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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320623

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Girdling defoliation of cotton; 2014 field trial

item Funk, Paul
item Pelletier, Mathew

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2015
Publication Date: 7/27/2015
Citation: Funk, P.A., Pelletier, M.G. 2015. Girdling defoliation of cotton; 2014 field trial. ASABE Annual International Meeting, July 26-29, 2015, New Orleans, LA. Paper No. 2188472.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cotton mechanical harvest requires field pre-treatment to remove leaves and moisture. Typical harvest preparation involves ground or aerial application of a combination of active ingredients. Some of these chemicals may come under regulatory pressure in future. Alternatives have been explored, such as exposing the entire canopy to hot air. A new project initiated by Pelletier and Cotton Incorporated focused energy on the stalk alone, potentially reducing treatment cost. Small-scale field trials in New Mexico involved thermal and mechanical girdling of an upland variety 2 and 3 weeks before harvest. A standard tank mix of desiccant, defoliant and boll opener was applied on control plots. Thermal treatments were applied from one side only for 5, 10 and 15 seconds. Mechanical treatments were applied from one or both sides. Physiological response and fiber properties were observed. Experimental treatments prepared the plants for harvest in only about half of the test plots. Based on HVI properties, CCC loan value was slightly higher than the control with lower levels of heat and mechanical treatment. Significant plant vigor and maturity variability between the four plot replicates as well as within each plot complicated analysis in 2014. Further testing is planned.