Response of Deltapine® Cotton Varieties to Seeding Rate

February 7, 2020

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Response of Deltapine Cotton Varieties to Seeding Rate - 2019


  • Population density plays a central role in optimizing the productivity, management, and economic return of cotton. Seeding rates of cotton can range from 24,000 to 45,000 seeds/acre depending on field and environmental conditions. The optimal seeding rate and plant population varies from field to field and is dependent on many factors.

  • A cotton demonstration trial was conducted at the Bayer Learning Center at Scott, Mississippi to determine the effect of seeding rate on the yield potential of four Deltapine® cotton varieties.


Location Scott, MS
Soil Type  Commerce silt Loam

Planting Date 5/30/19
Harvest Date 9/09/19
Potential Yield
Seeding Rate

  • Four Deltapine cotton varieties (DP 1518 B2XF, DP 1725 B2XF, DP 1845 B3XF, and DP 1646 B2XF) were planted at three seeding rates: 27,000, 34,000, and 41,000 seeds/acre.

  • All agronomic inputs including plant growth regulator (PGR) applications were applied per local standards.

  • 85 lb of actual nitrogen was applied as 32% liquid UAN. Phosphorus and potassium were applied per soil test recommendations for replacement of 2018 crop removal.

  • PGR management was consistent across all treatments and was not an interacting factor in 2019.

  • Strip plots were 12 rows x 1100 feet long with a total plot area of about 1 acre/plot.

  • Final plant population was determined by stand counts of 1/1000 of an acre from each plot after emergence.

  • The center 6 rows from each plot were harvested for yield.


  • Averaged across the cotton varieties and seeding rates, final plant populations in this study were approximately 80% of the seeding rates (Figure 1).

  • Higher than average yields were observed in 2019 at the Bayer Learning Center at Scott, Mississippi. When averaged across all treatments, average yield was 1450 lb lint/acre (Figure 2).

  • Yields in this trial in 2019 indicate a positive response to higher seeding rates, particularly in the range between 34,000 and 41,000 seeds/acre versus the lower rate of 27,000 seeds/acre (Figure 2). In this study, the 34,000 and 41,000 seeds/acre seeding rates resulted in an established plant population between 2 and 2.25 plants/foot when averaged across all four products (Figure 3). This aligns with university recommendations for optimal yield potential.1


  • Seeding rate should be a central planning decision in all cotton production systems. Cotton producers should be aware of the likelihood of reduced yield potential if final plant stands are reduced to levels below 2 plants/foot.1

  • This demonstration indicated a positive yield response to higher seeding rates.

  • All factors including rotation practices, cotton variety planted, fertility levels, irrigation capability, PGR intent, and management style should be equally considered when making seeding rate decisions in cotton.


1 Collins, G. August 19, 2015. Seeding rates and plant populations (Collins and Edmisten). North Carolina State Extension. http://cotton.ces.ncsu.edu.