue on with this section.
What we are talking about is a very, very light application of Aim at 3/8 of an ounce with COC at 1% v/v as a conditioning treatment (never to be considered as a standalone harvest aid treatment). Our friends at FMC brought this idea to us several years ago. Like most of us, I thought it sounded crazy to apply a kill all herbicide OVT of our cotton but we had a ridiculously rank field the first year I learned about Managed Maturity with Aim.
We tried it and really both myself and my producer really liked the results. The next season we conducted a large demonstration plot type trial and proved its success in the right situation to me. Ever since then, Managed Maturity has been in my harvest aid tool kit for late season management of rank cotton fields.
Last season we had more than a fair share of these rank fields. I found that the idea was still new to many of the area producers. So, we conducted a properly replicated public trial to both highlight what this could do for the dollars invested and to properly document the results.
The following is my summary copied from my official Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Result Report of the trial for you to decide if you have a field that this type of treatment can help.
Trial was established as a RBD factorial with Aim at 0.375 oz. /ac. (Aim Managed Maturity) as the added factor applied ten days ahead of two harvest aid treatments, Prep at 32 oz. /ac. and Prep at 32 oz. /ac. plus Aim at 1 oz. /ac., which were to be applied as a lone treatment harvest aid treatment. All treatments for this trial totaled of four.
Plots were 4 40 inch rows wide X 38 feet long and were arranged in an RBD design. Data on percent open boll, percent attached green boll, percent defoliated, percent stuck leaves, and a regrowth rating were taken seventeen days following the final harvest aid treatment and were statistically compared using ARM utilizing AOV and LSD (P=0.05).
In terms of percent open boll the Aim Managed Maturity factorial treatments numerically, but not significantly, outperformed the standard harvest aid treatments alone. In percent green leaf, the Aim Managed Maturity followed by Prep alone outperformed all other treatments.
In percent defoliated leaves, the Aim Managed Maturity followed by Prep treatment outperformed both harvest aid treatments alone, and the Aim Managed Maturity followed by Prep and Aim and the Prep and Aim treatment outperformed the Prep alone treatment. In percent ‘stuck’ leaves there were no significant differences found.
All numeric differences in plant regrowth rating on the standard 0-10 scale were very small but the Prep alone harvest aid treatment did show an increase in regrowth potential compared to all other treatments.
These results indicate that under the right conditions, such as late, growthy, or otherwise considered ‘rank’ cotton can receive good benefit from an Aim Managed Maturity treatment making the cotton more harvest aid and harvest ready sooner.