8745 Reducing At-Planting Costs in Cotton Production Through Hill-Dropped Seed Placement and Precision Application of In-Furrow Insecticides

Wednesday, January 7, 2009: 2:15 PM
Salon L (Marriott Rivercenter Hotel)
Guy Collins, Keith Edmisten, Jack Bacheler, Dan Mott, Seth Levkoff, Wesley Hancock, James Lanier, Ranjit Riar, Seth Holt, Bill Foote, James Atkins and Luke O'Neal, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
A significant portion of the total production costs of cotton, are the at-planting costs, which have drastically increased due to the development of elite cultivars and the associated gene technology packages. Defining new techniques that reduce these at-planting costs, while maintaining lint yield and fiber quality, may present substantial costs savings to growers across the cotton belt. A technique that has been proven to achieve these objectives, is the hill-dropped placement of cottonseed at planting. Additional costs savings could be achieved if in-furrow granular insecticides were applied only to the seed hills, to avoid wasteful application to the space between the seed hills. Precision application of in-furrow insecticides in hill-dropped cotton was investigated during 2006, 2007, and 2008 in North Carolina. Cottonseed was planted in a hill-dropped formation with 3 seeds per hill, and hills spaced 16 inches apart. Insecticide treatments consisted of granular Temik 5G applied at 3 lbs/A and 6 lbs/A in 1) a solid band, 2) a 6-inch-long band (twice the average length of a seed hill), and 3) a 3-inch-long band (covering only the seed hill). These treatments were compared to Avicta Complete-Pac seed treatment, with and without a subsequent application of Orthene 97 at 3 weeks after planting, no in-furrow insecticide followed by Orthene 97 applied at 3 weeks after planting, and a non-treated control. Data suggests that significant costs savings, optimal thrips control, and optimal plant growth can be achieved through precision application of in-furrow insecticides or seed treatments, while maintaining optimal lint yield and fiber quality.