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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Genotypic Interactions with Potassium and Nitrogen in Cotton of Varied Maturity


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 88 No. 1, p. 89-93
    Received: Mar 9, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): bpettigr@ag.gov
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  1. William T. Pettigrew ,
  2. James J. Heitholt and
  3. William R. Meredith Jr.
  1. USDA-ARS, Cotton Physiology and Genetics Res., P.O. Box 345, Stoneville, MS 38776



The development of late-season K deficiency symptoms in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) fields has become more frequent in the Mid-South and Far West U.S. production regions. In this study, the objectives were to determine how yield and quality of lint produced by cotton genotypes of varying maturities are affected by different rates of soil applied K and N fertilization. Eight cotton genotypes representing a range of maturities and regional adaptations were studied in Mississippi in 1991 and 1992. All plots received a preplan! application of 112 kg ha−1 N and half the plots also received a 38 kg ha−1 sidedress application of N. Within each N treatment, half the plots received 112 kg ha−1 K surface applied and preplant incorporated, with the remaining plots receiving 0 kg ha−1 K. Averaged across years and N treatments, the K deficiency associated with the 0 K treatment reduced lint yield (9%), boll mass (7%), lint percentage (1%), and seed mass (4%). Varying the N fertilization did not benefit these parameters. The high N treatment reduced lint yield 3% (P = 007) and lint percentage 1% (P = 0.06) when coupled with the 0 K treatment. All genotypes suffered yield reductions caused by the K deficiency, except for ‘HS 26’ which was not adapted for production in the Mississippi Delta. Potassium deficiency produced reductions in fiber elongation (3%), 50% span length (1%), uniformity ratio (1%), micronaire (10%), fiber maturity (5%), and perimeter (1%) in all genotypes. Nitrogen application above the 112 kg ha rate did not increase the lint yield under the growing conditions of our study. The data indicate that genotype was not of importance when dealing with K fertility. The deficiency itself, however, must be dealt with to avoid significant reductions in the yield and quality of fiber produced.

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