Evaluation of Irrigation Termination Effects on Fiber Micronaire and Yield of Upland Cotton, 2001-2002
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AbstractArizona has experienced a trend toward increasing fiber micronaire values in recent years resulting in substantial discounts on fiber value. There is some evidence to suggest that irrigation termination management can impact fiber micronaire. Field studies were conducted in 2000 and 2001 at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center (MAC; 1,175 ft. elevation) and the Yuma Valley Agricultural Center (YVAC; 150 ft. elevation) to evaluate the effects of three dates of irrigation termination on the yield of several Upland cotton varieties. Three dates of irrigation termination (IT1, IT2, and IT3) were imposed based upon crop development. The earliest irrigation termination date, IT1 was made slightly ahead of an optimum date to provide sufficient soil-water such that bolls set at the end of the first fruiting cycle would not be water stressed and could be fully matured. Thus, the IT1 date was imposed to try to reduce overall micronaire. The second termination (IT2) date provided one additional irrigation over an optimal point for the first cycle fruit set and two irrigations beyond IT1. The final (IT3) date (later September) was staged so that soil moisture would be sufficient for the development of a full top-crop potential. Lint yield and micronaire results have consistently revealed significant differences among the IT treatments. The micronaire values were consistently less than 5.0 for the IT1 treatments. Micronaire and lint yield values increased with later IT dates.