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Effect of Growth Stage on Cotton Response to a Sublethal Concentration of Dicamba

  • John T. Buol (a1), Daniel B. Reynolds (a2), Darrin M. Dodds (a3), J. Anthony Mills (a4), Robert L. Nichols (a5), Jason A. Bond (a6), Johnie N. Jenkins (a7) and Janice L. DuBien (a8)...


The introduction of auxin herbicide weed control systems has led to increased occurrence of crop injury in susceptible soybeans and cotton. Off-target exposure to sublethal concentrations of dicamba can occur at varying growth stages, which may affect crop response. Field experiments were conducted in Mississippi in 2014, 2015, and 2016 to characterize cotton response to a sublethal concentration of dicamba equivalent to 1/16X the labeled rate. Weekly applications of dicamba at 35 g ae ha−1 were made to separate sets of replicated plots immediately following planting until 14 wk after emergence (WAE). Exposure to dicamba from 1 to 9 WAE resulted in up to 32% visible injury, and exposure from 7 to 10 WAE delayed crop maturity. Exposure from 8 to 10 and 13 WAE led to increased cotton height, while an 18% reduction in machine-harvested yield resulted from exposure at 6 WAE. Cotton exposure at 3 to 9 WAE reduced the seed cotton weight partitioned to position 1 fruiting sites, while exposure at 3 to 6 WAE also reduced yield in position 2 fruiting sites. Exposure at 2, 3, and 5 to 7 WAE increased the percent of yield partitioned to vegetative branches. An increase in percent of yield partitioned to plants with aborted terminals occurred following exposure from 3 to 7 WAE and corresponded with reciprocal decreases in yield partitioned to positional fruiting sites. Minimal effects were observed on fiber quality, except for decreases in fiber length uniformity resulting from exposure at 9 and 10 WAE.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Daniel B. Reynolds, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, 32 Creelman Street, Mississippi State, MS 39762. (Email:


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Cite this article: Buol JT, Reynolds DB, Dodds DM, Mills JA, Nichols RL, Bond JA, Jenkins JN, DuBien JL (2018) Effect of growth stage on cotton response to a sublethal concentration of dicamba. Weed Technol 33:1–8. doi: 10.1017/wet.2018.95



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