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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Predicting Cotton Crop Boll Development1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 3, p. 476-481
    Received: Apr 21, 1980

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  1. D. F. Wanjura and
  2. O. H. Newton2



Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) lint development on the Texas High Plains frequently spans periods of low temperature that reduce yield and quality. We conducted a study in 1977 to 1979 at Lubbock, Texas, to develop a procedure for estimating the level of crop lint maturity at any time after boll setting begins.

The procedure includes a model that uses the initiation date for each 1/10 increment of the total crop of bolls and average daily air temperatures. Data generated by the estimating procedure were compared with data on observed crop lint development in the cultivars ‘Paymaster 303’, ‘Paymaster 909’, and ‘Acala 3080’. The observed data were obtained by tagging all blooms initiated by plants in two 3-tn row lengths of each cultivar and measuring boll periods of the permanent bolls.

The procedure produced accurate timely estimates for crop lint development and boll opening rate for all cultivars in 1977 and 1978. Observed boll periods in all cultivars were 15% shorter than estimates for the entire crop of bolls in 1979. A likely explanation for the shortened boll periods was that 1979 plants required 2 weeks longer to reach first bloom than 1977 and 1978 plants and were physiologically older. Other researchers have also reported reduced boll periods in "old" cotton plants.

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