Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2017
Publication Date: 10/4/2017
Citation: Mahan, J.R., Payton, P.R. 2017. An agrocentric analysis of rainfed cotton on the Southern High Plains of Texas [abstract]. Australian Cotton Research Conference. Paper No. 001.
Technical Abstract: Crop plants are grown in environments that are subject to constant variation across a day, across a month, across a season, across years, across decades. In-season environmental variation is inevitable and, from an agricultural perspective, largely considered unpredictable. Rain is the major limiter of cotton yields for the semi-arid region of the Southern High Plains of Texas. Rainfed cotton producers have a limited number of management options including: germplasm selection, planting date, planting geometry (row configurations and plant populations) and chemical applications (nutrients, herbicides, growth regulators). With the exception of in-season chemical applications, the available management options are determined at the time of planting. The effect management decisions on cotton yield will be mostly dependent on the pattern and amount of rain during the crop period and the effects of factors like germplasm, planting date, planting geometry and chemical applications are most likely influenced by the amounts and timing of rain during the crop season. The effects of rain are appropriately analyzed in terms of the effect of the rain on the crop and an “agro-centric rain” analysis seeks to understand the amounts and timing of rain events within a defined management system. In this study the cotton growing season on the Southern High Plains of Texas at Lubbock, TX, was analyzed in terms of the crop water environment associated with various potential cotton crop seasons across the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015. The results of this indicate that the volume and timing of rain events in a year can be analyzed from the perspective of resolving the single cotton growing season into multiple finer-scale potential cotton crop seasons to provide insight into the effects on crop water status. The results indicate that crop water status across potential cotton crop seasons can vary with planting date across years to an extent that it may be possible to exploit the variation to improve yield and or quality in terms of germplasm and management practices.