Cotton can be safely planted when 4 inch soil temperatures have reached 65 degrees for 3 consecutive days. Moisture filled seed can be killed by temperatures of 41 degrees or lower during the first 3 days after planting. Early planting is often done to ensure adequate moisture in dry land fields. Research has shown there is little difference in yield when planting between April 1st and May 20th. If your fields are irrigated and planting moisture is not a limiting factor; planting dates after May 1st are best. Early planted fields may also run in to boll rot problems on the back end as well. Rains in late August and early September can affect yield and grade. Planting decisions vary greatly year to year and often hinge on weather and time constraints with other crop obligations.
To view the 2016 UGA Cotton Production Guide click here.
To look at UGA recommended weed control options in cotton click here.