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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Foliar Methanol Applications to Cotton in the Southeastern United States: Leaf Physiology, Growth, and Yield Components


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 87 No. 6, p. 1157-1160
    Received: Sept 9, 1994

    * Corresponding author(s): mvanier@gaes.griffin.peachnet.edu
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  1. Marc W. van Iersel ,
  2. James J. Heitholt,
  3. Randy Wells and
  4. Derrick M. Oosterhuis
  1. D ep. of Horticulture, Georgia Stn., Univ. of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223
    U SDA-ARS, Cotton Physiology and Genetics, P.O. Box 345, Stoneville, MS 38776
    W ells, Dep. of Crop Science, Box 7620, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695
    D ep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701



Foliar methanol applications have previously been reported to dramatically increase yields of a variety of crops under arid conditions, including cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Whether methanol is effective in the southeastern USA is not known. In addition, the agronomic and physiological events contributing to the increase are not understood. Therefore, we conducted a series of experiments in 1993 to study the effects of methanol on the gas exchange, water relations, development, growth, and yield of field-grown cotton at three locations in the southeastern USA. Conventional management and irrigation procedures were used. Methanol solutions in water, with and without urea and iron, were applied over the top at midday to cotton. Four to eight applications were made from flowering to late boll filling. Both single-leaf and canopy photosynthesis rates taken 2 h to 6 d after treatment were unaffected by methanol or the nutrients. At one site, CO2 compensation point was determined, but did not differ among treatments. This finding does not support previous claims that methanol reduces photorespiration. Transpiration and water potential also were not affected by foliar applications of 15 or 30% methanol (v/v). Foliar methanol applications also did not result in faster development of the crop and did not increase yield at any of the locations. Our results do not indicate any positive effect of foliar methanol applications on cotton in the southeastern USA.

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