Pay Attention to Weather When Making Defoliation Decisions (Collins & Edmisten)

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There’s been several calls this week about adjusting rates and tankmixtures due to recent high temperatures and rightfully so. Whenever daily highs are expected to be in the 90’s, a number of our tankmixtures run the risk of desiccating leaves, especially when cotton is already drought-stressed.

This dynamic will likely change today, as cooler weather appears to be rolling in. It wouldnt hurt to recieve a little rain, albeit not too much, and some areas are expected to recieve rain.

Most of the state remains relatively dry at the moment, but that may be different tomorrow. Generally speaking, this crop is trending about 2 weeks earlier than normal, and defoliation is well underway. A mature crop, with few unopened and/or immature bolls lends itself to regrowth problems, which is magnified with any soil moisture at all. We are expecting a drastic cool-down after today, which will likely result in slower growing regrowth, but regrowth could still be an issue.

Depending on your location within the state, watch your weather forecast and adjust your tankmixes accordingly. In some areas, there are several nights within the next week that are expected to dip down into the 40’s or low 50’s, with daily highs ranging from the low/mid 70’s to barely breaking 80. The activity of TDZ (thidiazuron, the active ingredient in Dropp or FreeFall) will be reduced and slower. At least temporarily, we may need to consider switching to a TDZ+diuron (Ginstar/ Adios/CutOut) tankmixture. This could influence what tankmix partners you may want to include and their rates, compared to what you may have been using up until now.

There arent very many fields where there are a high number of closed and immature bolls. Most closed bolls are at or very near maturity, which is likely due to the dry weather in late August and early September. However, it is very important to slice open some closed bolls to be certain of their maturity. With cooler temperatures approaching, expect maturity to slow down noticeably. IF you happen to have some bolls of questionable maturity, you may want to consider using a Finish/Terminate tankmixture compared to standard ethephon products. If your closed bolls appear to be mature, the continued use of standard ethephon products may continue to be used, but you may need to adjust rates upwards.