• Evaluation of Plant Population Effects on Lint Yield and Fiber Quality

      Norton, E. J.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; La Paz and Mohave Counties (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
      The cotton (Gossypium spp.) plant is a true perennial with perhaps the most complex structure of all the major field crops. Plants can compensate to a large degree for environmental as well as physical conditions. Much research has been conducted to arrive at plant population recommendations that optimize the yield and quality of the crop. Research conducted in the low desert regions of Arizona suggest that optimum plant density lies somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 plants per acre. However, cotton crops with plant densities outside of this optimal range still have the ability to yield similarly and maintain premium quality. Accordingly, a research project was conducted comparing four separate plant densities. Objectives included determining effects on yield and fiber quality. The study was laid out in a randomized complete block design with target plant populations of approximately 30K, 50K, 70K, and 90K plants per acre as the treatments. All other inputs were equal across treatments. Throughout the course of the season, plant measurements showed no distinct differences among the treatments. Height-to-Node ratios (an indicator of vegetative tendencies) remained above normal throughout the season for all populations. Fruit retention levels remained optimal throughout the season. Lint yield results revealed that treatment four (90K plants per acre) yielded significantly less that the other three treatments. No significant differences in fiber quality were observed among treatments.