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LOGO: Journal of Cotton Science


Soil Potassium Effects on Cotton Lint Yield and Fiber Quality on the Texas High Plains

Authors: Amee R. Bumguardner, Katie L. Lewis, Seth A. Byrd, Glen L. Ritchie, Gaylon D. Morgan
Pages: 12-27
Agronomy and Soils

When comparing soil potassium (K) levels common in West Texas to the current Mehlich III-K critical levels for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), fertilizer K applications are seldom recommended. However, when soil K is applied, positive responses in cotton yield have been reported. Studies were conducted in Lamesa and New Deal, TX to: 1) determine K effects on leaf K concentrations; 2) evaluate whether K application increases crop growth, yield, and fiber quality in sufficient K soils; and 3) evaluate whether K application under water deficit conditions also increases growth, yield, and fiber quality. In Lamesa, muriate of potash (KCl) was applied using two methods, knife-injected (0-0-15) and broadcast (0-0-60); and at New Deal, KCl was applied using knife injection. Potassium application rates included 0, 45, 90, 135, and 180 kg ha-1 with both high (90% ET) and low (30% ET) irrigation levels. At Lamesa in 2016 at 90% ET irrigation, lint yield was greater when 90 kg K ha-1 was broadcast (2,153 kg ha-1 lint) compared to the 180 kg K ha-1 treatment, and all K treatments with 30% ET irrigation. There were no lint yield differences in 2017 at Lamesa. At New Deal, lint yield was similar amongst all K application rates in both years. Although K application increased yield with the 90% ET irrigation level with broadcast application, no differences were observed in water-deficit cotton suggesting further research is needed to better understand the dynamics of K on lint yield in semiarid cotton production systems.