Ben Hill County Ag

Cotton Planting Update

Considerations for the Remainder of the Planting Season
(Mark Freeman)

This spring has been especially challenging for cotton planting in many parts of
the state. Dry weather early in the planting window followed by continual rainfall in the
second half of May have delayed planting of over one third of the 2018 crop into June.
Although yields tend to decreases as we move into June, there is still potential for strong,
profitable yields. Listed below are some tips for managing a late planted crop.

1. Consider increasing seeding rates. In late planting situations we want to shoot for a
final plant stand of at least 2 plants/ft, so adjust seeding rates to aim for this desired plant
population.

2. Decrease any stresses. If irrigation is available, irrigate to promote stand establishment,
enhance fruit retention, and eliminate stress during periods of dry weather.

3. PGR’s. Mepiquat products should be applied to prevent excessive vegetative growth,
decrease boll rot, and enhance fruit retention of lower position bolls which promotes
crop earliness.

4. Varieties. Varieties should be chosen on overall yield potential not maturity
characteristics.

5. Fertility. Decrease N rates by 25%-30% to limit excessive vegetative growth. This should
be done with at-plant N and sidedress N.
For additional information regarding management of late planted cotton, please refer to the
following article: http://www.ugacotton.com/2018/05/when-it-rains-it-pours-managinglate-planting-dates-in-georgia-during-2018/