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A Few Reminders On Cotton Defoliation

By Chris Tyson

While there has been some cotton picked in Tattnall County, we still have a good bit more that will be defoliated in the next couple of weeks.  Please keep these points in mind as you think about cotton defoliation.

  • Rain in the forecast? – There is no doubt that the best weather for defoliating cotton is clear sunny skies. We can’t always control that, but please keep in mind the rainfast timing for cotton defoliants.
Rainfast Timing of Common Cotton Defoliants
thidiazuronDropp, Daze, FreeFall, Klean-Pic, Takedown24 hours
ethephonBoll Buster, Boll’D, Ethephon, Prep, Super Boll,6 hours
thidiazuron+diuronGinstar, Adios,Cutout,


12 hours
tribufosFolex, Def1 hour
ethephon+cyclanilideFinish6 hours
carfentrazoneAim8 hours
               pyraflufen ethylET1 hour
carfentrazone+fluthiacet methylDisplay8 hours
paraquatGramoxone30 minutes
  • The volume of water matters! We need to be using a minimum of 15 gallons of water per acre when we spray cotton. I prefer to use 20 gallons. The better coverage you can get, especially in cotton that has a dense canopy, will increase the chances of the product working better.
  • Morningglory Control – These can be a real problem in certain fields, or in certain spots in fields. Many people PPO products like Aim or  ET to help with morningglories. They can be used in combination with a defoliant mixture. Another option in controlling morningglories would be to spray your regular defoliant mixture (for example: Ethephon+Dropp+Folex) and come back and spot spray a morningglory product like Aim or ET 5 to 7 days later by itself in problem areas. Even though this method requires an extra trip to the field, it often works the best because you can get better coverage on the morningglory vines. Remember to follow the label instructions for using adjuvants such as surfactant or crop oil when using these products.

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