ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The Cotton Report is one of several commodity-based agricultural research reports published by the University of Arizona.

This report, along with the Forage and Grain Report, was established by Hank Brubaker, Extension Agronomist, after seeing a similar report published by Texas A&M University in the mid-1970’s.

The purpose of the report is to provide an annual research update to farmers, researchers, and those in the agricultural industry. The research is conducted by University of Arizona and USDA-ARS scientists.

Both historical and current Cotton Reports have been made available in the UA Campus Repository as part of a collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the University Libraries.

Other commodity-based agricultural research reports available in the UA Campus Repository include:
Citrus Reports | Forage & Grain Reports | Sugarbeet Reports | Turfgrass Reports | Vegetable Reports


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Contents for Cotton Report 2005

Crop Management and Physiology Physiology and Growth Regulators Variety Testing Soil Fertility and Soil Management Insect Investigations Weed Control

Recent Submissions

  • Weed Management and Agronomic Performance of a Cotton-Barely Double Crop Rotation

    Adu-Tutu, K. O.; McCloskey, W. B.; Husman, S. H.; Clay, P.; Ottman, M. J.; Martin, E. C.; Teegerstrom, T.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    The tillage operations required to grow an annual barley and cotton crop rotation were reduced by eliminating tillage prior to planting cotton, eliminating cultivations for weed control in cotton, and especially by eliminating tillage following cotton. A light activated, weed sensing automatic spot-spray system reduced the amount of spray volume and herbicide used by 40% to 60% at Marana and 36% to 56% at Maricopa in 2004. At Maricopa, a large number of volunteer cotton plants in the furrows of early planted no-till cotton reduced the spray volume savings from using the weed sensing automatic spot-spray system. Weed control was similar with the weed sensing, automatic spot-spray system compared to the conventional continuous spray system for most weed species but weeds with narrow leaf, upright leaf canopies such as sprangletop, barley and skeleton weed were more difficult to detect and control. In both Marana and Maricopa, there were yield differences between treatments related to planting date, with late-planted cotton yielding less than early-planted cotton. At Marana, the early-planted conventional tillage cotton out-yielded the barley cover crop, early-planted no-till cotton treatment. At Maricopa, there were no yield differences between the two early planted cotton treatments; however, the late-planted conventionally tilled cotton yielded 28% more than the late-planted no-till cotton. Although the yield comparisons are not yet definitive, it appears that in some situations no-till cotton may yield less than conventionally tilled cotton. At Maricopa, the height of cereal crop stubble did not affect subsequent cotton establishment, field populations, plant height or lint production (2003 and 2004) and the position or node of the first fruiting branch and the first retained boll were similarly unaffected in 2004.
  • Transitioning Lygus Chemical Controls to More Selective Options for Arizona Cotton

    Ellsworth, Peter C.; Barkley, Virginia; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; Department of Entomology & Arizona Pest Management Center, Maricopa Agricultural Center (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Lygus hesperus (Knight) has been the number one pest of Arizona cotton since 1998. With advances in the selective management of Arizona cotton’s other two key pests (i.e., Bemisia tabaci and Pectinophora gossypiella), there has been less opportunity for collateral control of this yield-limiting pest. There has also been a new premium placed on locating less disruptive, even selective, control methods that are compatible with existing selective technologies. Our laboratory routinely screens candidate compounds for efficacy against Lygus hesperus under desert conditions. Promising leads are further developed and evaluated in the field for efficacy, spectrum of activity and safety for beneficial arthropods. Our recent findings have identified three compounds with potential for delivering economic control of Lygus hesperus with greater safety for beneficial arthropods than current standards of control. At the same time, our work has importantly identified many compounds that are ineffective against our Lygus, despite reported success against a related species, the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (e.g., acetamiprid, imidacloprid, indoxacarb, pyrethroids, thiamethoxam). Flonicamid, a pyridine carboxamide, is under development by FMC in the U.S. This aphicide has shown excellent results in controlling our Lygus in cotton. Novaluron, a chitin inhibitor under development by Uniroyal (as Diamond®) in the U.S., has rate sensitive activity against Lygus in cotton. Metaflumizone (BAS320I), under development by BASF in the U.S., is a semi-carbazone chemistry with significant efficacy against Lygus hesperus. These three or potentially other new leads in insecticide discovery may play an important role in transitioning Arizona cotton growers away from neuro-toxic, broad-spectrum, and disruptive organophosphates and carbamates currently used to control Lygus in cotton. The potential benefits to natural enemy conservation should help stabilize insect pest management in Arizona cotton, thus minimizing the chances of secondary pest outbreaks and costly pest resurgences. Until selective alternatives are found and registered, acephate (e.g., Orthene 97 by Valent USA) and oxamyl (Vydate C-LV by DuPont) remain our standard recommendations for Lygus control in Arizona cotton.
  • Residual Soil Nitrogen Evaluations in Irrigated Desert Soils, 2004

