Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Southern Piedmont supports a wide range of crops due to favorable climate, which includes, 200 to 250 frost free days, mild winter temperatures and favorable rainfall. Although the average annual rainfall varies between 1100 and 1400 mm, short-term summer droughts are common. Crop production is reduced when these drought periods coincide with critical periods of crop growth. A cotton growth study was conducted from 1996 to 1999 near Watkinsville, GA, under two tillage (Conventional tillage (CT) versus no-till (NT)), and two nutrient source (conventional (CF) versus poultry litter (PL)) treatments. Treatment effects observed during the first three years were absent in the fourth year due to short- term dry conditions. Average lint yield in kg ha-1 for the first three years were: CTCF-896, CTPL-1039, NTCF-1187, and NTPL-1275. Yields in the fourth year were 576, 534, 585 and 550 kg ha-1, respectively. Total precipitation during weeks 10 to 14 of the growth period was 125 mm in 1996, 190 mm in 1997, 145 mm in 1998 but only 20 mm in 1999. This period partially covers squaring and early flowering and is the time when cotton is most susceptible to water stress. Supplemental irrigation should be considered during this critical time. Plentiful small surface water dams in the Southern Piedmont make this a possibility.