A Field-Scale Assessment of Soil-Specific Seeding Rates to Optimize Yield Factors and Water Use in Cotton
MetadataShow full item record
Precision management of cotton production can increase profitability by decreasing inputs. The overall objective of this project is to improve cotton production by minimizing seeding rates while still maximizing yields and lint quality in water-limited soils. The research for this study was conducted at the Texas AgriLife Research IMPACT Center located in the Brazos River floodplain. In 2008 and 2009, 27 measurement locations were selected in production-sized center-pivot irrigated fields and planted in cotton variety Deltapine 164 roundup ready flex / bollgard II. Sites were selected based on soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) values, in a low, medium, and high ECa zones. Three seeding rates (74,100; 98,800; and 123,500 seeds ha-1) were established in each of the three ECa zones with three replications. In 2009, an additional seeding rate was added at 49,400 seeds ha-1. At each measurement location, soil texture, soil moisture (weekly), lint quantity and quality (High Volume Instrument) were measured. An additional replication for each ECa zone and seeding rate was selected for lint quantity and quality (HVI) measurements. Results indicated that cotton lint yield increased as ECa values, clay content, and water holding capacity of the soil increased. The seeding rates did not consistently affect cotton lint yield or quality. Seeding rates of 74,100 and 49,400 seeds ha-1 in a low and medium ECa zone for IMPACT-08 and -09 yielded more lint (300 kg ha-1), respectively. HVI lint quality parameters, such as, micronaire, fiber length, strength, uniformity, and elongation were significantly better in ECa zone 3. While the seeding rates did not affect the amount of soil water used throughout the season, lint yield variations between ECa zones can be explained by the rate at which soil water was used. Lower rates at which soil water was used within ECa zone 3 resulted in higher lint yields when compared to ECa zones 1 and 2, which used soil water faster and at greater depths. The findings suggest that irrigation applied to the low ECa zone was not sufficient to meet the plants demand, while in a high ECa zone, irrigation could have been reduced, resulting in cost savings through reduced inputs.
Soil Apparent Electrical Conductivity
Soil Water Use
Variable Rate Seeding
Stanislav, Scott Michael (2010). A Field-Scale Assessment of Soil-Specific Seeding Rates to Optimize Yield Factors and Water Use in Cotton. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from