    Silvertooth, J. C.; Galadima, A.; Norton, E. R.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Field experiments aimed at investigating N fertilizer management in irrigated cotton production have been conducted for the past 16 seasons at three Arizona locations on University of Arizona Agricultural Centers (Maricopa, MAC; Marana, MAR; and Safford, SAC). In 2004, residual N studies were conducted at two of these locations (MAC and MAR). The MAC and SAC experiments have been conducted each season since 1989 and the Marana site was initiated in 1994. The original purposes of the experiments were to test nitrogen (N) fertilization strategies and to validate and refine N fertilization recommendations for Upland (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and American Pima (G. barbadense L.) cotton. The experiments have each utilized N management tools such as pre-season soil tests for NO₃⁻-N, in-season plant tissue testing (petioles) for N fertility status, and crop monitoring to ascertain crop fruiting patterns and crop N needs. At each location, treatments varied from a conservative to a more aggressive approach of N management. Results at each location reveal a strong relationship between the crop fruit retention levels and N needs for the crop. This pattern was further reflected in final yield analysis as a response to the N fertilization regimes used. The higher, more aggressive N application regimes did not consistently increase yields at any location. Generally, the more conservative, feedback approach to N management provided optimum yields at all locations. In 2001, a transition project evaluating the residual N effects associated with each treatment regime was initiated and no fertilizer N was applied. Therefore, all N taken-up by the crop was derived from residual soil N. In 2001, 2002, 2003 and even 2004 there were no significant differences among the original fertilizer N regimes in terms of residual soil NO₃⁻-N concentrations, crop growth, development, lint yield, or fiber properties. The lint yields were very uniform at each location in 1991 and averaged 1500, 1100, and 850 lbs. lint/acre for MAC, MAR, and SAC, respectively. In 2002, results were very similar and yields averaged at 1473 and 1060 lbs. lint/acre for MAC and MAR locations respectively. The 2003 results were not different from the prior two years of results and yields averaged at 1322 and 1237 lbs. lint/acre for MAC and MAR respectively. In 2004, yields averaged 828 and 1075 lbs. lint/acre. Trends associated with residual fertilizer N effects are not evident at either location four seasons following N fertilizer applications.
  • Evaluation of Variable Rate Fertilizer Applications in an Arizona Cotton Production System

