Virginia Cotton: Right on Time for Date It Was Planted

Cotton seedlings. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The growing season started in a way that prevented us from planting cotton during the first half of May. Since then, we have had above normal temperatures and good moisture.

  • The distinguishing characteristic of the cotton crop this year is not the lack of heat units, but rather the whole crop was planted during the second half of May and is physiologically only about a week apart in age.
  • Some farmers historically like to plant most of the crop during the first half of May, but we have had excellent production from cotton planted during the second half of May.
  • Overall, this crop is right on track for heat units based on its planting date. This brings up the question of planning for inputs.
  • Weed control and thrips are underway and the next chore chasing us will be topdressing nitrogen.
  • Typically we start topdressing the April and early May cotton around now but this year, it will be the second half of June before cotton reaches the proper stage.
  • The main fertility chores would be for fields that normally get split topdress application or that use ESN blends. It is time to get those early applications out this week.



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