Variable Rate Application of Various Products in Cotton

In the United States, cotton is grown in 17 states across the southern half of the United States, stretching from Virginia to California. Cotton is an intensively managed crop which requires:

  • careful nitrogen applications to prevent rank growth
  • plant growth regulators (PGRs) to maintain a balance between vegetative and reproductive growth
  • defoliants at the end of the season to allow for mechanized harvesting.

Additional inputs are needed for pest management.

The uneven distribution of plant biomass in cotton fields result from variability in soil nutrients, moisture, pH, texture and variability in microclimate, disease and pest pressures. A good management practice suggests that variable rate application (VRA) of nitrogen, PGRs, and defoliants can compensate for the uneven distribution of plant biomass.

There are a few option to consider for variable rate application plans to effectively manage cotton.

Methods Timely Cost Planning Effectiveness Coverage
Airplane
Satellite
UAV
Manual / No Map
Active Sensor *

* such as GreenSeeker™

The use of remote sensing techniques to improve cotton production has been researched across the Cotton Belt for many years.  At KOMBA, we create cost effective maps and the variable rate prescriptions in an on-demand (vs pre-scheduled) service.  We can create a plan and our customers can execute those plans the same day, offering the convenience of an active sensor with the ability to calculate required product volume prior to application.  There is no need to wait 8-16 days for the next satellite orbit, which may be impacted by cloud cover.