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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Recoverability of Cotton Following Simulated Hail Damage1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 4, p. 597-600
    Received: Oct 20, 1980

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  1. C. Wayne Smith and
  2. J. J. Varvil Jr.2



Many areas of the so-called cotton belt frequently receive hail sufficient to cause measurable damage to cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). The indeterminant growth habit of cotton allows for varying degrees of recoverability from hail damage depending upon the stage of growth of the plants when damaged and the severity of damage.

Research was initiated in 1977 to evaluate the recoverability of cotton from simulated hail damage. These tests were conducted at three locations in Arkansas representing several silt loam soils with one site being severely infested with verticillium wilt [Verticillium albo-atrum (Reinke and Berth)].

Upon developing the 4th, 7th, and 10th true leaves, plants were hand cut to immediately above the cotyledonary node (CC type damage) or immediately above the second true leaf node (C2). At the Marianna location only, plants with 10, 12, and 14 true leaves also were damaged (CS and C7) to assess recoverability of plants just prior to flowering, approximately at flowering, and just after flowering. The field design was a randomized complete block with four replications of plots 12 to 15 m in length.

The degree of recoverability decreased as the severity of damage increased or as the same damage was applied to older plants. Plants infested with Verticillium wilt did not recover from simulated hail damage as well as plants at the other two locations indicating an accumulative effect of yield limiting stresses. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that 79% of the variability in seedcotton yields following the early season treatments could be accounted for by the number of nodes removed and the stage of plant development at the time of injury. Recoverability of plants damaged when near flowering could not be predicted by the number of nodes removed and/or stage of growth. Quality characteristics of the fiber were affected little.

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