Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2002
Publication Date: 1/9/2002
Citation: FUNK, P.A., ARMIJO, C.B., LEWIS, B.E., STEINER, R.L., MCALISTER III, D.D. THERMAL DEFOLIATION. NATIONAL COTTON COUNCIL BELTWIDE COTTON CONFERENCE. 2002. 7 p.
Interpretive Summary: Defoliation by hot air gives producers an alternative to using chemical defoliants. It also greatly reduces the risk of sticky cotton by effectively eliminating late season insects such as aphids and white flies. The effectiveness is nearly equal to defoliation rates achieved through the use of chemicals, though the cost is greater. Fiber quality properties such as color, length, strength, diameter (micronaire) and uniformity are not affected by brief exposure to hot air. Fiber trash content is reduced just as effectively with thermal deloliation as with chemical defoliation.
Technical Abstract: An apparatus designed to defoliate cotton with hot air was tested in two varieties and two field conditions. Cotton defoliation using hot air was as effective as defoliation using tyical chemicals under some conditions. Aphid populations were eliminated by the thermal treatment, reducing the risk of producing sticky cotton. The trash content of cotton defoliated by thermal and conventional means were similar. Fiber properties were the same when compared to either chemical defoliation or no defoliation. Seed germination rates were also unchanged.