Virginia Cotton: Crops Closer in Age Than Normal

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

    Most of our cotton was planted from May 11th to May 25th this year which represents 14 calendar days, but only 7 degree days.  This is going to bring a little bit of a different spin on our cotton management, and I think it will make decision making more straightforward because cotton will be very close to the same age. 

    • The blooming dates will be bunched up closer together. 
    • Just for figuring purposes, and since we plan some of our management based on weeks until bloom initiation or weeks after bloom, I would predict our first bloom won’t appear until July 15th. Then over the next week or so, most of it will start blooming. 
    • That also means that we will not be insect safe until the end of August on the first planted cotton until perhaps the first week of September on the late cotton. 
    • That correlates to the 5th to the 6th week of bloom which is the amount of blooming time we need to lock in 2 to 3 bales per acre with timely rain. 
    • Weed control and fertilizer on light land are going to be our upcoming top priorities.
    • We still have several weeks to finish final nitrogen applications, but riding around this week, I can already see that white land showing smaller cotton and some typical paleness from the light land syndrome of pH, potassium, nitrogen and sulfur challenges. 
    • It’s not always a lot of acres, but that 5 acres in a 40 acre field draws your attention.

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