Texas Farm Bureau - A recent Texas Tech University study may change the way cotton irrigation occurs during dry seasons.A study conducted by Dr. Glen Ritchie, associate professor of Crop Physiology at Texas Tech with a joint appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and his team found that less water and better irrigation timing improved cotton boll distribution and fiber quality.
The study, conducted near Plainview, used three different water rates at three different times to see how the combinations impacted cotton plants. A total of 27 watering routines were used during several trials.
Ritchie and his team found that less water applied early in the growing season resulted in smaller plants, but had little effect on cotton yields and no effect on fiber quality. They also discovered the most critical time for irrigation application is in the middle of the growing season.