Semester of Graduation

December 2017

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

During the 2016 growing season, research was conducted at three locations in the state of Louisiana to evaluate the impact of pre-bloom square loss on cotton lint yield and fiber quality. Two cotton varieties, Phytogen 499 WRF and Phytogen 222 WRF were chosen up which to imitate early season square loss due to tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) and/or cotton fleahopper, Pseudatomoscelis seriatus (Reuter) feeding or unfavorable weather conditions. Thirty plants within each plot were selected and squares were counted. Squares were assigned numbers, and numbers were then randomized using a computerized number generator. To simulate intervals of minimum to maximum fruit loss, just prior to bloom, 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 percent squares were removed by hand. Throughout the growing season, weekly applications of insecticides were applied to keep plants insect free to avoid unwanted damage. At the end of the season, ten plants, within each plot, were plant mapped and each plot was hand harvested for lint yield and fiber quality analysis. Although there was evidence of potential yield compensation at each location, only the Alexandria and Winnsboro locations demonstrated definitive compensation. The St. Joseph location either did not compensate or had compensation masked by boll rot. The impact of pre-bloom square removal and compensation on fiber quality was minimal across locations. Although pre-bloom square loss had minimal impact on fiber quality, full season varieties appeared to be less affected than short season varieties. Based on this study, our recommendation to the cotton producers of Louisiana is to attempt to retain 80-90 percent of their pre-bloom squares to achieve the greatest possible yield with the least amount of negative impact.

Date

10-25-2017

Committee Chair

Myers, Gerald

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