Cotton Planting Conditions May 1, 2023

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This week feels like déjà vu, very similar to last week. The soil temperature was 62.4 degrees at 9 a.m. this morning at Rocky Mount. That would not be too bad if we had a predicted warming trend. Unfortunately we have predicted cool weather coming in that will lower those soil temperatures.

Planting Forecast by date from 5/1/2023 to 5/15/2023. 5/1-5/4 show as poor. 5/8-5/11 show as exce;;emt/

Fortunately we can see good conditions on the horizon starting next week. Check soil temperatures before planting on Sunday and then it looks like we can be wide open for a while. Temperatures for the second week of May are predicted to be near normal in part of the state and above normal in much of the cotton growing areas.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

Is it possible to get an acceptable stand planting in marginal or poor conditions? Yes, but it is risky. If you feel you must plant cotton during these conditions and are willing to take the risk of having to replant make sure you use the best warm and cool germ seed you have, use larger seeded varieties, avoid planting too deeply on soils that crust, and consider hill-dropping on beds. If you must plant, wait for soil temperature to increase during the day and don’t plant too many acres per day. We are still pretty early in the planting season so the safest strategy and the one we recommend is to hold off planting for now.