Evaluation of Irrigation Termination Effects on Fiber Micronaire and Yield of Upland Cotton, 2000-2002
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AbstractArizona has experienced a trend of increasing fiber micronaire values in recent years resulting in substantial discounts on fiber value. There is some evidence to suggest that irrigation termination (IT) management can influence fiber micronaire. Field studies were conducted in 2000, 2001, and 2002 at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center (1,175ft. elevation) and in 2001 and 2002 at the Yuma Valley Agricultural Center (YVAC; 150 ft. elevation) to evaluate the effects of three dates of irrigation termination on the yield and fiber micronaire of several Upland cotton varieties. Three dates of irrigation termination (IT1, IT2, and IT3) were imposed based upon crop development into cutout. 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 received one additional irrigation over an optimal point for the completion of the first cycle fruit set and two irrigations beyond IT1. The final (IT3) date (late September) was imposed so that soil moisture would be sufficient for the development of bolls set up through the last week of September, thus providing full top-crop potential. In general, lint yield and micronaire results revealed significant differences among the IT treatments. Micronaire and lint yield values consistently increased with later IT dates.