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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Water Management Technologies for Humid Regions

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

Title: Cotton yield assessment using plant height mapping system

Authors
item Sui, Ruixiu
item Fisher, Daniel
item Reddy, Krishna

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2012
Publication Date: December 13, 2012
Citation: Sui, R., Fisher, D.K., Reddy, K.N. 2012. Cotton yield assessment using plant height mapping system. Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Science. 5(1): 23-31.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is one of the major agricultural crops in the world and is the most popular natural fiber for clothing and textile products. Nitrogen fertilization is an important field practice for cotton crop. During the growing season, cotton plants must receive appropriate rates of nitrogen (N) fertilizer for optimal yield and quality. As with other crops, cotton plants require the proper amount of water for desirable growth, and water application is another critical component in cotton production. Plant height or plant growth rate can be used as an indicator of plant health status and yield potential. With an understanding of the relationship between plant height and production-related inputs, a plant height map could be used to make site-specific adjustment of inputs such as fertilization and irrigation. Scientists at USDA-ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit at Stoneville, Mississippi have conducted an experiment to develop a method to assess plant N status and yield potential in cotton. The experimental plots were laid out with irrigation treatments and nitrogen treatments in cotton field. Cotton plant height was measured using an experimental ultrasonic device coupled with a GPS (global positioning system) receiver. Cotton leaf-blade samples were collected and analyzed for N content. Amount of water applied in irrigated treatment was recorded during the growing season. The plant height showed close relationship with yield. Irrigation had a significant effect on plant height and yield. Excess application of N would not improve cotton yield.

Technical Abstract: Plant nitrogen status and yield potential are important factors for optimizing field management in cotton production. An experiment was conducted in 2011 at Stoneville, Mississippi to develop a method to assess plant N status and yield potential in cotton. The experimental plots were laid out in a split plot design with two irrigation treatments as main unit and six nitrogen treatments as subunit in a 10-ha cotton field. Cotton plant height was measured in real time in situ using an experimental ultrasonic device coupled with a GPS (global positioning system) receiver. Soil samples were collected and analyzed for soil residual N and soil texture before planting. Cotton leaf-blade samples were collected and analyzed for N content. Amount of water applied in irrigated treatment was recorded during the growing season. The plant height showed a quadratic relationship with yield, and this relationship was stronger in the non-irrigated plots (R2=0.60) than that in irrigated plots (R2=0.16). Irrigation had a significant effect on plant height and yield. Excess application of N would not improve cotton yield.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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