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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Thermal Defoliation on Cotton Leaf Desiccation, Senescence, Post-Harvest Regrowth, and Lint Quality

Authors
item Showler, Allan
item Funk, Paul
item Armijo, Carlos

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 2005
Publication Date: March 16, 2006
Citation: Showler, A., Funk, P.A., Armijo, C.B. 2006. Effect of thermal defoliation on cotton leaf desiccation, senescence, post-harvest regrowth, and lint quality. Journal of Cotton Science. 10(1):39-45.

Interpretive Summary: Thermal defoliation is a potential alternative to chemical defoliation, particularly for organically grown cotton. A two-row prototype thermal defoliation vehicle was compared with a commonly used chemical defoliant in the field. Thermal and chemical treatments caused similar leaf mortality. However, thermal treatments caused 80% leaf mortality five days faster than that caused by chemical treatments. Regrowth of defoliated cotton plants occurred in both treatments so that total stalk destruction after harvest will have to continue as part of boll weevil management or eradication strategies.

Technical Abstract: Thermal defoliation is a potential alternative to chemical defoliation, particularly for organically grown cotton. A two-row prototype thermal defoliation vehicle that forced air at 193°C through cotton was compared to application of a chemical defoliant, s,s,s-tributylphosphorotrithioate (Def), in field plots. The thermal and chemical treatments caused >80% leaf mortality within 24 h and 6 d, respectively. Six days after chemical treatment, leaf abscission was >80%, but abscission in the thermal treatment did not exceed 65% even after 13 d. Regrowth at the bases of defoliated cotton plants occurred in both treatments so that total stalk destruction by cultivation or use of herbicides will have to occur as part of boll weevil management or eradication strategies.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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