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Questions following a hurricane

Was the desiccation of cotton leaves due to the salt content in the hurricane?

This has been a common misconception. Many cotton fields across the state have desiccated leaves similar to symptoms from an application of Sodium Chlorate. However, most of this is in the mature cotton leaves that have already started producing ethylene and abscisic acid. Ethylene and abscisic acid are hormones that accelerate senescence and leaf abscission. When the cotton plant is injured in any way, in this case 50 - 70 mph winds, these hormones are rapidly increased in the plant. This causes the leaves to increase the senescence process and begin to dry up. This coupled with the high winds for extended periods of time have left us with the "Sodium Chlorate" effect on the leaf tissue.

 

Winds have knocked off most of the leaves on my crop. Should I go ahead and defoliate or wait?

If your cotton crop is ready to defoliate (at least 60% open, and top harvestable boll is mature) then yes, you should begin defoliation. However, if your fields are only 30-40% open, defoliating will most likely lead to decreased yield and fiber quality, particularly length. Even though most of the leaves may be gone, cotton has a tremendous ability to compensate and may transport needed nutrients to immature bolls. Leaves will also re-grow in an attempt to compensate. Within 7-10 days, if the crop is not recovering, you will know because the bolls will begin to open very quickly.

 

Will my cotton stand back up?

In most cases the cotton will straighten up if not but just a little bit. This is especially true when the cotton is defoliated where the leaves have it tangled up. In many cases, where the cotton was rank and the top crop was heavy, it may take a little longer. However in years past when we have experienced high winds, the cotton has always made an attempt to stand back up.

 

How much boll rot and hard-lock can we expect?

If the cotton bolls are lying on the ground, there is a pretty good probability that they will rot. The bolls that were beginning to crack when the storm hit stand a pretty good probability of hard-locking. Overall we shouldn't see more than a boll or two that will rot or hard-lock per plant. The fact that the wind took many leaves off will help to alleviate the rot problems.

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News

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 pivot irrigation system stands in algae-covered water in a flooded field with farm buildings in the distance.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Disaster Response, Economic Development May 21, 2020

A sharper focus on the economic impact of the lower Delta backwater flood of 2019 helps predict the implications of continued flooding this year.

An overhead view of trees damaged by tornadoes.
Filed Under: Disaster Response, Coronavirus, Forestry, Forestry Impacts April 16, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One of Kim Hancock’s routine jobs is assisting 4-H’ers in Jones County with their livestock projects. On Easter Sunday, she was helping some of those same young people and their families sort through the rubble of what was once their homes.

Thirty-two counties in Mississippi reported damage from a tornado outbreak April 12 that resulted in 12 fatalities, many injuries and catastrophic destruction to residential, commercial and agricultural property.

Metal roofs of poultry houses lie on the ground in rows amid twisted metal and debris.
Filed Under: Poultry, Disaster Response April 13, 2020

Tornadoes and damaging storms that swept through the state Easter Sunday afternoon and evening, killing 11 Mississippians also caused devastating losses to growers in the poultry industry.

Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Community, Disaster Response October 7, 2019

A post-flood recovery meeting on Oct. 22 will help tie up some loose ends with information on agronomic and financial considerations for land that was flooded this year.

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Monday, August 24, 2020 - 4:00pm
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