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A key factor in producing high-yielding cotton is managing the perennial and indeterminate growth habit of the cotton plant with plant growth regulators (PGRs). Proper use of PGRs, such as mepiquat chloride (Pix®), can be critical to help maximize yield potential in any given year, while the mismanagement of PGRs can result in reduced yield potential. When determining the proper application timing of PGRs, several factors such as soil type, soil fertility, irrigation, and field history should be considered. Environmental factors can also influence PGR strategies and their effectiveness. However, understanding a particular variety’s growth habit and response to a PGR application is one of the most important factors in developing sound PGR management strategies. Plant response to PGRs can vary depending on the cotton variety, plant genetics, and the environment during and after application. This makes blanket PGR recommendations very difficult and often impractical.
Cotton varieties were planted in 12 row plots with 4 rows receiving the aggressive PGR management strategy, and 4 rows receiving the passive PGR management strategy and 4 rows left as an untreated check. The passive and aggressive treatments of a 4.2% mepiquat chloride are provided in table 2. The passive treatment was designed to be optimal for less aggressive growing varieties and less than optimal for more aggressive growing varieties. Plots were harvested with a commercial cotton picker. Seed cotton was ginned and weighed to determine lint yield per acre.
Cotton varieties selected for the trial differed in response to PGR management strategies (Figure 1). A passive PGR strategy resulted in a higher final yield for five of the seven selected varieties, while two cotton varieties produced higher yields with the more aggressive PGR management strategy.
The largest yield difference when comparing the same variety across the two PGR regimes was 275 lbs lint/acre for DP 0912 B2RF, which yielded more under the aggressive PGR strategy. DP 0912 B2RF is an early maturing cotton variety, which may have responded favorably to the aggressive treatment during 2011 due to the relatively early heat unit accumulation which characterized the 2011 growing season. The largest difference in favor of the passive PGR management strategy was 114 lbs lint/acre for DP 1028 B2RF.
The different PGR management strategies also affected the height of cotton plants at harvest. All cotton varieties reported the tallest plants in the untreated check (UTC) (Figure 2). Six of the seven varieties reported shorter cotton plant height under the aggressive PGR management strategy. Cotton varieties DP 1028 B2RF, DP 1034 B2RF, and DP 1133 B2RF all reported a high percent height reduction for the aggressive PGR strategy compared to the untreated check (Figure 3). Shorter plant height generally indicates a reallocation of photosynthate into non-vegetative development and may increase harvest efficiency for producers.
Care should be taken to observe all varieties with respect to their growth patterns. When making PGR application decisions on these and all cotton varieties, remember to look at the node elongation of node 4-5 from the top of the plant, soil moisture, agronomic practices and weather patterns. This study gives a snapshot of responses in only one growth environment, location and year, but may provide insight into recommendations of what to look for in growth and development of the Deltapine® Class of 09, 10, 11, and 12 cotton varieties.
Note: These results are not intended to provide you with a blueprint on how to grow any specific variety but merely to give the benefit of some research with them. Your experience and knowledge will remain an invaluable component to the successful management of any variety. This information is being provided to you to aid you in making decisions and giving advice regarding the management of these varieties. The information is not intended to totally supplant your experience and knowledge base on the proper management of your individual crops. The information discussed in this report is from a single site, non-replicated, one-year demonstration. This informational piece is designed to report the results of this demonstration and is not intended to infer any confirmed trends. Please use this information accordingly.
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®, Roundup®, and Technology Development by Monsanto and Design® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. Deltapine® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company. ©2011 Monsanto