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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Narrow-Row Cotton Production under Irrigated and Non-irrigated Environment: Plant Population and Lint Yield

Authors: Krishna N. Reddy, Ian C. Burke, J. Clif Boykin, and J. Ray Williford
Pages: 48-55
Agronomy and Soils

The commercialization of a spindle-type harvester to pick cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) planted in 38-cm rows and the development of a second-generation of glyphosate-resistant cotton cultivars that allows glyphosate applications beyond the 4-leaf stage have sparked interest in 38-cm row cotton production. However, information on 38-cm row cotton production in the lower Mississippi River Valley alluvial flood plain is limited. Field studies were conducted during 2006 and 2007 to assess cotton canopy closure and lint yield in 38-cm rows and 25-cm paired rows each with five plant populations compared to conventional 102-cm rows at one plant population with and without irrigation. In non-irrigated cotton, canopy closed 1 to 4 wk earlier in 38-cm rows and 25-cm paired rows compared to 102-cm rows. Plant population at harvest ranged from 106,000 to 215,000 plants ha-1 in 38-cm rows and 99,000 to 217,000 plants ha-1 in 25-cm paired rows compared to 126,000 plants ha-1 in 102-cm rows. Under non-irrigated production, there were no differences in lint percentage, regardless of row pattern and plant population. Lint yields ranged from 1049 to 1304 kg ha-1 in 38-cm rows and 962 to 1110 kg ha-1 in 25-cm paired rows compared to 990 kg ha-1 in 102-cm rows. Overall, cotton planted in narrow rows had more open bolls than 102-cm rows. In irrigated cotton, canopy closure was similar to non-irrigated cotton. Lint percentage was similar between 25-cm paired row and 102-cm row, but higher than 38-cm row cotton. Under irrigated production, lint yields ranged from 1580 to 1864 kg ha-1 in 38-cm row and 1448 to 1519 kg ha-1 in 25-cm paired rows compared to 1413 kg ha-1 in 102-cm rows. These results demonstrated that cotton grown in 38-cm rows can close canopy early and produce lint yields higher than cotton grown in 102-cm rows at comparable plant populations, regardless of irrigation.