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Cotton Planting Forecast for Arkansas
Author: Tom Barber, Extension Weed Scientist

The unseasonably warm weather this weekend, with temperatures climbing to the near 90°F has left several anxious cotton producers sitting on go to put the first seed in the ground. A few acres have been reported planted in extreme southeast Arkansas despite forecasts for cooler conditions. The temperature forecast over the next five days predicts cooler temperatures, falling into the lower 40°F range tonight and the latter part of this week. The cooler daytime high and low temperatures over the next five days will not provide adequate DD60’s for rapid emergence and growth of cotton seedlings.  The combination of cool soil temperatures and high moisture content will lead to damaged root tips and increased disease pressure.  The result will be a decrease in seed germination, survivability and stand establishment.  Additionally, emergence will stretch out over a period of seven to ten days. This coupled with a decent chance of rainfall on Thursday, particularly in central Arkansas could lead to poor overall emergence and replant situations. With this in mind cotton producers statewide should consider waiting until next week before planting large acreage.

*The comments in this planting forecast provide no guarantee and should be used only as a guide. Weather forecasts are subject to change and errors.

Predicted DD60 accumulation for five days following planting
Outlook for Planting

< 10

Very Poor







> 50

Very Good

Northeast Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 7.5
Predicted DD60s – 9.9
Precipitation – 30% Thursday
Planting Forecast–Very Poor* 

Central Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 15
Predicted DD60s – 14
Precipitation – 60% Thursday
Planting Forecast – Poor*

Southeast Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 28
Predicted DD60s – 20
Precipitation – 30% Thursday
Planting Forecast –Marginal*

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