Floral Bud Removal from Specific Fruiting Positions in Cotton: Yield and Fiber Quality
Lint from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) bolls produced on proximal fruiting positions (FP) is often longer and more mature than lint from distal FP sites. The objective of this research was to quantify the effects of proximal or distal floral bud removal on yield, yield distribution, yield components, and fiber properties. Cotton (cv. Deltapine 5415) was grown in the field near Stoneville, MS, in 1993 and 1994. From first square to late bloom, young squares (floral buds) were removed from selected positions twice weekly. The most proximal FP was designated FP1, the second most proximal FP was designated FP2, etc. The three treatments were (i) check (no removal), (ii) P1 (FP2, FP3, and greater squares removed), and (iii) P2, (FP1 and FP3 and greater squares removed). Averaged across years, a greater percentage of bolls (82 vs. 68%) and larger bolls (1.61 vs. 1.50 g lint boll−1) were found at FP1 on the P1 treatment than on the check. A greater percentage of bolls (42%) were found at FP2 on the P2 treatment, than in other treatments (10-24%). Lint yield (all bolls) the check (1090 kg ha-−1) was 11 and 28% greater than the P1 and P2 treatment, respectively. In contrast to yield, composite fiber micronaire, maturity, and wall thickness were significantly greater (5-6%) in the P1 and P2 treatments than the check treatment. Fiber length and strength were unaffected by treatment. These results suggest that cotton may not be able to achieve its full yield potential if limited to one boll per main stem node. The increases in fiber properties were small and probably not economically important.
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