You are here

What final live plant population should I target?

In Mississippi, cotton plant populations can vary from 30,000 to 55,000 plants per acre without seriously affecting yields, but 40,000 to 50,000 plants per acre is a good final target. This translates to a desired final population of 3 to 3.5 plants per row foot in 38-inch rows. Growers should avoid high plant populations because they can, 1) shorten the boll loading period, 2) decrease drought tolerance, 3) increase fruit shedding, and 4) increase number of small bolls. Extremely low populations should also be avoided because they can, 1) encourage vegetative development and large plant size, 2) delay reproductive development, 3) shift more bolls to outer fruiting branch positions and to vegetative branches, and 4) increase boll size and micronaire in key fruiting positions.

Seeding rate should be based on number of seed per row foot, rather than pounds of seed per acre. For example, if planting conditions are good and the desired population is 45,000 plants per acre, then the standard germination percentage should be a good predictor of emergence. If the standard germination is 80 %, then 45,000 divided by 0.80 equals 56,250. This means that 56,250 seeds should be planted per acre (same as 4 seeds per row foot in 38-inch rows) to attain a final stand close to 45,000 plants per acre (3.3 plants per row foot in 38-inch rows). Consider the scenario that the weather unexpectedly turns cool. Then, you expect field emergence to be close to the cool germination percentage (60 % in this case). For example, you would expect a final stand of about 33,750 [56,250 x 0.6] (2.5 plants per row foot in 38-inch rows), which is still within the acceptable range.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

News

Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Rice, Soybeans, Farming October 29, 2018

The 2018 Mississippi State University Row Crop Short Course will feature speakers from seven states covering topics ranging from nematode management in cotton and soybeans to the potential effects of new tariffs on the state's agricultural industry.

Cotton with sprouting plants lies on muddy ground.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Grains, Soybeans October 5, 2018

Most of Mississippi’s corn and rice crops had been harvested when prolonged, late-September rains soaked much of the state, but the wet weather could not have come at a worse time for soybeans and cotton.

A pink cotton bloom sits among green leaves.
Filed Under: Cotton July 27, 2018

As most cotton across Mississippi is setting bolls ahead of schedule this year, some fields look fantastic and others are struggling, depending on the weather and irrigation.

A wife and husband stand in a field with cotton rows.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Peanuts, Soybeans July 26, 2018

Lonnie Fortner has been named the Mississippi winner of the 2018 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.

Green baby cotton plants poke through soil.
Filed Under: Crops, Cotton May 18, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Growers may be on their way to planting more cotton in Mississippi soil than they have in 11 years, despite a late start.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, estimated that growers will plant 700,000 acres of cotton this year. If that much gets harvested, it will be the best total since 2006, when the state produced 1.2 million acres of cotton. Last year, Mississippi cotton producers harvested 625,000 acres.

Watch

Farmweek, Entire Show, October 9, 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #14

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 7:00pm
Farmweek Entire Show,  September 4, 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #09

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 7:00pm

Listen

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Extension/Research Professor
Cotton Agronomics