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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Certain Rotations upon Cotton Production in the San Joaquin Valley1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 543-546
    Received: Dec 1, 1971

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  1. John H. Turner,
  2. E. G. Smith,
  3. R. H. Garber,
  4. W. A. Williams and
  5. H. Yamada2



Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the major cash commodity from San Joaquin Valley farms. Frequently, growers plant cotton for 3 to 6 years without rotation. Alfalfa for hay production or grain crops are the main crops planted on land removed from cotton.

Very few rotation studies with cotton have been conducted in the western states. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of certain rotations and N applications on growth and yield of cotton.

Increased yields were obtained for cotton following alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and cotton following corn (Zea mays L.) over the continuous cotton plots. No advantage for yield was shown between cotton following corn and cotton following alfalfa. Nitrogen fertilization increased yields of continuous cotton, of cotton following corn, and of cotton the 2nd year following alfalfa, but not of cotton the 1st year after alfalfa.

Water infiltration data showed that a significant reduction of water intake occurred on the N subplots compared to those with no N.

Plant heights were significantly different at first-bloom stage for both the rotation and the N treatments. Final plant height at maturity, however, was seldom influenced by rotation treatment. The N treatment produced taller plants in most years.

Verticillium wilt was more prevalent in the continuous cotton than in the cotton following other crops. Wilt was also more prevalent on the N-fertilized subplots.

Growing continuous cotton lowered the yields, hindered early season growth, and increased Verticillium wilt. Nitrogen fertilization reduced infiltration rate of water, which is an important consideration to farm managers in this area.

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