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Cotton Planting Forecast for Arkansas – April 22 – 27
Author: Tom Barber, Extension Weed Scientist

Recent rainfall has stopped planting across the state. Anywhere from 0.5 to 2 inches or more has fallen across the Delta.  The planting forecast looks optimum over the next five to ten days with daytime highs in the 80° range and nighttime lows in the 60’s. This will provide excellent conditions in regard to heat unit accumulation, however, high chances of precipitation are forecasted until the middle of next week. This will most likely prevent any planting activity in most areas.

We are just now at the front of our optimum planting window for producing high yielding cotton. There is still plenty of time left to get this crop in the ground. Over 20 years of data suggest that average yield will not be reduced based on planting date until after May 20. Many producers may have applied Reflex® or other pre-emerge herbicide prior to the rainfall. This should work fine but level of control is dependent on how much rainfall we continue to receive and how long it will be before we can plant. If this rain keeps us out of the field more than 14 days, or if rainfall amounts are high enough to wash soil and herbicide into the furrows, another pre-emerge herbicide should be applied just after planting. In this situation, residual herbicides such as Diuron®, Cotoran® or Caparol® should be used to extend residual control of glyphosate resistant pigweed.

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

Predicted DD60 accumulation for five days following planting
Outlook for Planting

< 10

Very Poor







> 50

Very Good

Northeast Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 16.8
Predicted DD60s – 58
Precipitation – High Probability
Planting Forecast–Very Good*

Central Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 25
Predicted DD60s – 60
Precipitation – High Probability
Planting Forecast –Very Good*

Southeast Arkansas
Historic DD60s – 35
Predicted DD60s – 73.5
Precipitation – High Probability
Planting Forecast –Very Good*

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