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May 31, 2019:  Planting Seed Depth and Stand Replants

My two primary concerns this week while hoping for rain 1) planting seed depth and 2) stand replants

A transplant from the Mid-South, it hasn’t taken long for me to realize that the correct things to do in southeast Georgia on cotton acreage are all the wrongs things to do back home, especially in 2019. As we reach the last few days of May, the memories of the 2018 harvest still reside, but planters have been rolling across my territory of central and east Georgia. USDA reports placed cotton planted acreage at 76% as of 26-May, up 12% from 2018. You don’t have to go outside to realize it has been abnormally warm and very dry over the past couple of weeks. Average highs are to remain in the mid-90’s for the next two weeks. Soil moisture has all but fallen out of reach, with limited rainfall the past month and steady 5-to-10 mph winds. Light at the end of the tunnel is finally starting to shine, as chances of rains are emerging in the forecast for the first weeks in June.

Two main concerns I am watching this week while hoping for rain:  planting seed depth and stand replants. Temptation to chase soil moisture will be high as we try to wrap up 2019 planting. Most replant scenarios I have walked were due to seed placement deeper than 2.5.”



Any soil crusting in combination with this seed depth will make very difficult for hypocotyl elongation, allowing the crook to break the surface and start absorbing sunlight. Areas slow to emerge from deep placement will certainly be aided by digging out with rotary hoes or light showering from overhead irrigation. In evaluating emerged stands, anything greater than 1 plant per foot of row should be accepted, if not possessing large numbers of skips within the row greater than 3 feet. Planting date always significantly improves yield potential over population, and keeping our earlier planted cotton could pay in 2019 with the down market. Dusting in remaining dryland acreage or replanted acreage no deeper than 0.5” is advised going forward. With showers likely in the next 10 days, shallow placement will allow seedlings to emerge quickly and start progressing.

To date, early planted cotton emergence looks fantastic across the region, with reports of PhytoGen 580 W3FE at a full stand only 3 days after planting into optimum conditions. PhytoGen Innovation trials are nearing completion, with many of our commercial varieties being demonstrated along with two experimental lines, PX3B07 (image below – 7 days after planting in Berrien County) and PX5D28, and future reniform nematode resistant cultivars in selective areas. Contact me or your area Territory Manager if you would like a look at some of these plots, or if you are interested in getting PhytoGen varieties on your acre.




For more information about cotton production practices in your area, contact your state Extension cotton specialist. As always, your PhytoGen cotton development specialist is available to discuss options.

COTTON DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST:

SHAWN BUTLER, PH.D.

Shawn Butler is the PhytoGen cotton development specialist for central and east Georgia. A native of Jackson, Tenn., Shawn holds a Ph.D. in Agronomy and Crop Science and a M.S. in Crop Pathology, both from the University of Tennessee, specializing in Application Technology, Precision Agriculture, and Remote Sensing. He enjoys helping cotton producers implement technology and find applied solutions to agronomic challenges. When Shawn isn’t scouting fields and visiting with growers, he enjoys following sports, playing golf, boating and home projects.