• Plant Health

Keep Close Tabs on Cotton Management

Close up of cotton plant

Cotton growers know that even under ideal conditions, cotton requires intense monitoring and management throughout the season. Here are some tips to help guide in-season decisions.

Control insects

Cotton seed treatments typically last 21 to 28 days in a given growing season. Cotton bollworm flights have been a big problem in the past few years and increased resistance within the bollworm population has made scouting more critical. Keeping worm feeding to a minimum will help you optimize yield and control the earliness of your cotton plants so that plants mature prior to a freeze.


Constrain plant growth

Your agronomist can help you determine how much plant growth regulator (PGR) you need to limit the growth of your cotton plants and manage for high fruit set and retention. Starting with smaller dosage amounts earlier in the season allows for better plant growth control compared to higher dosages later in the season. Some farmers are using satellite imagery to guide variable-rate PGR applications to help remedy inconsistent stands. Satellite imagery from the R7® Tool can help in this regard, so ask your agronomist to demonstrate this capability for you.


Ensure proper nutrition in cotton crops

It’s critical that your plants have the nutrients they require to achieve your yield and quality goals. In addition to plants needing nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, cotton plants also require micronutrients to optimize boll set and development. MAX-IN® for Cotton NF micronutrients are an effective foliar-applied source of calcium, boron, manganese and zinc for optimal cotton fruit set and boll size. These micronutrients can be mixed easily with other plant nutrients and most crop protection products, and can be mixed with mepiquat chloride, mepiquat pentaborate and other PGRs.

Taking NutriSolutions® tissue, leaf and petiole samples will let you know if your cotton plants have adequate micronutrients or are coming up short. Plants need calcium as well as boron for anthesis and early bloom. During early anthesis it’s especially important to aggressively protect first- and second-position fruiting bodies. In addition to MAX-IN for Cotton NF, talk with your agronomist about whether MAX-IN Boron is a good choice for your fields. Both products help cotton flowering as well as boll set and development.


Manage your cotton crop week-to-week

Scout your cotton crop weekly over the entire season to monitor nutrition needs, PGR applications and insects. Cotton requires continual evaluation, and how you manage individual fields will differ because each has its own distinct soil type and management strategy.


Changes coming for cotton seed

Beginning this fall, WinField United will move its proprietary cotton seed from CROPLAN® to the Armor® seed portfolio in time for the 2021 growing season. Armor Seed, based in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is a brand known as a strong advocate for farmers in the Southern United States.


Talk with your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer about this new seed purchasing opportunity and about how to manage your cotton crop to harvest the fiber length and strength, and the profit potential, you desire.


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and was last updated in July 2020.


All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results.
© 2020 WinField United. Armor®, CROPLAN®, MAX-IN®, NutriSolutions®, R7® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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