The 2014 Mid-South cotton planting season is wrapping up quickly, and growers are putting out thrips sprays, dealing with pigweed and mulling over replant decisions, according to state cotton specialists and agronomists.


Newly-hired Arkansas Extension cotton specialist Bill Robertson hit the ground running this spring, coming on board in the middle of planting season. He’s been busy from Day 1.

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“The first full week in May, anybody wanting to plant cotton was in the field.” Robertson said. “That was about the time that our soil temperatures really started warming up. We made a ton of progress that week. Some of the farmers with the GPS and RTK guidance were planting 24 hours a day. A lot of farmers have finished planting (as of May 20).”

Robertson said a lot of cotton has come up and is looking good. “I’ve gotten a few calls on splash up injury from herbicides. We’re just now getting into good weather for growing cotton. But we may have some replanting, and cotton producers are evaluating that right now.”

Missouri Bootheel

“Last week, (May 11-18) was a pretty tough week,” said Mike Milam, agronomy specialist for Pemiscot and Dunklin counties. “It rained a good bit of the time, and we’ve had some cool nights up here too. We were a little bit drier around Senath and Kennett, and producers in those areas were able to get a little more planting done.”

Milam says the state was about halfway through cotton planting by May 19, but should wrap up quickly with the right conditions. “With good weather for the 8-10 days, we have a chance to get some seeds in the ground.”

A number of Bootheel cotton fields are up to a stand, Milam said. “Most of it is still in the cotyledon stage. We usually start planting around April 20. Most farmers really didn’t get started planting cotton until after May 1.”