When should I consider replanting cotton?
Replanting is often a difficult decision.In fields with questionable stands, there are several things to consider before making a replant decision. 1) What is the calendar date? 2) What is the population of plants that will survive? 3) What is the health of those plants, especially their roots? 4) Are there large skips and frequent skips? 5) What is the productive capability of the soil, and is the field irrigated?
If plant distribution is fairly uniform in fields on productive soils, good yields can be made with low plant populations in the low 20,000 range, or as low as one per row-foot with no or few skips. If the stand is broken with numerous skips, replanting is in order at populations below 30,000 plants per acre, depending on the size and frequency of skips. Calendar date is significant. A stand you would plow up on May 1 would probably be kept on May 25.
If replanting is necessary, continue to use fungicides as appropriate. If the field has had heavy and/or frequent rains, or was flooded, additional preemergence herbicides will be needed. That decision needs to be made on a field-by-field basis. If replanting is done on the stale row, use a burn-down herbicide to kill the old stand and weeds which may have emerged on the row. This treatment could be mixed with the preemergence materials.
Here is a rule of thumb that seems to work better each year: "If you have enough cotton left to make the decision difficult, you probably have enough to keep."
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.