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Insect Protection: In a wheat and cotton double-crop system, the late-planted cotton crop will need increased protection from late-season insect pests. Genuity® Bollgard II® cotton provides the most powerful built-in worm control, protecting against leaf- and boll-feeding worm species including budworm, bollworm, armyworm, loopers, plus saltmarsh caterpillars and cotton leaf perforators. Genuity Bollgard II cotton can reduce or even eliminate the need for spraying for worm infestations, which otherwise could occur during harvest of other crops. It is especially important to intensively scout late-planted cotton fields for insect infestations as younger plants may be more attractive and easily damaged by pests. Insecticides should be applied at economic threshold levels.
Weed Control: In a double-crop system, after the wheat crop is harvested, fields should either be burned or a burndown herbicide application with residual activity should be applied to plant cotton into a clean field. Double-crop cotton can benefit from Genuity® Roundup Ready® Flex cotton technology by providing easy and efficient weed control. Due to late planting and plant development, the need to spray late-season weed flushes may coincide with other farm work. Genuity Roundup Ready Flex cotton increases flexibility and creates a wider herbicide application window, which allows for management around other crops or unfavorable weather conditions. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides can be applied to Genuity Roundup Ready Flex cotton up to 7 days prior to harvest for broad-spectrum weed control.
Variety Selection: The proper cotton varieties and maturities must be selected to help achieve a successful double-crop cotton harvest. Due to a compressed season, double-crop trials have shown that earlier maturing varieties show more promise than late-maturing varieties. When selecting an earlier-maturing variety, moisture management is very critical during the fruiting and maturation phases. Any lack of moisture during these phases can result in dramatically lower yields. Double-cropping cotton with early-maturing varieties is ideal in irrigated fields.
Managing for Earliness: Double-crop cotton should be managed for maximum earliness due to a shorter season and limited heat units.2
Total variable cost, as set by the Cotton 2011 Planning Budget, was subtracted from the total gross income to provide the net return above variable costs. Results from the economic analysis show profit can be made from a wheat and cotton double-crop with proper variety selection. Data collected from this study infers that when planting cotton late, cultivar selection may play an integral part in maximizing lint yield.
Three years of cotton variety tests conducted across a range of planting dates were analyzed to determine relative yield potential for each variety by planting date. Six popular cotton varieties were selected for the trials (DP 0912B2RF, FM 1740B2RF, PHY 367 WRF, PHY 375 WRF, ST 4288B2RF and ST 4498B2RF). Results from the study can be valuable to growers considering double-crop cotton as the yield potential of DP 0912B2RF stood out among other varieties for the later planting dates. For the May 21 to 31 planting date, 113 comparisons were made and DP 0912B2RF won 79 of the comparisons (69.91% wins) with an average yield of 1,139 lbs lint/acre (Table 2). For the June 1 to 15 planting date, 16 comparisons were made and DP 0912B2RF won nine of the comparisons (56.25% wins) with an average yield of 1,117 lbs lint/acre. Results from planting date trials show the DP 0912B2RF has high yield potential when compared to other cotton products available to growers for late planting scenarios.
In 2011, a demonstration trial was established at the Monsanto Learning Center in Scott, MS to evaluate the effect of PGR application, planting density, and variety selection on the success of double-cropped cotton behind wheat. Six Deltapine® varieties were planted on May 31, 2011, at 42,000 and 52,000 seeds per acre. Three PGR regimes were evaluated: untreated check (UTC), passive, and aggressive (Figure 2). Several varieties showed promise of very high yield in this system including DP 0912B2RF, DP 1133B2RF, and possibly DP 1044B2RF (Figure 3). At lower populations, the less aggressively PGR managed plots yielded more than the more aggressively managed plots (Figure 4). At higher populations, aggressively managed plots yielded more than passively managed plots and were able to generate yield in excess of 2 bales despite being planted on May 31. When considering double-cropping cotton following wheat, aggressive management will likely be necessary. Higher populations should allow the field to generate equivalent or higher yield potential in shorter amounts of time versus lower planting densities which can force the plants to generate fruiting positions further up and out on the plant. However, higher densities demand more aggressive PGR applications to increase the odds for success. Cotton growth is heat driven. When accumulating heat quickly, as a late- planted crop would, PGRs are diluted faster so applying them early (beginning at early squaring), more often and in higher doses can be helpful managing the crop for higher yield potential.
Sources: 1 Double-cropping cotton behind wheat could work. 2012. Farm Progress, March 22, 2012. http://farmprogress.com 2 Stewart, S. et.al. 2007. Suggestions for double-cropping cotton and wheat in Louisiana during 2007. LSU AgCenter Research and Extension. pub. 2964. http://www.lsuagcenter.com 3 Riley, J. M, et. al. Cotton 2011 Planning Budget. Mississippi State University. Department of Agricultural Economics. Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Biotechnology Industry Organization. B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your Monsanto representative for the registration status in your state. Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. This result may not be an indicator of results you may obtain as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Bollgard II®, Genuity and Design®, Genuity Icons, Genuity®, Respect the Refuge and Cotton Design®, Roundup Ready®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Deltapine® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company. Leaf Design℠ is a servicemark of Monsanto Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2012 Monsanto Company. CRB03272011, 04302012TED