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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

Rows of peanut plants.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Wheat, Forages July 6, 2020

Cotton and corn acreage in Mississippi are more than 30% below March projections, while growers of soybeans and peanuts planted much more than initially forecasted.

Leaves of young cotton plants.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans May 29, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Row crop growers in Mississippi used a relatively dry May to make up for planting time lost earlier in the spring due to wet weather and soggy fields.

As of May 24, planting progress for the state’s four major row crops was slightly behind their five-year averages but ahead of where it was at that time in 2019.

Filed Under: About Extension, Cotton April 14, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service has a new cotton specialist.

Brian Pieralisi was appointed to that role on April 1. He replaced Darrin Dodds, who took the helm of the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Graphic showing 2020 planting intentions
Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Forages, Coronavirus March 31, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Weather always plays a role in the spring planting decisions of Mississippi row-crop producers, but the market impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is another variable they will have to consider in 2020.

A tall, green weed in the foreground with a cloudy sky and cotton field in the background.
Filed Under: Crops, Cotton March 2, 2020

STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Pathologists with Mississippi State University will be monitoring a relatively new plant disease in state cotton fields once the growing season is in full swing.

Cotton leafroll dwarf virus, or CLRDV, was first reported in Alabama in 2017. It is closely related to a cotton virus known to occur in South America. Historically, that virus has caused up to 80 percent yield losses in Brazilian cotton fields.

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