For those with cotton crops this year, PLEASE READ!
I hope everyone fared well in the weather last night and is safe. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.
1. First thing I would recommend doing is if your field was damaged by hail, call your crop insurance agent and make them aware.
2. The second thing I would highly suggest doing is not making any rash decisions on a cotton crop today or tomorrow. In the next two days, make note of the fields that were damaged, make your crop insurance folks aware of those fields, then reevaluate them next week. The cotton will look terrible today and tomorrow, but within 5 to 10 days it should look better with a little warm weather and sunshine.
3. At this point, being today is June 15 and it is far too wet to get in the field to do anything, I would have a very hard time recommending a grower replant cotton. If by next week the plant stand is so bad that they need to walk away from their cotton crop, we’ll have to get creative on what they should replant. Keep in mind residual herbicides that have been applied and future rotations.
4. If fields were severely defoliated or later planted cotton had cotyledons/terminals removed from hail, it will take time for the plants to recover. Thus, in these situations, treat these fields like late planted cotton. More aggressive pix strategies (after the plant begins to recover), reduced N rates, etc. to hasten maturity in that crop.
5. Last thought – there is no magical product that will bring cotton out of hail damage. Right now, the plants that are damaged probably don’t even have enough leaf area to take up foliar fed fertilizer or other foliar products that “stimulate plant growth”. All the cotton needs is warm weather, sunshine, and time. Purchasing and spraying any product that is alleged to encourage plant growth following a hail event will likely not result in a return, thus making it a waste of money and diesel fuel.