Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: The growth of the root system of the cotton plant is critical to the function of the whole plant and in the determination of crop yield. There are many factors that can influence the function of the root system, ranging from environmental factors such as soil temperature to diseases and nematode infestations. It can be difficult many times to determine the cause of root disorder on a timely basis so that proper management decisions can be made to correct the disorder before the crop productivity can be significantly reduced. Scientists from the USDA-ARS, Texas Tech University, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Cooperative Extension, and the University of Arkansas came together to pool their expertise and develop a pictorial field guide of the major root disorders that have been observed in early cotton seedling development to provide growers and crop consultants a tool for formulating management decisions to ohelp improve crop productivity.
Technical Abstract: The growth and function of the root system of the cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plant is critical to the growth of the whole plant and in the determination of yield. The primary functions of the root system are to facilitate both water and nutrient uptake and to anchor the plant. There are many factors that influence the development of the root system which can be categorized into either environmental or biological. The environmental factors can include such things as soil temperature, soil compaction, pH, and chemicals such as herbicides and fertilizers. Biological factors include diseases and nematodes. Since many of these factors interact with each other to impact root development, it can be very difficult to determine which may be the dominate factor when plants are observed growing under field conditions. It is important to be able to detect the cause, or causes, of root disorders early so that corrective measures may be taken. Therefore, the objectives of this work were to develop a guide in handbook format to provide the producer and crop consultant with a pictorial representation of the most common root disorders in cotton and, where applicable, to suggest possible management decisions for dealing with the disorder. Pictures and text were developed from field experience, and in some cases, from greenhouse experiments to depict the root disorders in each authors respective field of expertise. These were then compiled, and with the proper graphic design, put into the handbook format. The handbook was then reduced to the final size for easy use for field identification of the respective root disorder.