Cotton Weed Management
Cotton plants are very sensitive to weeds, which compete aggressively and deprive them of water, sunlight and valuable nutrients. It is necessary that all farmers should have a sound weed control strategy, which differs significantly between countries, climate zones, law framework, means of production etc. Especially during the first 60 days from sowing, even a very small number of weeds will have a negative effect on the plants’ growth and finally on the fiber production.
The first measures against weeds are taken with the first tillage, well before the sowing of seeds. Then, according to each field texture and the weeds most commonly found in each area, farmers often spray with various chemicals until the plants are well established (ask a licensed agronomist). A very important step towards effective weed control is the frequent tillage of the area between the rows of the plants. This distance ranges from 2 to 4 feet and the farmer must be careful not to destroy any part of the cotton plant as he/she performs the tillage. Plowing the area between the planting rows not only destroys any newly developed weeds, but also increases aeration of the field. In areas where no contemporary broad spectrum herbicides are used, farmers often plow once or twice a month during active growth and make the last tillage after flowering (June-July in most areas of United States).
Many experienced farmers also sow wheat or barley immediately after harvesting cotton, so as to minimize weeds.
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Cotton Weed Control
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