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Utilization of Thinned Cotton Plants through Bare-Root Transplanting Coupled with Foliar Application of Nutrients

Mona M. Hemeid , Mahmoud M. Zeid and Ali I. Nawar

A two year experiment was conducted to investigate the possibility of transplanting cotton plants of the cultivars Giza 86 and Giza 88 thinned from hills grown in the permanent field. The bare-root transplants (BRT) were thinned at the age of 30 days and transplants received three different foliar applications of macro- and micro-nutrients as compared to the direct seeded plants. The BRT method with five foliar applications of macronutrients and two foliar applications of micronutrients significantly improved survival rate of seedlings and surpassed the directly sown plants in seed-cotton yield and its components. Increase in yield was 11.4% for Giza 86 and 4.9% for Giza 88. No effects for transplanting on fiber properties were observed for the cultivar Giza 88. The BRT method with seven foliar applications was suggested as a practical and affordable method for cotton transplanting compared to potted-transplanting (PT). These results have positive implications on the utilization of plants that are usually wasted by the thinning process (about 60-70%) in the direct seed sowing method, especially in areas devoted for cultivars' seed multiplication. A second application of the BRT method is identical to the PT method but rather cheaper, where nurseries (as in rice transplanting) could be grown directly in the permanent field, allowing the preceding winter crops to reach maturity, while cotton nurseries are grown on the optimum sowing date during March. Thus the main goal of the transplanting process would be achieved, namely; 70% less amount of seeds would be required for sowing annually. This implies that demand on seeds produced by the government will decline by the same rate and thus more focus on seed quality and genetic purity, rather than seed mass production, could be achieved.

Key words: Potted-transplanting, Gossypium brabadense L., transplanting, fiber properties.