In-Furrow Water Injection for Improving Cotton Stand Establishment1
- J. L. Fowler2
Successful stand establishment is essential to cotton (Gossypium spp.) production efficiency as it affects yield, earliness, weed control, and harvesting efficiency. Availability of soil moisture to the germinating seed is one of the most critical factors affecting stand establishment. In-furrow water injection is a method of applying supplemental moisture to the soil in contact with the seed by injecting a small stream of water into the seed furrow at planting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in-furrow water injection as a means of enhancing stand establishment by improving soil moisture conditions surrounding the germinating seed. Several water injection treatments were compared with conventional planting methods over a period of four years. Four water injection treatments (water injection at rates of 94, 187, 281 liters/ha, and a combination of water injection at 94 liters/ha and soil capping) were compared with three conventional planting methods (soil capping, post-plant irrigation, and a check planting into seedbed moisture) over three planting dates in 1974 and 1975. In 1974, water injection increased stand counts in a linear manner up to 82%, over that of the check. In 1975, a differential treatment response occurred among planting dates but the highest water injection rate improved mean stand count by 33%. Seedling vigor was not affected by treatment. Both earliness and yield were positively correlated with stand count in 1974 in all planting dates but only in the second planting date of 1975. Water injection resulted in mean lint yield increases as high as 41%, in 1974 and 26% in 1975.
In 1976, the effect of water injection treatments on stand count were compared with a check and a soil capping treatment over several planting dates as seedbeds progressively dried out. Two combination soil capping and water injection treatments of 94 and 187 liters/ha were added in 1977. Water injection at 187 liters/ha and above generally resulted in stand counts significantly better than that of the check and comparable to that of the soil capping treatment.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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