Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Davidonis, G.H., Johnson, A.S., Landivar, J.A., Fernandez, C.J. 2004. Cotton fiber quality is related to boll location and planting date. Agronomy Journal. 96:42-47. Interpretive Summary: In areas where the cotton growing season is characterized by mid season drought and high temperature early cotton planting has the potential of yield and quality improvement through the avoidance of mid season drought. The objectives were to determine the effect of boll location on fiber properties across three planting dates and to determine the relationship between flowering date, boll location and environmental factors. One year of the two year study was characterized by mid season drought. In that year, early planting increased yield and improved fiber quality at all boll locations. Under drought conditions boll location influenced fiber properties to a greater degree than under adequate water conditions. Increasing temperatures prior to and during boll development accompanied by adequate water input has the potential to reduce fiber quality since fiber maturity values can exceed the desired micronaire range. This data unravels some of the complex interactions between environment and fiber quality benefiting scientists and cotton producers.
Technical Abstract: Early cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) planting in the Texas Coastal Bend has the potential for improved cultivar performance through the avoidance of mid season drought. This two-year field study was conducted to determine the effect of boll location on fiber properties across planting dates and to determine the relationship between flowering date, boll location, and environmental factors. Cotton (Deltapine 5409) was planted early March, late March and mid April each year. In 1997 yields were 731,622 and 553 kg ha**1 respectively for early through late planting dates. The yield for the early planting date was significantly different from the other dates. No significant differences in yield were found in 1999. Boll distribution patterns for middle and late-planted cotton were similar. In 1997, the drier of the two years, fiber length and maturity increased at all boll locations with earliness of planting while in 1999 the longest and most mature fiber was associated with the middle planting date. When flowers o plants from different planting dates were tagged on the same date, node location differences were evident for most fiber maturity values in 1997 but not in 1999. Increasing temperatures prior to and during boll development accompanied by adequate water input increased fiber maturity. These data indicate that early planting did not decrease yield or adversely affect fiber properties.