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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Cotton Response to Bud and Boll Removal1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 3, p. 491-497
    Received: Feb 3, 1986

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  1. E. D. Ungar,
  2. D. Wallach and
  3. E. Kletter2



The compensation capacity of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) for loss of fruiting bodies can be exploited in pest control management where environmental conditions permit some delay in yield. Three experiments were conducted on a clayey, montmorillonitic, calcareous, thermic Typic Chromoxerert, in a region with a growing season of 210 days. The first experiment investigated crop response to removal of different classes of fruiting bodies at different times. The second and third experiments tested the hypothesis that compensation for late-season boll removal is enhanced when preceded by early season removal of squares. Removal of 120 squares/m2 over 2 weeks, 200 small squares/m2 over 4 weeks, or 60 small bolls/m2 over 2 weeks did not significantly reduce yield. Removal of 60 large bolls/m2 over 2 weeks or 30 large bolls/m2 on a single date significantly reduced final yield to between 56 and 85% of the control yield. Removal of 120 squares/m2 in combination with the late removal of 30 large bolls/m2 yielded 94% (NS) of the control yield when squares were removed early and 79% of the control yield when squares were removed late. The degree of compensation in the combination damage treatments was related to the extent to which the growth pattern of the crop was delayed by square removal. Early square removal delayed flowering cutout so that the plants were still producing flowers when the large bolls were removed. The effect of damage depended on the state of the crop, which then should be taken into account in determining pest control strategy.

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