    Norton, E. R.; Clark, L. J.; Borrego, H.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A project was initiated in the 2004 cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) growing season in an effort to accomplish two major objectives. The first was to continue with phosphorus (P) fertilization evaluations that have taken place in the Upper Gila River Valley for the past four seasons by continuing to document the effects of P fertilization on crop yield and fiber quality. The second objective was to investigate the feasibility of utilizing a Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology for making variable rate (VR) applications of P fertilizers based upon yield data from the previous cropping season. Yield maps from a cotton picker mounted yield monitoring system were collected from the 2003 growing season and used to develop prescription applications of P fertilizers in the 2004 season. The project was established with four treatments including a control (Treatment 1 - 0 P fertilizer applied); a VR application treatment (Treatment 2 - received 52 lbs P/acre on average); a high Uniform Rate (UR) application (Treatment 3 - 75 lbs P/acre); and a low UR application (Treatment 4 - 45 lbs P/acre). These treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The size of each experimental unit was 0.7 acres. Lint yield results indicated a positive response to applied P fertilizers with treatments 2, 3, and 4 producing significantly higher yields than the control. Lint yield was not significantly affected by fertilizer application technique. Yield differences among the treatments receiving P fertilizer were minimal, particularly among treatments 2 and 3. However, it is important to note that the amount of P fertilizer used in treatment 2 was reduced by 27% with the use of the VR application technique. This produces an approximate $7/acre savings to the grower. This project will be continued in the 2005 growing season and will be expanded to investigate VR application technology in nitrogen (N) fertilization also.
  • Arizona Upland Cotton Variety Testing Program, 2004

    Husman, S.; Norton, R.; Norton, E.; Clay, P.; Zerkoune, M.; White, K.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Each year the University of Arizona conducts variety trials across the state to evaluate the performance of upland cotton varieties. These tests provide unbiased data on the performance of varieties when tested side-by-side under typical production practices. In 2004 we planted a total of 11 trials, two in the Yuma region (Yuma County), two in the western region (LaPaz and Mohave counties), four in the central region (Maricopa and Pinal counties), one in the southern region (Pima county), and two in the eastern region (Graham and Cochise counties). We tested seven to eight commercially available varieties at each test site.
  • Upland Variety Testing Evaluation in Southeastern Arizona

    Norton, E. R.; Clark, L. J.; Borrego, H.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Two separate variety evaluations were conducted in southeastern Arizona during the 2004 cotton growing season. The two locations were on grower-cooperator fields in the Upper Gila River Valley located in Thatcher, AZ (Graham County) and in the Sulfur Springs Valley in Kansas Settlement, AZ (Cochise County). Twelve varieties were selected for the Graham County evaluation and fifteen in the Cochise County evaluation. These varieties included several transgenic varieties and ranged in maturity from early to full-season varieties. Several Acala varieties were also evaluated in both the Graham and Cochise County tests. Both evaluations were conducted using a randomized complete block design with each variety replicated four times. Plant measurements were collected in season on several dates from the Graham County evaluation. End of season plant measurements were collected from the Cochise County evaluation. Lint yield was estimated at each location by harvesting the entire plot and weighing the harvested seed cotton with a weigh wagon equipped with load cells. Sub samples were collected from each plot for fiber quality and percent lint determinations. Total crop value for each variety was calculated by using the fiber quality premium/discount and using a $0.52 per pound price. The total price is then multiplied by total lint yield to obtain the total value for that particular variety. Results observed in the Graham County evaluation were similar to those in 2003. Lint yield ranged from 1200 to over 1600 lbs. lint/acre. The FiberMax variety FM991BR produced the highest lint yield and also the highest total crop value at over $950/acre. Results from the Cochise County evaluation demonstrated the potential that high fiber quality can have on total crop value. Lint yields ranged from 600 to over 1200 lbs. lint/acre. The highest yielding variety (ST5242BR) did not produce the highest crop value. Because of the higher fiber quality of the Acala varieties, they produced the highest value at approximately $630/acre.
  • 2004 Arizona Cotton Growers Breeding Program Preliminary Strains Testing Program

    Husman, S.; White, K.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    An Upland Cotton Breeding Program was initiated in 2001 by the Arizona Cotton Growers Association (ACGA). Major objectives of the breeding program are to develop varieties that produce a superior fiber quality package, high yields, and under a wide range of environmental conditions. In 2004, the seed committee of the ACGA decided to begin an independent testing program in order to quantify the performance of chosen lines developed to date that were meeting the program’s goals. Forty one lines were chosen and evaluated in replicated small plots at two locations including Yuma and Maricopa, AZ. The final data was sorted according to lines that at both locations had a fiber micronaire of 4.9 or less, staple length of 37 or greater, strength of 30 g/tx or greater, a uniformity index of 80 or greater, and yielded in the top 25% of all tested materials. One line was identified according to this criteria, 0122-2033-304.
  • 2004 Low Desert Upland Cotton Advanced Strains Testing Program

