Accelerated growth of cotton plants during squaring means it’s time for growers to determine strategies for PGR applications.
In a recent blog, NC State Cotton Specialists Guy Collins and Keith Edmisten note that not all fields will need pre-bloom PGR applications, but that growers will need to manage their crop for earliness if acceptable rains (not excessive, not insufficient) persist through first bloom and thereafter.
“Let’s be clear, this does not necessarily mean that growers need to automatically be aggressive with PGRs,” say the authors. “However we will need to be timely with scouting for both growth parameters and insects (mainly plant bugs) and timely with any necessary action.
“At this point in time, PGRs should not be applied to cotton that is still struggling for whatever reason (earlier sand drowning, stunting from herbicides, water-logging, etc.) for the time being, just because it might be later than normal,” they add. “However, other fields with good or rapid growth (fields that have been top-dressed, have healthy plants, signs of vigorous growth, later planted, later varieties, heavier soils that aren’t water logged), may need a PGR application soon in order to guide the plant into an acceptable height once blooming begins.”
Collins and Edmisten point out that several tools and strategies for PGR management (rates and application timing recommendations) are discussed in detail in the “Suggestions for Growth Regulator Use” chapter in NC State’s 2017 Cotton Information book. Their blog also includes several considerations to help growers make the best decisions with regard to growth management.