Georgia Cotton: Managing Vegetative Growth – PGR Decisions

Mid season cotton field. Photo: Larry Stalcup, AgFax Media

There are many growth stages of cotton throughout the county at this time, from blooming to plants that are just now emerging.  Good soil moisture from recent rains and milder temperatures have gotten our cotton better growing conditions. 

As a management tool, plant growth regulators (PGRs) containing mepiquat are specifically used to reduce vegetative growth.  The most consistent effect of mepiquat is the reduction of plant vegetative growth and shorter plants by shortening internode length.  Factors to consider when determining when and how much mepiquat to use include the following:

  • Stage of plant growth,
  • Rate of plant growth,
  • Pest control,
  • Anticipated plant growth based on field conditions.

With these factors in mind, most PGR decisions will be made on a field by field basis.  There are various factors and information that can be used to aid in PGR decisions for cotton fields.  A few of those are listed in the picture below.  Also, a chart with UGA’s Relative PGR Requirements of Cotton Varieties is below.  This chart groups varieties in relative groups based on plant growth and can be helpful in planning for crop management.

If Worth County Extension can help you, please give us a call at 229-776-8216 or come by and see us.

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