Impact of Temperature and Relative Humidity on Defoliation of Pima S-7 and Deltapine 5415 Cotton Treated with Dropp (Thidiazuron)
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AbstractChemical defoliation of cotton is a cultural practice that induces abscission of cotton foliage earlier than normal leaf shedding. Early cotton defoliation is an integral part of short- season cotton production because it facilitates the mechanical harvesting of cotton and helps reduce insect population in late summer. Effectiveness of the chemical defoliants depends upon the environmental conditions at the time of application. Research was conducted to access the impact of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and water stress at time of defoliation on effectiveness of thidiazuron (Dropp) a chemical defoliant to defoliate cotton grown under field and growth chamber conditions. Humidity was increased by spraying a fine mist over the cotton canopy. Plant moisture stress was achieved by terminating irrigation of cotton at selected times before defoliation. In growth chambers, the greatest defoliation of Pima S -7 and Deltapines 5415 cotton treated with Dropp occurred at day /night temperatures of 32C/18C with 80% RH whereas, lowest defoliation occurred at day /night temperatures of 40C /19C and 22C/9C with 80% RH. In the field, irrigation termination dates of Sept 4, Sept 18, and Oct 2, 1992 were evaluated for their effect on defoliation of Pima S -7 cotton defoliation on Oct 16, 1992 with Dropp. The Sept 4 irrigation termination date resulted in higher percent defoliation than Oct 2 irrigation termination date 14 days after Dropp was applied.