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Defoliation Update Week of Oct 17-21

By Dr. Camp Hand

I talked with many of the agents last Thursday and Friday, because this week the state of Georgia is expecting a potential light frost in the Southern portion of the state, and potential freezing conditions in the Northern part of the state. In terms of what to do for the rest of the week with a light frost: if a grower called you today and asked what to do with respect to defoliation I would hold off until the potential frost conditions pass. Evaluate the crop afterwards, and then let’s decide when and what to use towards the end of this week as it warms back up. The thing with a frost is that it is a contact issue. You don’t want to expose immature bolls to that frost, potentially locking them up where they won’t open. Defoliating 3 days ago would have been a good call if the crop was 60% open, but at this point I might wait towards the latter part of the week.

In terms of a hard freeze, it looks like our friends in NW Georgia are the main ones looking at that situation. At this point it’s “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. If the temps get below freezing and stay there long enough (3 hours +), then the crop is likely done. However, we all know how weather forecasts can change so let’s just keep an eye out.

Rates for the week:

At this point, with temps as low as they will be, thidiazuron isn’t bringing much to the table. I’d take it out of the 3-way this week and stick with Folex/PPOs + Prep.

Folex 12 – 16 oz/acre + Prep 42 oz/acre

I am partial to Ginstar/Cutout/Adios with temps similar to this week. It does very well in cool temps. Some folks might not be as willing to use an 8 oz rate of Ginstar, so they can dial it back if they are uncomfortable. FYI I sprayed 8 oz Ginstar + 2 oz Dropp + 42 oz Prep last Monday and it looks pretty good.

Ginstar 8 oz/acre + Prep 42 oz/acre