A wealth of data has been collected over the years about cotton growth and development. By using models to correlate mileposts of development, growers can more accurately estimate crop status, improve the efficiency of inputs, and improve the overall efficiency of their operations.
In the presentation "Tracking Cotton Growth and Development," Randy Norton addresses how to use available data in making management decisions for individual production systems. He begins with an overview of cotton phenology and development, including mainstem development and development of vegetative and fruiting branches. He explains the difference between vegetative and fruiting branches and why knowing that is important.
Norton also explains the use of thermal models to track development. Heat units are evaluated to predict how much time is needed for a specific section of a crop to reach maturity. The models Norton uses are Arizona centric, but other models could developed for other regions. Norton illustrates how to use these data and models with two management applications: scheduling of applications of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and end-of-season management, such as scheduling of final irrigation.
This 38-minute presentation is available through the "Focus on Cotton" resource on the Plant Management Network. This resource contains more than 100 webcasts, along with presentations from a number of conferences, on a broad range of aspects of cotton crop management: agronomic practices, diseases, harvest and ginning, insects, irrigation, nematodes, precision agriculture, soil health and crop fertility, and weeds. These webcasts are available to readers open access (without a subscription).
The "Focus on Cotton" homepage also provides access to "Cotton Cultivated," a resource from Cotton Incorporated that helps users quickly find the most current cotton production information available. These and other resources are freely available courtesy of Cotton Incorporated at http://www.