    Husman, S.; White, K.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Upland cotton advanced strains and commercial check varieties were evaluated in replicated field studies at three locations in 2004. The test sites include the AZ locations of Safford, Maricopa, and Yuma. Eight seed companies submitted a maximum of ten advanced strain entries per location. Three commercial check varieties were used at all three sites, and included ST5599BR, DP449BR, and DP448B. Data collected included final plant heights, yield, and fiber quality. The research is conducted in order to develop public unbiased performance data of genetic materials that have moved to the advanced stages of testing and are being considered for commercial release. The data have historically been used to add to seed company databases and assist with commercial release decisions.
  • Scheduling Techniques for the Use of Pentia Plant Growth Regulator

    Norton, E. R.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A single field study was conducted at the University of Arizona Safford Agricultural Center during the 2004 season to evaluate the utilization of a feedback technique that is based upon plant growth and development to schedule applications of the new plant growth regulator (PGR) from BASF, Pentia. A simple three treatment study was constructed consisting of a control treatment (no Pentia application), a scheduled treatment (application of 16 oz/acre at first bloom regardless of plant growth), and a feedback treatment (applications based upon plant growth and development). Application decisions on the feedback treatment were made using height to node ratios (HNR) as a measure of plant vigor. Treatment applications were made on the scheduled regime on 14 July with a one time 16 oz/acre application. The feedback regime received an application (16 oz/acre) of Pentia five days later on 19 July. An additional application (16 oz/acre) was made on the feedback treatment on 3 August due to continued high HNR levels. Significant differences in plant vigor were observed post application among the three treatments as measured by end of season HNR ratios. Yield results indicated positive lint yield response to Pentia application with both the scheduled and feedback treatment producing statistically higher yields than the control. Differences between the feedback and scheduled treatments were not statistically different however a slight yield increase was observed in the scheduled treatment. The second Pentia application made to the feedback treatment was not necessary. End of season HNR measurements indicate that the additional 16 oz/acre application suppressed growth to below the average baseline for HNR. These results indicate that potential positive response to PGR applications, specifically Pentia, under conditions of high vigor.
  • Effects of Synergistic Additives to Standard Defoliation Materials in Both Upland and Pima Cotton

    Norton, E. R.; Borrego, H.; Coleman, R.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Two separate defoliation experiments were conducted during the 2004 growing season in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of commercially available harvest preparation materials alone at full label rates and to also evaluate these materials at reduced rates with the addition of various synergistic chemicals designed to enhance the effectiveness of commercially available harvest prep materials. The studies were conducted at the University of Arizona Safford Agricultural Center on both Upland (cultivar DP555BR) and Pima (cultivar DP340) cotton. Plots were planted on 20 April and 27 April for the Upland and Pima, respectively. Plots were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications and treatments included Ginstar at recommended rates and Ginstar at reduced rates with the addition of three chemical enhancement materials (A, B, and C). Sodium chlorate was also included at a full rate and at reduced rates with the three enhancement materials. A control, not receiving any harvest prep material was also included for a total of eleven treatments. Treatments were imposed on 15 October and evaluations were made on 27 October and 4 November. Estimations on percent leaf drop, regrowth control, and open boll were made. Lint yield was estimated by harvesting the center two rows of each plot and sub-samples were collected for fiber quality analysis. Results indicated that the most effective treatment for both Upland and Pima trials was Ginstar at the full rate. Reduced rates of Ginstar in combination with the enhancement chemicals of B and C also provided good defoliation results. The chemicals that were designed to enhance the efficacy of the commercial harvest prep materials appeared to have an antagonistic affect with the sodium chlorate. Defoliation effectiveness decreased with the addition of chemicals A, B, and C to sodium chlorate. No statistical differences were detected among lint yield or any of the fiber quality parameters in any of the treatments of both the Upland and Pima trials.
  • Evaluation of Two Plant Growth Regulators from LT Biosysn

