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Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen is required in large amounts by the cotton plant. Most of this demand is supplied by supplemental nitrogen fertilizer applied to the soil either as a preplant, or split application. The best way to avoid deficiency problems is to follow local recommendations as to rates and amounts. However, unlike some other nutrients, nitrogen may be lost from the soil under certain conditions and requires good management.

Early and midseason nitrogen deficiency symptoms are a yellowish green leaf color, which will appear on the older leaves first, and reduced size of younger leaves. Nitrogen is mobile in the plant; therefore, the plant will transfer nitrogen from the older leaves to feed younger, developing leaves. Plant height will be reduced, fruiting branches are short, and boll shed is increased. Late season deficiency may be characterized, on plants with a moderate boll load, by foliar symptoms appearing as reddening in the middle of the canopy with few bolls retained at late fruiting sites. Nitrogen deficiency can actually delay flowering by an increase in the time to first bloom and by increasing the time interval between flowering on the same fruiting branch.

After nitrogen deficiency symptoms are detected the problem can be addressed by applying additional nitrogen as a soil application or foliar feed. Making mid and late season applications of nitrogen requires a thorough understanding of the cotton crop and the situation at hand. Before an application is made, or a sequence of applications are begun, be sure you have professional advice. Mistakes dealing with nitrogen can have serious consequences. Be sure the situation is evaluated properly and the proper course of action taken. A shortage of nitrogen can reduce yields. Excessive or improperly late-applied nitrogen can delay maturity, reduce micronaire, reduce yields and/or make the crop more attractive to insects. The best way to manage nitrogen is through a sound soil fertility program.

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News

Close-up of a cotton plant.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Cotton August 30, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When the calendar turns to September, many who call Mississippi home long for cooler temperatures to relieve the summer’s heat, but the state’s cotton growers want high temperatures and dry weather to drag into October.

Water stands in a corn field
Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Disaster Response June 24, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- MSU Extension agents will be assessing agricultural damage from early-June flooding until well into July, but preliminary estimates indicate losses could break records.

The 2019 Yazoo Backwater Area flood caused $617 million in crop damage alone. It looks like the more recent flood will exceed those losses.

Heavy rainfall, primarily north of U.S. Highway 82, throughout the second week of June waterlogged crops during critical growth stages. Flooding caused complete or partial losses in many fields.

 A man in a hat kneels among straw to point at tiny plants.
Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans May 20, 2021

Because it is the first crop planted starting in March, Mississippi corn is in much better shape than other row crops struggling with the challenges of wet, cool weather.

Graphic showing 2021 planting intentions
Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans April 1, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi row crop growers are planning to plant more soybeans and corn in 2021 than they did last year but not as much cotton, rice or hay.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, publishes its planting intentions report each year at the end of March. This report provides a state-by-state estimation of how many acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton farmers will plant in the upcoming growing season.

Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Agri-tourism, Beekeeping, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Poultry, Swine, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens, Forestry February 2, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Each February marks the occasion for producers to share their research and programming needs with Mississippi State University agricultural specialists in person.

To comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the opportunity will be extended virtually this year.

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