• Conservation Tillage Effects on Infiltration and Irrigation Advance Times in Arizona Cotton

      Martin, E. C.; Adu-Tutu, K. O.; McCloskey, W. B.; Husman, S. H.; Clay, P.; Ottman, M.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2004-05)
      Field experiments were initiated in 2001 for a cotton-based conservation tillage project at sites in Marana, Coolidge, and Goodyear, Arizona. For the 2002 season, soil and water management assessments were made to evaluate surface irrigation performance under conservation tillage, following cover and grain crops. An additional site was added in the winter of 2002 at Maricopa, Arizona. Analyses included soil texture, infiltration rate, and water advancement. At Coolidge, conservation tillage plots had higher infiltration rates and longer advance times than the conventional plots in 2002 and 2003. At Marana, infiltration rates were initially higher for the Conservation plots but the rates converged at the end of four hours in 2002. In 2003, Conventional plots infiltrated about one inch more. Advance times for Marana showed water infiltration for Conventional wheel rows to be the fastest. At Goodyear, Conservation plots infiltrated more than Conventional plots during 2002. This also resulted in a slower advance time for the Conservation plots. In 2003, treatment effects were not comparable due to tillage by the grower. At Maricopa, Conservation plots infiltrated almost 2.2 inches more water than Conventional plots and water reached the end of the field three hours ahead of the fastest Conservation plot. Seasonal irrigation water applications to each treatment were relatively equal for all sites with the exception of Coolidge. Here, the long field combined with sandy soil made it difficult to adequately irrigate the Conservation plots. In 2002, an additional 21 inches of water was applied to the Conservation plots. In 2003, that amount was reduced to 12.5 inches. The yield data show a significant difference in 2002 only at Coolidge. There, Conservation plots yielded more than the Conventional ones. This may have been due to more water applied to the Conservation plots. In 2003, the opposite occurred with the Conventional plots yielding more than the Conservation plots. This could have been due to herbicide damage. At Maricopa, the Conventional plot also yielded more than the Conservation plot. Initial indications are that the conservation tillage does impact irrigation performance and may not be suitable for all locations depending on soil type and field layout.
    • Effects of Megafol and Calcium Metalosate® Applications at Early Bloom on April 2003 Planted DPL555BR Cotton

      Rethwisch, Michael D.; Reay, Mark; Cox, Tim; Grudovich, Jessica; Wellman, Jessica; Hawpe, Erica; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2004-05)
      Foliar fertilizers are not widely used for cotton production in the low desert, and data about their effects on cotton production under these conditions is therefore limited. This study documented the effects of Calcium Metalosate7 and Megafol, each applied at the rate of 1 qt/acre to DPL555BR cotton. Treatments were applied on July 7, and plants had been growing vigorously just prior to application. Plots were approximately 0.75 acres in size with four replications. Plant mapping data from late July indicated that non-treated cotton had numerically higher retention rates at each of the first three fruiting positions mapped in addition to slightly more total nodes and a greater number of reproductive nodes in part due to first fruiting structure being retained lower on the plant (node 6.75) than treated cotton (node 7.95 for Megafol, node 8.4 for Calcium Metalosate7). Tractor passage through treated plots may have also knocked off developing squares however. No statistical differences were noted for lbs. of lint/acre, although treated cotton did have slightly higher yields than the untreated check (1,162 lbs/acre) and treatments were almost identical (1,203 lbs./acre for Megafol; 1,198 lbs./acre for Calcium Metalosate7). Fiber lengths and strengths were significantly different by treatment, with shortest and weakest fibers resulting from cotton treated with Megafol. Cotton from Calcium Metalosate7 treatments were significantly longer and stronger than lint from Megafol treated cotton plots, but lint from untreated cotton plots was significantly longer and stronger than either treatment (36.6 staple, 31.0 g/tex). The reasons for these differences are unclear. It is difficult to correlate the slight yield increases noted with treatments in early July, especially in light of lower retention rates noted with treatments from plant mapping data in late July and the large amount of lint production that occurred in late 2003 due to summer heat. Multiple differences were noted for treatments in regards to lint quality, however, indicating treatments did affect cotton production. Size of bolls and cotton lint from these early summer bolls was not obtained but may have been an overlooked aspect of this study.
    • Late Season Crop Management Effect on Fiber Micronaire

