One of the reasons that cotton is well-suited to the South Plains is because we generally have hot summer days, but it usually cools off at night. Cotton plants need heat to grow and develop, but cooler nights allow them to rest.
Most plants are in full bloom now. Cream-colored blooms appear first, and then they turn dark pink and fall off to reveal a tiny boll which will continue to expand.
Rainfall is a key factor, and these next several weeks are critical in building yield and quality, especially since July was so hot. About 60 percent of cotton planted in this region is dry land, but even irrigated cotton needs additional help from above.
For KCBD Spotlight on Agriculture and Plains Cotton Growers, I’m Mary Jane Buerkle.
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