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Effects of Crop Rotation, Cultivar, and Irrigation and Nitrogen Rate on Verticillium Wilt in Cotton

    Authors and Affiliations
    • T. A. Wheeler
    • J. P. Bordovsky
    • J. W. Keeling
    • B. G. Mullinix, Jr. , Texas AgriLife Research and J. E. Woodward, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Lubbock, TX 79403

      A field experiment was conducted under center-pivot irrigation in four wedges, with one wedge in continuous cotton (CC) and three wedges in a rotation (ROT) with 2 years cotton and 1 year in sorghum. Three irrigation rates (base = 1.0B, 1.5B, and 0.5B) were applied during 2007 to 2009 on a susceptible (ST) and partially resistant (PR) cultivar. Nitrogen applied during the season was proportional to irrigation rate. In the ROT wedges, 0.5B, 1.0B, and 1.5B irrigation and nitrogen rates averaged 1, 3, and 9% incidence of wilt, respectively. Disease incidence in the CC wedge averaged 6, 18, and 34% wilt incidence for 0.5B, 1.0B, and 1.5B irrigation and nitrogen rates. In the ROT wedges, the ST cultivar returned $143/ha more than the PR cultivars at the 0.5B irrigation and nitrogen rate whereas, at the 1.0B and 1.5B rates, the PR cultivars averaged $121 and $350/ha more than the ST cultivar. There was no significant irrigation and nitrogen or cultivar effect in the CC wedge on net value; however, trends were similar to the ROT wedge. Overall, ROT returned $285/ha more than CC, PR cultivars returned $123/ha more than the ST cultivar, and 1.0B returned $271 and $296/ha more than 0.5B and 1.5B rates, respectively. Microsclerotia density of V. dahliae averaged 2/cm3 of soil in the ROT wedges and 23/cm3 of soil in the CC wedge. Crop rotation, avoiding excessive irrigation, and using a partially resistant cultivar all reduced incidence of Verticillium wilt and improved net returns.