Virginia Cotton: Extended Dry Period Expected

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Images

Oh my goodness.  We have just been able to start crossing these wet fields and now the popular weather forecast models are in agreement that there is almost no chance of rainfall for the first half of July.  It sure changes my ideas on how much growth regulator I want to use on cotton.

  • Not even 4 days past our last rain, I am more interested in just tapping the brake or spot spraying bottoms in these fields that are still below 24 inches in height particularly where the last fertilizer is just going on.
  • Our short growing varieties are also less likely to need much pix with this approaching dry weather.
  • We have a very high fruit load and I expect all the cotton that was planted during the first half of May to begin blooming during this approaching mini drought.
  • Fortunately the temperatures will remain close to normal but still plenty hot.
  • About 7 days of dry weather is going to be welcome because we have good moisture and are behind on some of our management practices.
  • By this time next week, we are going to be ready for some rain.
  • There is one big question I think we have been thinking about that is related to the part of the state that has gotten between 5 and 8 inches of rain on all the nitrogen. That is the leaching question. It probably needs to be addressed on the lighter soils with the highest rain amounts.

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