    Norton, E. R.; Clark, L. J.; Borrego, H.; Ellsworth, Bryan; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A single field study was conducted during the 2004 cotton growing season at the University of Arizona Safford Agricultural Center to evaluate the effect of two plant growth regulators (PGRs) manufactured by LT Biosyn Inc. on the growth, development, yield, and fiber quality of cotton grown in the southeastern region of the state. This test was designed as a follow up study to work that was performed in 2003 on a grower cooperator site that demonstrated positive lint yield responses to the use of one of the PGRs used in this project. This was an eight treatment test involving the application of two PGRs, HappyGroTM (HG) and MegaGroTM (MG). The two formulations are intended to have different effects on plant growth and development. The HG formulation is a kinetin based product designed to enhance cell division and differentiation. The MG formulation is designed to enhance root growth early in the season. Several treatment combinations were designed to investigate varying scenarios of application of these two products alone and in conjunction with each other. The test included a control and each treatment was replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. Plant measurements were collected throughout the season to look for differences in plant growth and development. Lint yield was estimated by harvesting the entire plot and weighing the seedcotton with a weigh wagon equipped with load cells. Sub samples were collected for fiber quality and percent lint determinations. Plant measurements revealed extremely high fruit retention levels throughout the entire season with end of season levels near 75%. This high fruit retention resulted in very low vigor. Under these conditions, while lint yield was extremely high for this region (1300-1600 lbs. lint per acre), no statistical differences were observed among treatments. Fiber quality measurements also revealed no significant differences.
  • Evaluation of Various Materials for Harvest Preparation and Defoliation in Southeastern Arizona

    Norton, E. R.; Borrego, H.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A single defoliation experiment was conducted during the 2004 growing season in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of commercially available harvest preparation materials in the higher elevation areas of southeastern Arizona. Many growers will not employ a defoliation regime but will let the crop naturally senesce with the cooler temperatures and frost. This evaluation compared a standard treatment of Ginstar with some additional tank mix ethephon based products from DuPont and BASF. These treatments were compared to the common Na chlorate treatment employed by many growers in this region of the state. Treatments included a base rate of 8 oz/acre Ginstar with three different rates of both CottonQuick and Prep. Treatments were applied on 15 October in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Data collected included observations of percent defoliation, percent regrowth control, and percent open boll on two separate dates after treatment (27 October and 4 November). Yield data was also collected at the end of the season by harvesting the center two rows of each plot. Sub samples were collected for fiber quality analysis. Results showed significant differences among treatments with respect to defoliation parameters measured. Treatments including Ginstar and higher rates of both CottonQuick and Prep performed well. The treatment consisting of Na chlorate alone was also effective. The Ginstar + CottonQuick treatment did appear to have a slight advantage in final percent open boll counts. No significant differences among treatments were detected with respect to yield and fiber quality. However, lint yield for the control treatment was lower than the other defoliation treatments. This would indicate that some type of defoliation regime does provide benefit in terms of increased yield.
  • On-Farm Evaluation of Mepiquat Formulations in Southeastern Arizona

