Dr. Avat Shekoofa
Crop Physiologist-Water Stress & Irrigation, Associate Professor|University of Tennessee
2023 Abstract - CHARACTERIZING DROUGHT STRESS WHILE OPTIMIZING IRRIGATION AMOUNT FOR COTTON CULTIVARS: Producers have few options to mitigate drought stress on rainfed acres; must cope with it by either adopting cultural practices which improve water saving or by selecting drought-tolerant cultivars. Our 5-yr research at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson indicated that applying semi-irrigation [flower to peak flower (0.5”/wk), and peak flower to open boll (1.0”/wk) when -75 to -80 (kPa) range is considered as the onset of stress] can increase the lint yield by 33% compared to rainfed in dry years. In relatively wet years, the semi-irrigated out-yielded the rainfed treatments by 8.5%. Our cultivars’ responses to rainfed conditions indicated that cultivars with higher water saving rates had significantly higher lint yield (29to 31%) compared to others. Selecting suitable cotton cultivars for rainfed conditions also choosing an appropriate irrigation strategy can improve cotton yield.
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