Virginia Cotton: Expect a Slower Planting Season, Emergence

    Cotton planting. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Planting season is upon us, although it will not be the type of season we have become used to for the last several. Plus we have been here often.

    • Early Tuesday morning temperature hopefully ends the sub-40 degree numbers; although we are not going directly into summer time like we have seen for several years in a row now.
    • The expectation for early May continues to be below normal for temperature although it will be adequate for us to begin planting.
    • When everyday is 80 or better, it is easy and fast. Every variety looks good and every strategy works.
    • Last year cotton came up the same week that you planted it. I expect that it will take the early planted cotton a couple of weeks to emerge this year.
    • Most of the seed treatment pest protection strategies will last 2 to 3 weeks, and last year cotton had a few leaves by then.  This year, it will just be getting a good stand during this first 2-3 week window.
    • Overall, I am comfortable with the start we should have with very good seed quality (65% cool germ or higher).
    • I think the stands will be fine although it might be a good year to get the seed population back over 43K.
    • It’s not going to grow fast for the first month, but it does not need to. Plus, we probably aren’t going to have that problem with blooming too early. June blooms add a risk of forcing cotton into premature cutout in dry July.



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