You are here

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.

Printer Friendly and PDF

Publications

News

Two men move cases of bottled water in a storehouse.
Filed Under: Disaster Response September 15, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. – First responders and disaster experts know that good intentions can lay the foundations for disastrous conditions after hurricane winds and floods subside.

Through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Anne Howard Hilbun conducts disaster response training for citizens and emergency workers. She is an instructor with the MSU Extension Center for Government and Community Development.

Flooded grain bins in Crowley, Louisiana, are among the many problems Louisiana producers are facing after historic flooding caused more than $100 million in damage to the state’s agriculture. Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel have worked with state hay growers to send forage to producers in Louisiana affected by flooding earlier this month. (Photo by Louisiana State University AgCenter Communications/Bruce Schultz)
Filed Under: Disaster Response August 30, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After nearly 3 feet of rain in two days caused historic flooding and widespread damage in Louisiana and southwest Mississippi earlier this month, volunteers from Mississippi State University are assisting in relief efforts.

Winston County Extension agent Mike Skipper, left, discusses recovery issues from the April 2014 tornado with Rusty Suttle of Louisville at an Agricultural Disaster Resource Center set up May 15, 2014. (File photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Disaster Response August 28, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi State University leaders realized the importance of instituting a standardized response system to assist with all types of catastrophes that might strike the state.

Six months after Katrina, the MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development began training university employees, as well as local emergency management officials, 911-call-center operators, and elected and appointed officials.

Hurricane Katrina displaced both family pets and large animals. (MSU Ag Communications file photo/Jim Lytle)
Filed Under: Animal Health, Disaster Response August 28, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- In the hours immediately following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, a team of Mississippi State University veterinarians specially trained to work with animals in disaster situations arrived at the state’s designated animal disaster relief shelter in Jackson.

While the Mississippi Animal Response Team’s immediate focus was to assist the Mississippi Board of Animal Health with assessing and managing the growing number of displaced animals, they also had other duties.

Winston County farmer Willie Lee Jr. discusses his losses from the April 28 tornado with Mississippi State University Extension Service disaster assessment team members Brandi Karisch (center) and Jane Parish, both of MSU's Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
Filed Under: Agriculture, Disaster Response May 20, 2014

LOUISVILLE -- Disaster assessment teams with the Mississippi State University Extension Service are providing “boots on the ground” as agricultural landowners begin the process of recovering from the April 28 storms.

“These trained teams can assess immediate and long-term needs,” said Elmo Collum, a disaster response coordinator with the MSU Extension Service. “They may discover issues that need to be addressed immediately, such as an injured animal, or they may see things that will take weeks of effort, such as fence repair.”

Listen

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 7:00pm

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Extension Associate III
Associate Professor
Beef Cattle Health Animal Disaster Response Epidemiology Preventive Medicine