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AbstractA 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).