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Title: Agrometeorology and cotton production

item Pettigrew, William

Submitted to: World Meteorological Organization
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2006
Publication Date: 4/12/2011
Citation: Freeland, Jr, T.B., Pettigrew, W.T., Thaxton, P., Andrews, G.L. 2011. Agrometeorology and cotton production. World Meteorological Organization. 10(1):1-128.

Interpretive Summary: As with all plant species, environmental and climatic conditions will dictate where a cotton crop can and cannot be grown. In the regions where cotton is able to be grown, understanding how cotton responds to various climatic phenomenon would be of great interest to producers, researchers, consultants, and extension personnel. This review chapter complies information from numerous journal references and other sources to present the current state of the art and understanding of how cotton responds to various climatic factors and meteorological phenomenon. Researchers can utilize this chapter to identify gaps in the current knowledge base and initiate projects to fill those knowledge gaps. Producers can use information presented in this chapter as an aid in the decision making process regarding input usage. This chapter can fortify the knowledge base and background that consultants and extension specialists draw upon to advise their producer customers and clients.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is a deciduous, indeterminate perennial plant that is cultivated as an annual in modern production systems. While the amount of time that the ambient air temperature remains within an optimum range (approximately 15.5 to 32.2 degrees C) is a principal factor determining the pace of cotton growth and development, other climatic factors can also influence growth, yield, and fiber quality development. Both the level of precipitation (excessive or deficient) and the level of solar radiation interception, play important roles in determining the duration of various stages of growth and level of lint yield and fiber quality produced. Unfortunately, these optimum conditions don’t persist over most the cotton producing regions. Breeders have developed cotton varieties adapted to some of the specific climatic challenges encountered in various regions suitable for cotton production. Agronomists have developed or altered existing cotton production strategies to minimize or avoid some of the climatic challenges, while also taking advantage of the favorable climatic features indigenous to any particular region. Efforts of both breeders and agronomist have worked to maximize yield production for particular regions. This information has been relayed to extension personnel, consultants, and producers so that the producers have the knowledge to response to the various climatic and meteorological challenges encountered during a growing season.