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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Soil Texture and Rainfall on the Response of Cotton to Moisture Regime1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 1, p. 39-42
    Received: May 10, 1965

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  1. C. J. Gerard and
  2. L. N. Namken2



Irrigation studies indicate that the water management requirement of cotton is dependent upon soil texture and related rooting characteristics of the plants. Cotton on medium-textured soils develops an extensive root system which is able to extract water to depths of 4 to 5 feet (2). Moisture depletion patterns on fine-textured soils indicate that soil moisture extraction is largely restricted to the surface 2 feet.

Cotton on the medium-textured soils needs only 1 or 2 irrigations, depending on rainfall, to produce satisfactory yields. Cotton on the fine-textured soils should be irrigated every 10 to 15 days, with the first irrigation applied at the first bloom; 4 to 6 light irrigations during blooming and fruiting period are required to produce satisfactory yields.

Summer rainfall often supplies sufficient water to produce 80 to 90% of the yield potential on medium-textured soils but only 50% of yield potential on fine-textured soils. Lack of sufficient absorbing roots prevents cotton from extracting sufficient water during peak demand period from depths below its primary root zone (0 to 3 feet) on medium-textured soil. Extraction water from below its primary root zone (top foot) insufficient to prevent reduction in growth and yield of cotton grown on fine-textured soil.

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