Arkansas cotton growers still have time to decide whether or not to replant after a series of storms ravaged the state last month, but those on the fence should make their choices soon, said Tom Barber, Extension agronomist-cotton for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
“Make your decisions and plant while conditions are good in early May.”
Storms from April 30 through May 10 brought heavy rain, halting planting in many areas statewide. Several counties in northeast Arkansas, particularly Mississippi County, were among those most affected.
Growers still undecided on replanting should consider several factors. Barber suggested following a point-by-point checklist before making a decision:
• What is the calendar date? “This is significant because a stand plowed up on May 1 would probably be kept on May 25,” said Barber.
• What is the population of plants that will survive?
• What is the health of those plants, especially their roots?
• Is seedling disease present?
• What is the population uniformity — are there large and frequent skips?
• What is the productive capability of the soil, and is the field irrigated?
• How much yield potential will be lost by replanting?
“When evaluating the current stand, make sure to check the health of the plant both above ground and especially below ground,” said Barber. “The plants can look pretty ragged and still survive as long as the root system is healthy.”