Boron deficiency is perhaps wrongly accused of more problems than any other nutrient. Boron is very water soluble and deficiency is related to soil type, soil resource regions, organic matter content and timing of lime materials (pH). Symptoms are generally distinct, and descriptions of this disorder are quite similar across a larger range of environments. Petioles of younger leaves will be short and thick, with dark concentric bands along their length. It appears that the gossypol glands line up and arrange themselves in a "coon tail" arrangement. Flowers may also be distorted in shape. With severe boron deficiency, the terminal may be aborted or become deformed. The pith inside petioles of leaves or bolls may turn brown. Boron is required for normal flower development. Flower and boll shedding may increase as the level of deficiency increases.
Local University and Extension recommendations for boron applications should be followed closely. Some states recommend larger quantities of boron than others. In Misssissippi boron is recommended on hill area soils, recently limed soils and low organic matter sandy soils of the Delta. Generally the Delta region does not respond to boron. Sometimes irrigation water will contain sufficient levels of boron. Not all square, flower or boll shedding is due to boron deficiency problems. Follow your local recommendations with this micronutrient.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Rain, cool weather, more rain and some wind have slowed cotton maturation, but since the crop was a little behind schedule, the damage may be less than if harvest were already underway.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said recent weather is causing some yield loss, but it is hard to estimate how much.
“Being late to a degree helped the crop because rain did not string out open cotton, but given that we are running out of heat, we may have been better off with an earlier crop that had been defoliated and was standing up when the rain came,” Dodds said.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cotton will always have challenges, but few of them will ever compare to the boll weevils that thrived in Mississippi from 1904 until 2009.
“It is nearly impossible for this younger generation of consultants, scouts and growers to understand how hard boll weevils were to control and how much boll weevil control hurt beneficial insects and complicated cotton management,” said Will McCarty, who served as the Mississippi State University Extension Service cotton specialist during “the boll weevil wars.”
MACON, Miss. -- Farmers' independent natures make them strong, but when agricultural producers join forces, they can take success to the next level.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, commended Mississippi farmers for their efforts to unite in the battle to eradicate boll weevils from the state.
“Historically, boll weevils were the prime pest in cotton fields. To control them, it took numerous pesticide applications,” he said. “Those treatments were costly and ate into the growers’ profit margins.”
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi’s row crops have had enough rain, and most fields just need sunshine.
Erick Larson, grain crops specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said corn is mature and will gain no benefit from additional moisture. In the first couple of weeks of August, skies were overcast or rain was falling across most of the state.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tropical Storm Cindy did not help the state's cotton crop that struggled with cool and wet weather all spring.
Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said in mid-June, cotton received about a week of the heat and sun it needs to thrive. Weather before that was not ideal, and rain remains in the forecast.