Cotton Squaring

We’ve had plenty of rain and warm weather over the past week and our fields are growing fast.  Some of our older cotton is squaring now.

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Match-head square

Water availability becomes a little more important to the plants now that the reproductive structures are being developed.  Hopefully we will continue to get regular rainfall.

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This is the time when we want to apply the remainder of our nitrogen.  Clemson Cotton Specialist Mike Jones recommends 70 total lbs of N per acre in dryland fields and 100 total lbs in irrigated fields.  We need to side dress now so the plant has plenty of N during bloom.

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Cotton square.

Insect pressure has been low lately.  Clemson Entomologist Jeremy Greene cautions growers in his latest Cotton/Soybean Insect Newsletter to be scouting for tarnished plant bugs (TPB).  TPBs can cause squares to abort, so if we are seeing 25% square abortion and TPBs are present, treatment may be needed.  You can also use the threshold of eight or more plant bugs per 100 sweeps with a sweep net.  Take a look at Dr. Greene’s newsletter here for more info:  Newsletter #8 (22 June 2017)

2017 SC Cotton Growers Guide.

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