General Maturity Groups for Cotton Varieties
(PDF file version, 32KB)
by Jeffrey C. Silvertooth,
Extension Agronomist - Cotton
Three maturity groupings are often used to classify cotton varieties, consisting of: 1) short season or more determinate plants, 2) medium season varieties, and 3) long or full season varieties which are more indeterminate in nature. Classification of cotton varieties into one of these three categories is not necessarily straightforward in all cases. In fact, it easily can become a process of "splitting hairs" when making maturity grouping designations for cotton varieties. Nevertheless, maturity designations are commonly assigned to most commercially available varieties, which can effect selection and management.
The attached figure (Figure 1) illustrates my attempt at separating a set of representative varieties among the three maturity groups along a maturity continuum ranging from most determinate (short season) on the left to most indeterminate (full season) varieties on the right. This figure was developed based upon plant growth data collected from our agronomic research program conducted at numerous locations across the state. Maturity classification was based primarily upon crop progression toward cut-out, considering only cases with a strong boll load where no plant stresses had limited growth. It is important to note from Figure 1 that the total range from short to full season varieties only involves a span of about three weeks (600 heat units, HU 86/55° F), considering a common/optimum planting date, adequate boll load, and no growth-limiting stresses. Placement of varieties for this type of comparison are general in nature and not absolute.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson, Director Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.
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Information provided by Jeffrey C. Silvertooth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension Agronomist - Cotton, College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.
Material written April 1998.
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