RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The itch starts when the days get warmer and early-blooming trees start popping; it’s the itch to plant, to get back in the field, to start a new cotton crop.
The itch inevitably starts before planting is prudent. To temper the itch and time planting for the optimal window to get a strong stand capable of weathering Mother Nature’s capricious assaults, growers can turn to the online Cotton Planting Forecasting tool.
“Cotton Planting Forecasting is a tremendous tool to use to see what the forecast looks like,” says Kenny Melton, Bayer agronomic service team manager for the West region. “So often we just think about our immediate conditions when we need to be thinking whether the soil has warmed up and whether current conditions are going to stay. It’s more about the five-day forecast and getting the heat units that are necessary to get your crop up and running.”
Developed by agronomists at Bayer in conjunction with the Center for Geospatial Technology at Texas Tech University, this tool provides a belt-wide cotton planting forecast for your desired county or area based on air and soil temperatures and cotton growing degree day (DD60) conditions.
“Optimizing yield starts at planting,” says Scott Asher, Bayer agronomic service team manager for the East region. “This tool is a way to set growers up for a successful season.”
To use the tool:
- Go online:
- Click on your county on the map
- A report will come up with a summary statement, such as “planting not recommended due to soil temp” or “planting conditions are marginal”
- The report will include three levels of data:
- The five-day minimum air temps forecasted
- The Mesonet soil temp at 11 a.m.
- The DD60 five-day forecast
- A grower at this point also can input the soil temp if a Mesonet soil temp is not available for their county or if they want to use their own soil temperature
Planting into optimal conditions is the goal; planting into close-to-optimal conditions is the reality when growers have a lot of acres to get across and spring weather compresses the planting window.
“People want to go in early – and sometimes they have to because they have to manage a large number of acres,” Melton acknowledges. “What we must remember is when we have to replant, we’re really late. It’s better to get that seed down when the temperatures are right and we can get that crop off to a good start. Use the Cotton Planting Forecasting to set yourself up for success.”
Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at www.cropscience.bayer.us.
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