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FERTILIZER

CONTAINING

NUTRIENT

FOR

CROP

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  • Soil texture
    Prefers heavy soils
  • Min. temperature
    Temperatures above 15.5°C
  • pH
    Tolerant from slightly acidic to alkaline, optimal: pH 6.5-7.5
  • Water demand
    High yields need irrigation
  • Vernalisation
    -
  • Plant density
    17-22 seeds/m, 70-90cm row distance
  • Seeding Depth
    2-4cm
Cotton
Cotton is used by the fibre industry. By-products of the ginning process are used for animal feed and oil. The most important gages of cotton quality are the length, strength, fineness and maturity of the fibres. The total yield is mostly affected by the average weight of each fruit - a cotton boll - and by the number of seeds contained in it (five to six). For satisfactory yields, irrigation is necessary coupled with high temperatures and dry conditions, especially in autumn during the harvest period.
Key facts
  • NPK+S fertilizer before sowing
  • Nitrate-based N fertilizers are best suited for crop management
  • P, B, Zn, Mo foliar application during flowering
General Information
General Information
Nutrient demand
Nutrient demand
Fertilization
Fertilization
COTTON AND ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR CROP PRODUCTION
Cotton is usually sown between mid-April and mid-May. Later sowing leads to a later harvest in late autumn. This means that lower temperatures, higher humidity levels, and rainfall increase the risk of a reduced, poorer quality harvest. During the plant’s development, balanced nutrients, irrigation, and growth regulators are necessary. Protecting the plants from insects is very important, especially for the first formed cotton bolls, which are actually the heaviest and best formed ones, leading to higher yields. 14-17 plants per meter can give high yields. Sowing 17-22 seeds per meter is required to achieve this.
Cotton needs a balanced nutrient supply
Nutrients are very important to cotton because of its deep but poor root system, making absorption more difficult. Nitrogen is necessary in the first vegetative stage, but quantities above the upper limit bear the risk of a very high vegetative growth, leading to flower drop. Phosphorus is necessary in the first phase of the root development and later with foliar application for growth control and improved flower development. Potassium is necessary for seed development and weight and plays a significant role in the final yield. Micronutrients such as boron and zinc are necessary for good pollination, which leads to more seeds per cotton boll. Magnesium and molybdenum are also necessary for balanced growth. The amount of nutrients left in the field after harvesting is well below the extraction rate. In order to maintain soil fertility, the nutrients absorbed need to be replaced.
Extracted quantities of cotton

Element

Uptake

(Unit/t of production)

Removal

(Unit/t of production)

Sensitivity to deficiency

N

28

22

Sensitive

P2O5

12

8

Sensitive

K2O

16

14

Very Sensitive

MgO

4

3

Sensitive

SO3

4

2

Moderately Sensitive

TE

Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Molydenum (Mo)

The table shows the nutrient uptake by the plant and absorbtion per ton of crop. Cotton is extremely sensitive to K deficiency however, phosphorus and nitrogen also play an important role in cotton fertilization.
Cotton is usually fertilized at 3 dates, depending on the production target and soil type.

First application

Second application

Third application

First application

A basal fertilization before sowing is very crucial and mainly NPK formulas with a ratio of 2:1:1 or 3:1:2 are used, to supply enough nutrients for the growth phase, improving phosphorus availability for root development and providing enough potassium. High solubility of the phosphorus improves uptake by the young plants.

Second application

Once the plants have eight leaves, nitrogen application is necessary. High rates must be avoided to keep the correct balance in plant development. Ammonium nitrate is the preferred N form, as the risk of ammonia losses from urea is very high. The use of urea would cause an unusual shape of the leaves with consequences on the dynamics of photosynthesis and sensitivity to insects.

Third application

Second nitrogen application until the start of flowering (BBCH 21-59):
A second nitrogen application can be useful when very high yields are expected; the application must take place before flowering according to the variety and the soil type. Foliar applications with phosphorus, boron, zinc and molybdenum during flowering (BBCH 60-69) ensure a controlled crop vegetation and a better pollination. During the cotton boll growth phase (BBCH 71-79), a foliar application with phosphorous and potassium increases the weight of the fruits.