Effects of multiple yield environments on relative cotton maturity
Schaefer, Curtis R.
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Quantifying maturity in cotton cultivars can be vital in cotton production for a variety of reasons. Planting date, variety, and irrigation techniques for a specific location or environment can be better selected when maturity of common cultivars has been accurately assessed. One of the challenges in choosing cotton cultivars for maturity characteristics is that there is not a single, consistent method for determining cotton crop maturity. Maturity has historically been evaluated by using height, total nodes, and nodes above white flower (NAWF). This method of determining maturity may however not be consistent over multiple cultivars. Other approaches, such as mapping the boll distribution, may be more dependable in determining crop maturity. Differences in boll distribution can affect crop maturity characteristics, response to stress, and environmental suitability. This study was initiated to compare the maturity characteristics of seven cotton cultivars in multiple locations of the cotton belt. A method of determining maturity based on box plots of boll distribution was tested and compared with in-season measurements of nodes above white flower and nodes above cracked boll in Texas, Tennessee, and Georgia.