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The Right Population


The Right Population

The following management techniques will help ensure that your cotton crop gets off to an excellent start:

  • Follow a seeding rate range of 2.5 to 4.5 seeds per row foot on 36- to 40-inch row spacing. The seeding rate depends on soil type, date of planting, ability to irrigate, and season length.
    • Use lower rates for dryland production on loamy sands or sandy loams.
    • Use higher rates with conservation tillage or early planting. Increase the seed rate in cool soil and have a target final plant population of at least 30,000 plants per acre.
  • Plant when soil temperatures are higher than 65°F at a depth of 4 inches for three consecutive days and nighttime soil temperatures remain above 50°F for two days after planting.
    • Researchers have concluded that cotton should not be planted when fewer than 10 degree days or DD- 60 heat units per day are expected for the five days after planting.
    • The formula for calculating DD-60s is: ((Daily High Temperature + Daily Low Temperature) ÷ 2) - 60 = Degree Days.
  • Plant at a seed depth of 1 to 1.5 inches, depending on soil type and moisture availability.