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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Oklahoma and Central Plains Agricultural Research Center » Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365130

Research Project: Integrated Agroecosystem Research to Enhance Forage and Food Production in the Southern Great Plains

Location: Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit

Title: Determining water use of cotton (Gossypium spp.) for areas with declining levels of irrigation water

item Witt, Travis
item Ulloa, Mauricio
item Schwartz, Robert

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2019
Publication Date: 11/13/2019
Citation: Witt, T.W., Ulloa, M., Schwartz, R.C. 2019. Determining water use of cotton (Gossypium spp.) for areas with declining levels of irrigation water [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is an important natural fiber produced around the world. Fresh water resources are becoming depleted due to overuse. We studied the effect of different irrigation amounts on the productivity and quality of cotton and the amount of water required for different levels of productivity. This study helped to identify traits that can be used to develop cotton that requires less water while having high productivity and quality.

Technical Abstract: Cotton (Gossypium spp.) is an important natural fiber that is produced on around 34 million hectares around the world. As water resources for irrigation become scarce and world-weather patterns become more unpredictable (hotter and drier), there is a dire need to identify cotton genotypes that can produce high yields with good fiber quality while using less water. In this study, five genotypes (three G. hirsutum and two G. barbadense) were evaluated for above ground (height, node number, internode length, flowering date and number and location of bolls) and below ground (taproot length, depth from zero node to first lateral root, depth from zero node to last lateral root and total number of lateral roots) plant growth, lint yield, fiber quality (micronaire, length, strength, uniformity and elongation) and soil water use during a two year (2014 and 2015) study. The experiments were planted at the Texas Tech University Quaker Research Farm, Lubbock, TX (33' 35’N, 101' 52’W). The genotypes were sown in a randomized complete block design with four replications within three different irrigation regimes. Irrigation was applied by subsurface drip irrigation uniformly until first square; at this time, irrigation was applied once per week (0, 10 and 20 mm). Approximately one month after sowing, 1.4-meter aluminum tubes were inserted into the ground next to the third row of each plot (to allow for cultivation) for future neutron moisture gage readings. At critical developmental stages, initiation of treatment, first flower, cutout, and end of season soil moisture was measured by neutron moisture gage. Analysis revealed that G. hirsutum genotypes had greater lint yields, while G. barbadense had higher fiber quality and less soil water use. These types of studies provide information to identify productivity (yield) and fiber quality traits that may play an important role in identifying stress-tolerant genotypes less impacted by water between these two species.