Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

First Cotton Picker seen this week

Posted by romeethredge on September 20, 2013



Crop Consultant Mark Mitchell reported that there is some cotton being picked in Decatur county and he sent me a photo to prove it. Very little cotton has even been defoliated as of yet but we should start knocking the leaves off of more soon. We don’t need to get into too big of a hurry if peanut harvest would keep us from picking the cotton in a timely manner after defoliating it.


I took a few photos of a very early planted field that has been defoliated in Seminole county and will soon be harvested.

_DSC0370 _DSC0367 _DSC0366

Most of the oldest cotton looks more like this below which needs another week or so before defoliation.


Timing of Defoliation

Timing of Defoliation is critical to insure optimum yield and fiber quality. Several factors can be used to determine the proper time for harvest aid application.

The first is the traditional method of counting open and unopen bolls. Defoliation should proceed when least 60 to 75 percent of bolls are open. This method focuses primarily on the “open” portion of the bolls while ignoring the “unopen” portion, which is also important.

A second indicator involves slicing bolls with a sharp knife. Bolls are considered mature–and ready for harvest aid applications–when bolls cannot be sliced without “stringing” the lint. In addition, bolls are mature when the seed embryo contains only tiny folded leaves (no “jelly” within the developing seed) and the seedcoat begins to turn yellow or tan.

A final method utilized to determine crop maturity is counting nodes above cracked boll (NACB). NACB is determined by counting the number of nodes separating the uppermost first position cracked boll and the uppermost first position boll that is expected to be harvested. Once the NACB has reached 4 it is generally safe to apply harvest aids. In some cases, when plant populations are low, a NACB of 3 maybe more appropriate. Growers should understand that each method of determining defoliation timing considers different plant characteristics, therefore the use of a combination of these methods would more accurately depict maturity of plants and provide a better indication for optimal defoliation timing.


Here’s a link to the UGA Defoliation Guide. Scroll down to page 39.





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