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Applied Research

Brian Hayes
County Extension Coordinator
University of Georgia


Cotton is Georgia’s largest row crop with an average of 1.3 million acres being planted annually, and accounting for nearly $800 million in FarmGate Value. Most cotton is planted in the month of May in Georgia which allows cotton to fully mature prior to first frost. As growers increase acres or double crop cotton this planting window is being pushed later into the growing season. Delayed planting reduces the likelihood of the crop reaching full maturity.   Cotton bolls require 850 DD60s to fully mature from a white bloom.  Growers typically use a date between September 5 to 15 as the last effective bloom date depending on location.  The objective of this study was to determine the last effective bloom date in five cotton producing counties.

This year County Agent’s from across the cotton belt in Georgia selected late planting, June 1st or later, commercial cotton fields and once a week starting the first week of September and continuing into the first week of October for a total five weeks tagged white blooms. On the day the Agent tagged the blooms the selected a single row and tagged twenty-five white first position blooms for that week. One week later they moved over one row and did the same for the duration of the five weeks. Once the cotton was defoliated and ready to harvest. The Agent came back and hand harvested all tagged open bolls while noting if the tags positions where harvestable, missing, or unharvest able.   

Harvestable bolls from blooms tagged during the three weeks of September were not significantly different.  Percent harvestable bolls ranged from 49 to 72 percent which is acceptable retention rates.  Blooms tagged during the fourth and fifth week of bloom were the lowest and ranged from 13 to 29 percent.

In conclusion, the environmental conditions experienced during 2020 allowed blooms to mature through the third week of September.  2020 appeared to be a normal year and one year of data supports the hypothesis that positions which bloom between September 5 and 15 are likely to mature. 


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: B. Hayes, J. Register, S. Hollifield, J. Miller, P. Roberts
  1. Hayes, B. County Extension Coordinator, University of Georgia, Georgia, 31730
  2. Register, J. County Extension Coordinator, UGA Extension,
  3. Hollifield, S. Program Development Coordinator, UGA Extension,
  4. Miller, J. County Extension Agent, UGA Extension,
  5. Roberts, P. Extension Entomologist, UGA Extension,