    Norton, E. R.; Clark, L. J.; Borrego, H.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A single field trial was conducted during the 2004 season to evaluate three different mepiquat formulations used to control vegetative plant growth. This project involved the evaluation of mepiquat formulations of Mepex Ginout (DuPont), Pix Ultra and Pentia (BASF). These three treatments, along with a control, were arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Plots were 20, 36” wide rows and extended for a full one half mile irrigation run. Applications of all treatments were made on 22 July 2004 at a rate of 16 oz/acre for each formulation. Lint yields were determined at the end of the season by harvesting the center eight rows of each plot. The harvested seed cotton was weighed using a weigh wagon equipped with load cells. Sub samples were collected from each plot for fiber quality and lint percent determinations. No significant differences were observed among treatments with respect to any of the fiber quality parameters measured. The Mepex Ginout treatment produced the highest lint yield and also the highest percent lint. The control was not significantly different from the other two formulation treatments. Lint percent values had a major impact on lint yield. The control had the lowest seed cotton yield but because of the higher percent lint values, lint yield for the control was ultimately higher than both the Pentia and Pix Ultra treatments. This study demonstrates the positive effect of the PGR applications and also the effect that percent lint can have on final lint yield.
  • Twin Line Cotton Production in a Conservation Tillage System

    Husman, S.; Clay, P.; Taylor, E.; White, K.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Two experiments were conducted in 2004 evaluating twin line cotton production using a conservation tillage system approach. DPL 451 BR Upland cotton was planted into oat hay stubble on April 30 and May 5, 2004 at commercial cooperator sites at Tonopah and Tolleson AZ, respectively. The two primary experimental objectives were to determine whether cotton planted into previous crop residue initiated fruiting on the mainstem once the cotton seedling grew above the crop stubble and whether there were differences in lint yield between the single and twin line system. Previous twin line cotton production research had been conducted by authors at 30 locations from 2001-2003. In almost all cases, the harvest of low set bolls presented problems with the twin line system. In 2004, the initiation of the first fruiting branch was independent of the stubble height at both locations. In addition, there were no differences in lint yield in either a single or twin line cotton production system when planting into previous crop residue using conservation tillage.
  • Evaluation of Plant Population Effects on Lint Yield and Fiber Quality

    Norton, E. J.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; La Paz and Mohave Counties (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    The cotton (Gossypium spp.) plant is a true perennial with perhaps the most complex structure of all the major field crops. Plants can compensate to a large degree for environmental as well as physical conditions. Much research has been conducted to arrive at plant population recommendations that optimize the yield and quality of the crop. Research conducted in the low desert regions of Arizona suggest that optimum plant density lies somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 plants per acre. However, cotton crops with plant densities outside of this optimal range still have the ability to yield similarly and maintain premium quality. Accordingly, a research project was conducted comparing four separate plant densities. Objectives included determining effects on yield and fiber quality. The study was laid out in a randomized complete block design with target plant populations of approximately 30K, 50K, 70K, and 90K plants per acre as the treatments. All other inputs were equal across treatments. Throughout the course of the season, plant measurements showed no distinct differences among the treatments. Height-to-Node ratios (an indicator of vegetative tendencies) remained above normal throughout the season for all populations. Fruit retention levels remained optimal throughout the season. Lint yield results revealed that treatment four (90K plants per acre) yielded significantly less that the other three treatments. No significant differences in fiber quality were observed among treatments.
  • Evaluation of Irrigation Termination Effects on Yield and Fiber Quality of Upland Cotton, 2004