      Silvertooth, J. C.; Galadima, A.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2004-05)
      A field experiment was conducted during the 2002 and 2003 growing seasons to evaluate a central Arizona grower’s method of addressing high cotton fiber micronaire based on the management and timing of agronomic inputs. In-season management and irrigation termination combined with defoliation methods has led to consistent production of premium fiber micronaire in recent years. Steps to accomplish crop defoliation and the subsequent mixing of seed cotton from the top (younger) and lower (older) bolls achieved at harvest are intended to keep the micronaire at premium levels and further prevent discounts on the crop. A companion study was conducted in 2002 at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC-1,175 ft. elevation) in an effort to duplicate the grower’s late season crop management operations. This study consisted of two treatments, a control (conventional) which received an application of 10 oz. Ginstar combined with 1/2 pt. surfactant in 20 gal./acre carrier and a treatment which received the conventional treatment in addition to a predefoliation of Accelerate and a post-defoliation of Gramoxone, consistent with the grower’s methods. At the grower’s location, data was collected during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. In 2002 and 2003, plant growth and development measurements taken in-season revealed that height to node ratio (HNR) and fruit retention (FR) levels tracked well and were similar for both sites and years (grower’s fields and MAC study). Lint yield estimates indicated no difference between conventional defoliation and the treatment receiving additional compounds at MAC in 2002. Average yield estimates were high for the cooperator-grower fields in both the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Results of the analysis performed on final micronaire data indicated no significant difference in micronaire values between the two methods of defoliation and late season management at MAC. In addition, fiber micronaire values exceeded the premium level (>5.0) for both treatments at MAC. In contrast, the data of 2002 and 2003 obtained from the cooperator-grower gin records revealed consistent results for average fiber micronaire for all of the fields monitored in this project which were at premium levels (<5.0).
    • Planting Date by Variety Evaluation in Graham County

      Norton, E. R.; Clark, L. J.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2004-05)
      A single field study was established to evaluate the effects of planting date (PD) on the yield and fiber quality characteristics of several cotton varieties commonly grown in the Upper Gila River Valley of Safford. Eight varieties selected for evaluation in 2003 ranged from medium to medium-full varieties. These varieties included two Delta and Pine varieties (DP555BR and DP655BR), two Fiber Max varieties (FM989BR and FM991BR), two Stoneville varieties (ST5303R and ST5599BR), one CPCSD variety (Riata), and one variety from the Arizona Cotton Growers Association breeding program (AG3601). These eight varieties were planted on three separate planting dates (1 April, 23 April, and 12 May; 341, 525, and 779 heat units accumulated after January 1, respectively) in a split-plot within a randomized complete block design with four replications. Overall analysis of variance revealed significant differences due to main effects (PD; OSL=0.00043), sub effects (variety; OSL=0.0029), and interaction effects (PD*variety; OSL=0.0266). Extremely cool conditions surrounding the first PD resulted in significantly lower yields that the other two planting dates. Yields for PD 1 ranged from 506 lbs. lint/acre to about 850 lbs. lint/acre with DP555BR producing the highest and CPCSD Riata producing the lowest yield. Conditions surrounding the second PD were much improved over PD 1. However, soil temperatures still hovered near to and below the optimum temperature of 65oF. Yields were dramatically higher in PD 2 when compared to PD 1, ranging from a low of 847 lbs. lint/acre (AG3601) to 1139 lbs. lint/acre (FM991BR). PD 3 resulted in the best conditions for seedling emergence and stand establishment and produced the highest yield. Yields ranged from a low of 945 lbs. lint/acre (CPCSD Riata) to 1465 lbs. lint/acre (FM991BR). Fiber quality data demonstrated a couple of interesting trends. Micronaire tended to increase with later plantings for most varieties while fiber length had an inverse relationship with PD. Micronaire levels tended to be high enough to be discounted for every variety in at least one and usually two PDs, except for Riata. Riata had the lowest micronaire, and the longest and strongest fiber grades. These results are consistent with other evaluations of the high fiber quality associated with many of the California Acala varieties. However, relatively lower yields for this variety currently make it an unsuitable variety for this region despite the high fiber quality. Results from this evaluation demonstrate the importance of monitoring soil temperature and keeping a close eye on local weather forecasts when making planting date decisions regardless of the calendar date.