Effect of Plant Nitrogen Status on Defoliation of Short-Season Upland Cotton
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AbstractField studies have been conducted over a four year period at the Maricopa Agricultural Center to determine the influence of nitrogen (N) fertility level on the effectiveness of chemical defoliants for short- season cotton production. Excessive N resulted in dense foliage and cotton that was difficult to defoliate. When plants were deficient in N from mid-season to termination, defoliants were very effective, but lint yields were reduced. The effectiveness of defoliants decreased as the petiole NO₃-N content increased. The optimum fertility program for short-season cotton is one that provides sufficient N during the season to produce maximum lint yields, but allows the crop to become deficient in N at the end of the season, prior to chemical defoliation.