Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Double-cropping of cotton following wheat is being evaluated in conservation tillage systems. Poor cotton seedling establishment may occur if the wheat straw remains on the soil surface. Pots of loamy sand were arranged in groups of five on greenhouse benches. Each group of five pots was covered with a 122 x 122 x 2 cm styrofoam insulation panel. Holes were cut in each panel so that a hole was centered over each pot. The panels were covered with fresh wheat straw, weathered straw, or bare soil. Soil temperatures did not differ in the pots below the various surface materials. However, the different colored straw and soil reflected different far-red (FR) to red (R) light ratios and different quantities of photosynthetic and blue light. At emergence, seedlings were thinned to one per pot so that all of the evaluated seedlings emerged on the same day. Seedlings were evaluated for shoot and root size seven days after emergence. Leaf areas, stem lengths, and root lengths were measured. Stem, leaves, and roots were dried and weighed on a per plant basis. The fresh wheat straw reflected the highest FR/R ratio and seedlings developed the longest stems, heaviest shoots, lowest root weight, least root length, and lowest root/shoot weight ratio. The seedling growth response to light reflected from fresh wheat straw could be relevant in management of cotton seedling establishment when soil moisture availability is marginal.