Cotton Planting Conditions April 22, 2022

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Soil temperatures were 56 degrees at 8 a.m. at Rocky Mount this morning. They did climb to 65 by 2 p.m. I think this illustrates the value of not getting in too big of a hurry in the morning here early in the planting season and paying attention to soil temperatures.

The predicted DD60 accumulations for the 5 days following planting at Rocky Mount are included in the table below. We have a few days of good weather that is going to be followed by a cool front coming in Tuesday, Planting before a cool spell always carries some risk, but the closer you get to that cool spell, the more risk you incur. A moderate level of risk would be to plant Friday and Saturday and then wait out the cool weather before resuming planting.

When ever you are planting in less than ideal conditions you need to pay close attention to planting depth and seed quality (warm and cool germ results). Growers can get updated planting conditions information for their area by visiting

N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Cotton Seed Quality Database: The database can be found on the Cotton website under the link “Calculators and Decision Aids” on the left side toolbar, or directly at NCDA&CS Cotton Seed Quality Database. As we have stated in previous articles, it is absolutely critical to know the seed quality for all seed lots that you purchase. If you have a complaint regarding poor emergence during planting season, the first thing that we or our county agents will ask for is the NCDA&CS germination test results. Without these results, there is little we can do to help you.

Given that this program is voluntary, there may be some seed lots that come into NC without notification to NCDA&CS. Therefore it is imperative that growers check with their dealers to make sure they are notifying NCDA&CS  when seed lots come in to get the seed quality samples collected before the seed is delivered or you pick up.

Unfortunately the 8-14 day temperature outlook is below normal for North Carolina as you can see below. Hopefully that will turn around after the first week in May.