Effect of Plant Water Status on Defoliation and Yield of Upland Cotton for Short-Season Production
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AbstractA field study was conducted at the Maricopa Agricultural Center to determine the influence of plant water status at the time of defoliation on the effectiveness of defoliants and yield of short-season cotton. Irrigation termination dates of 14 and 26 August and 10 September were used to achieve different levels of plant water stress at the time defoliants were applied (19 September). Irrigation termination dates had no effect on seedcotton yield for cotton defoliated in September. As the period between the termination irrigation and the date of chemical defoliation was increased the effectiveness of defoliants was increased. CWSI and plant water potential measurements indicated that the irrigation termination dates resulted in large differences in plant water stress at defoliation time. There was a significant increase in the defoliation percentage as CWSI values increased (from 0.32 to 0.96) and water potential decreased (from -1.5 to -3.5 MPa). Short- season cotton (163 days) produced 4,396 lbs. seedcotton /A as compared to 5,299 lbs./A for a full-season crop (212 days).