Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cotton Yield and Fiber Quality for Irrigated Tillage Systems of the Tennessee Valley

Authors
item Balkcom, Kipling
item Reeves, Donald
item Burmester, C - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Shaw, Joey - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Curtis, L - ABUURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2005
Publication Date: June 5, 2005
Citation: Balkcom, K.S., Reeves, D.W., Burmester, C.H., Shaw, J.N., Curtis, L.M. 2005. Cotton yield and fiber quality for irrigated tillage systems of the tennessee valley. In: Richter, D.F., editors. Proceedings of the 2005 National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 4-7, 2005, Memphis, Tennessee. p. 2481-2485.

Interpretive Summary: Irrigation can improve cotton yield and fiber quality compared to no irrigation. A cover crop and conservation tillage helps conserve soil moisture improving non-irrigated cotton yields and fiber quality. Combining irrigation and conservation tillage with a cover crop has not been examined in the Tennessee Valley. Researchers at the National Soil Dynamics Lab, J. Phil Campbell Sr.- Natural Resource Conservation Center, and Auburn University conducted an experiment to examine how irrigation levels and tillage systems affect cotton yield and fiber quality in the Tennessee Valley on a Decatur silt loam from 2001-2003. The conservation tillage system increased yields in 2003 (normal rainfall year), while irrigation levels increased yields in 2002 and 2003 over non-irrigated yields. Cotton quality was not affected by tillage system or irrigation level in 2001; however, cotton quality was influenced by tillage system and irrigation level in 2002. Only irrigation level influenced fiber quality in 2003. Irrigation and conservation tillage with a cover crop can improve cotton yields in the Tennessee Valley compared to dryland conventional cotton production.

Technical Abstract: Irrigation can positively influence cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yield and fiber quality during periods of short-term drought. A cover crop in conjunction with conservation tillage can also benefit cotton yield and fiber quality by conserving soil moisture and potentially increasing plant available water. A split-plot experiment in a randomized complete block design was utilized to examine how interactions between irrigation levels and tillage systems affect cotton yield and fiber quality in the Tennessee Valley on a Decatur silt loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Rhodic Paleudults) from 2001-2003. Main plots were tillage systems and subplots were irrigation levels. The no-tillage system increased yields 13% in 2003 (normal rainfall year), while irrigation levels increased yields 46% and 32%, respectively in 2002 and 2003 over non-irrigated yields. Micronaire and staple were not affected by tillage system or irrigation level in 2001; however, micronaire and staple were influenced by tillage system and irrigation level in 2002. Only irrigation level influenced fiber quality in 2003. A no-tillage system, utilizing a cover crop combined with irrigation, can improve cotton yields in the Tennessee Valley.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page