There are limits, he adds, and it is not recommended to foliar feed anything if the crop is drought-stressed to the point to where it is “wilted by noon.”

“Also, it may be tempting to try to foliar-feed nitrogen instead of side-dressing until you see there is some true yield potential on drought-stressed dryland. However, this is not recommended. If a dryland crop is ready to side-dress, i.e. at first square, I would recommend side-dressing nitrogen over foliar feeding.”

Also at the field day, Guy Collins, University of Georgia Extension cotton agronomist, said he is looking at PGR strategies for newer varieties.

“When we lost DPL 555, we lost our staple variety, but we also lost our PGR management style for that particular variety,” says Collins.

“As you know, DPL 555 was a very aggressive variety in terms of its growth habits, especially in irrigated fields. It required a fairly aggressive pre-bloom application and several other PGR applications.”

Many new varieties today don’t need as aggressive PGR management, as growers learned last year, he says.

“We’ve got several trials this year looking at the response of some of these new varieties to PGR strategies. Looking at highlights from last year’s research, if you look at individual boll contribution to overall yields, Phytogen 565 has the closest boll distribution to DPL 555.

“But 565 really responds to PGR  management. Some of the other varieties like FiberMax 1740 and Stoneville 4288 are good varieties in the appropriate environment, but they’re very early maturing and cut out very quickly. DPL 1050 and 1048 tend to be more aggressive varieties in dryland or irrigation situations,” says Collins.

There’s still a learning curve involved in gauging the response of new cotton varieties to PGR, he says. “A lot of these varieties don’t need that pre-bloom application like we used with 555, but we do need to pay more attention to overall growth of these new varieties throughout the season. We don’t need to use a one-size-fits-all approach.”

phollis@farmpress.com