Cotton Planting Conditions May 3, 2016

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Keith Edmisten, Professor of Crop Science and Extension Cotton Specialist

Guy Collins, Extension Associate Professor – Cotton

The DD60s predicted for the 5 days following planting at Rocky Mount are included in the table below. The weather forecast has changed and we have hit a little bump in the road. The conditions for May 3 and 4 are adequate, but less than ideal with cooler weather following. The temperatures during when the seed first imbibes water and the 2 days following imbibition are the most critical for cotton germination. I would suggest continuing to plant cotton today and consider stopping until the 8th if this weather forecast holds up.

Although the DD60’s for the next 5 days from May 5 through May 7 would indicate that planting conditions are very good to excellent the temperatures during this critical imbibition period are low. This could be especially concerning in area north and east of Rocky Mount where temperatures may dip below 50 degrees. Although I have had success planting cotton on days with zero DD60’s, the risk of poor germination, j-rooting and sloughing off of tap roots is much higher. I would lean toward not planting from the 4th through the 7th with such a short period of cool weather relatively early within the optimum planting period. Rain may keep many of us out of the field during most of this period anyway.

Planting date High/low % Chance precipitation Daily DD60s DD60s for next 5 days Planting condition
May 3 79/59 60 9 20.5 Adequate
4 75/53 40 4 23 Adequate
5 63/50 80 0 29.5 Caution
6 68/50 60 0 46 Caution
7 77/58 10 7.5 61 Caution
8 85/58 20 11.5 67 Excellent
9 82/61 0 11.5 67 Excellent
10 87/64 20 15.5 67 Excellent
11 85/65 60 15 63.5 Excellent
12 84/63 60 13.5 60.5 Excellent
13 82/61 40 11.5 59.5 Excellent
14 82/61 30 11.5
15 82/62 20 12
16 82/62 20 12
17 83/62 60 12.5