    Silvertooth, J. C.; Galadima, A.; Tronstad, R.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    A field experiment was conducted in 2004 at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center (1,175ft. elevation) to evaluate the effects of five irrigation termination (IT1, IT2, IT3, IT4, and IT5) dates on yield and fiber micronaire of several Upland cotton varieties. In addition, the economic relationships of IT treatments were also evaluated. The first IT treatment (IT1) was made with the intention of terminating irrigations somewhat pre-maturely. Based upon current UA recommendations for IT to complete a single cycle fruit set, the more optimal date of IT would have included one or two additional irrigations (beyond IT1). In this experiment, IT2 was structured to provide an additional (one) irrigation before the more optimal date. For the IT3 plots, the intention was to attempt to time termination to match the conventional growers optimal date. The IT4 and IT5 were imposed to attempt to produce a second cycle fruit set and irrigations continued until 27 August and 21 September respectively. In general, lint yield and micronaire results revealed significant differences among the IT treatments. In a similar fashion to 2000-2002 IT experiments, micronaire and lint yield values consistently increased with later IT dates. The best micronaire and lint yield results were achieved with IT4 date, which received 12 in. less irrigation water than IT5. The 12 in. water saved equates to approximately 20% of the total water used under the conventional practice. The average marginal value of water for all Upland varieties in going from IT1 to IT2, IT2 to IT3, IT3 to IT4, and IT4 to IT5 using November 2004 prices and low carrying costs is calculated at $320.07, $150.15, $100.54, and -$28.16 per acre-foot of water. If steeper mike discounts (November 1999), a lower base lint price (45¢/lb.), and higher costs (i.e., more costly insecticide and chemical costs) are imputed to extend the crop, the marginal value of an acre-foot of water for all Upland varieties and replications in going from IT1 to IT2, IT2 to IT3, IT3 to IT4, and IT4 to IT5 is estimated at $164.04, $48.15, $12.97, and -$94.79. Profitability and marginal value of water sometimes vary quite markedly between different varieties and termination dates as well.
  • Conservation Tillage Effects on Infiltration and Irrigation Advance Times

    Martin, E. C.; Adu-Tutu, K. O.; McCloskey, W. B.; Husman, S. H.; Clay, P.; Ottman, M.; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)
    Field experiments were initiated at sites in Marana, Coolidge and Goodyear, Arizona, in the Fall of 2001, in a cotton-based, conservation tillage project. In the 2002 cotton season, following cover and grain crops, soil and water management assessments were made to evaluate the impact of conservation tillage on surface irrigation performance. An additional site was added in the winter of 2002 at Maricopa, Arizona. Analyses included soil texture, infiltration rate and water advancement. At Coolidge, the Conservation plots had higher infiltration rates and longer advance times than the Conventional plots in 2002, 2003 and 2004. At Marana, infiltration rates were initially higher for the Conservation plots but the rates converged at the end of four hours in 2002. In 2003, the Conventional plots infiltrated about one inch more and the opposite occurred in 2004, where the Conservation plots infiltrated about 1 inch more than the Conventional. The advance times for Marana showed the water in the Conventional wheel rows to be the fastest. At Goodyear, the Conservation plots infiltrated more than the Conventional plots in 2002. This also resulted in a slower advance time for the Conservation plots. In 2003, due to tillage by the grower, treatment effects could not be compared and the site was abandoned in 2004. At Maricopa, the Conservation plots infiltrated almost 2.2 inches more water than the Conventional plots and the water reached the end of the field three hours ahead of the fastest Conservation plot in 2003. In 2004, the Conservation plot infiltrated just over 1½ inches more water than the Conventional plots with the Conventional plots having faster advance times. Seasonal irrigation water applications to each treatment were relatively equal for all the sites with the exception of Coolidge. Here, the long field combined with sandy soil made it difficult to adequately irrigate the Conservation plots. In 2002, an additional 21 inches of water was applied to the Conservation plots. In 2003, that amount was reduced to 12.5 inches. The 2004 irrigation data are not yet available. The yield data show a significant difference between years and different sites. In 2002, only the yields measured at Coolidge were significantly different with the Conservation yielding higher than the Conventional. This may have been due to the increase water application. In 2003, the opposite occurred and the Conventional plots yielded more than the Conservation plots. This may have been due to herbicide damage. At Maricopa the Conventional plot also yielded more than the Conservation plot in 2003 but there was no measured difference in 2004. The Marana site had equal yields for both treatments except for the final year, 2004, when the Conventional yielded higher than the Conservation treatment. Indications are that conservation tillage does impact irrigation performance and it may not be suitable for all locations depending on soil type and field layout.
  • Review of the 2004 Arizona Cotton Season

    Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy; Norton, Eric; Clay, Pat; Zerkoune, Mohammed; Tronstad, Russell; Husman, Steve; Norton, Randy (College of Agriculture, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2005-05)