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Cotton Planting

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Generally, planting can safely proceed when the 4-inch  soil temps reach 65 degrees for 3 consecutive days and warming conditions are projected over the next several days. it is critical for the soil temps to be at least 65 degrees for the first 2 to 3 days after planting into moist soil, as imbibed seed are often killed by temps of 41 degrees or blow. Low temps can also cause chilling injury to emerged seedlings.

We can check this data by going to http://www.georgiaweather.net to access the weather station nearest your location. Click on yesterdays conditions and it will give you data for the previous 4 days. Our average for the last 4 days is around 69 with conditions favorable for the next few days. Highs are predicted to be in the low 80’s and lows are predicted to be in the low 60’s for the next few days with a couple of days toward the end of next week cooling off.

Location

April 25

April 24

April 23

April 22

Calhoun

71.5

70.1

68.8

67.7

Randolph

74.3

72.7

70.2

66.7

Terrell

70.7

69.2

68.3

67.1

Delaying planting until late April to early May has shown advantages in deep South Georgia. Irrigated cotton should usually be planted after May 1, since the risk of having adequate moisture for getting a stand is eliminated, the possibility of boll-rot from August rains is reduced, and thrips pressure is lessened. Also, boll opening and harvest-time rainfall risks are reduced and harvest can be accomplished from late September through November, normally our most likely rain free period.

Choosing which variety to plant is one of the most critical steps in producing a cotton crop and achieving optimal yields and fiber quality. A single dominant variety is unlikely, however official variety trials and on-farm county variety trials in 2010-2012 illustrated that several varieties performed well in several environments.

Results from UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program are published on the UGA Cotton Web page at www.ugacotton.com, as well as the UGA Cotton Variety Performance calculator, which is a valuable tool for growers to use to compare performance of most modern varieties across Georgia.