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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 3, p. 562-568
    Received: June 15, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): jsiebert@agcenter.lsu.edu
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Comparative Growth and Yield of Cotton Planted at Various Densities and Configurations

  1. Jonathan D. Siebert *a,
  2. Alexander M. Stewartb and
  3. B. Rogers Leonardc
  1. a Louisiana State Univ. AgCenter, Dep. of Agronomy and Environmental Management, 104 M.B. Sturgis Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
    b Louisiana State Univ. AgCenter, Dean Lee Research Station, 8105 Tom Bowman Drive, Alexandria, LA 71302
    c Louisiana State Univ. AgCenter, Dep. of Entomology and Macon Ridge Research Station, 212 Macon Ridge Road, Winnsboro, LA 71295


Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) lint yield stability across a range of plant populations, coupled with expensive transgenic cotton seed, makes reduced seeding rates an attractive cost-saving option. Studies evaluated plant populations and seeding configurations in an effort to: (i) isolate a specific combination that minimizes seed use without sacrificing yield, and (ii) identify potential growth and development changes associated with cotton grown at these densities. Cotton planted in studies conducted during 2003 and 2004 on a Norwood silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, calcareous, thermic Typic Udifluvent) were hand thinned to densities ranging from 33 978 to 152 833 plants ha−1 in both hill-drop and drill-seeded configurations (96.5-cm row widths). Plant height, main-stem nodes per plant, maturity, boll retention by position, lint yield, and fiber quality were all evaluated. No seeding configuration × plant population interaction occurred for variables other than yield. A positive relationship existed between plant population and plant height; however, main-stem nodes per plant, days after planting to peak bloom, and boll retention were inversely related to plant density. Lint yield was highest for 152 883 plants ha−1 (1465 kg ha−1) planted in a hill-drop configuration with three plants per 20-cm hill spacing, and was not reduced until population was lowered to 33 975 (30.5-cm plant spacing, 1263 kg ha−1) and 50 958 (three plants per hill, 60-cm hill spacing, 1177 kg ha−1) plants ha−1 Treatments did not influence fiber properties. Reduced seeding rates appear to be a viable cost-saving option, given that a uniform stand is achieved and appropriate management practices employed.

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