Cotton row spacing and plant density cropping systems II. Effects on seedcotton yield, boll components and lint quality
Narrow or ultra narrow row production system has been suggested as an alternative strategy instead of conventional to increase yield and to reduce cotton input cost. However, the performance of this production system at different regions around the world cotton belt may need more evaluation. This study was conducted to evaluate this prospect in a marginal cotton belt. In this task, we compared three cropping systems in terms of conventional row (CR; 96 cm 16 plants/m(2)), narrow row high plant density (NRHPD; 48 cm, 32 plants/m(2)) and narrow row low plant density (NRLPD; 16 plants/m(2)). Effects of these systems on seedcotton yield, boll weight and its components, seed weight and lint quality parameters, were studied during two growing seasons. The seed cotton yield was significantly (P <= 0.05) higher in NRHPD compared to CR and NRLPD, but this fact seemed to be dependent upon the weather conditions. Boll weight and its components were constantly lower (P <= 0.05) in NRHPD compared to CR and NRLPD. From the examined lint properties, micronaire and 50% span length were negatively affected (P <= 0.05) by high plant density in narrow row. The other lint quality parameters were not consistently affected by plant density and row spacing.