Agronomy for Resilient Future Cotton Systems
Research is needed to update existing agronomic recommendations largely developed under different environmental conditions or in lower yielding cotton crops, as well as to identify new practices or tools that increase yield and provide resilience to crop stress in both irrigated and dryland systems. To this end, the current project focuses on growth hormone and regulant compounds that could assist in managing water and heat stress in cotton. Experiments will evaluate new plant hormones that improve crop resilience.
An initial focus will be on the use of:
anti-ethylene agents to reduce the effects of stresses (e.g. fruit loss with heat and water stress);
cytokynins to promote effective soil exploration by roots in limited water situations;
plant growth regulators in dryland and water limited situations to delay development to improve growth and water use; and
the plant growth hormone (auxin) to delay opening of early bolls without affecting yield.
Key management recommendations rely on accurate estimates of crop development and boll periods using the day degree approach. Currently, the ‘day degree’ approach is insufficiently robust to accommodate extremes of climate. In response to this, new approaches will be developed to improve the accuracy of this critical tool and improve predictive capabilities and management recommendations.
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