The 1998 Arizona Cotton Advisory Program
P. Brown, Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department
B. Russell, Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department
J. Silvertooth, Plant Sciences Department
P. Ellsworth, Maricopa Agricultural Center
S. Husman, Pinal County Cooperative Extension
T. Knowles, La Paz County Cooperative Extension
L. Clark, Safford Agricultural Center
D. Dunn, Cochise County Cooperative Extension
M. Schneider, Greenlee County Cooperative Extension
Arizona Cooperative Extension generates and distributes weather-based Planting
Date and Cotton Development Advisories for 19 cotton production areas (Aguila, Buckeye,
Cochise Co., Coolidge, Eloy, Greenlee, Co., Harquahala, Laveen, Litchfield Pk., Marana,
Maricopa, Mohave Valley, Paloma, Parker, Pinal Co., Queen Creek, Roll, Safford and Yuma
Valley). Planting Date Advisories are distributed from legal first planting date until
the end of April and provide updates on heat-unit-based planting windows, recent and
forecasted weather conditions, heat unit accumulations, variety selection, soil temperatures,
recommended plant population, and early insect management and control. Cotton Development
Advisories are distributed from early May through the end of August and provide updates on c
rop development, insects, weather and agronomy. The Cotton Advisory Program will continue
in 1998, and growers may obtain advisories by mail/fax from local extension offices or by
computer from the AZMET Internet Web Page (http://ag.arizona.edu/azmet) and AZMET Computer
Bulletin Board System. Program changes planned for 1998 include 1) an expanded weather
information update and 2) the addition of an advisory for the Buckeye area.
Arizona Cooperative Extension has published and distributed weekly weather-based advisories for
Arizona cotton producers since 1991. This program will again be provided for growers and
others in the agribusiness community in 1998. This document briefly reviews the advisory
program, then details plans for the 1998 program.
The Cotton Advisory Program provides cotton growers weekly updates on crop development,
agronomy, pests and weather from mid-February until the end of August. Two related but
distinct advisories are used during the season- long program: the Planting Date Advisory
and the Cotton Development Advisory. The Planting Date Advisory
(Figure 1) is generated each
Monday from the start of the planting season until late April or early May (depending on
location) and emphasizes planting cotton in windows defined by heat unit (HU, 86o /55oF
thresholds) accumulations rather than calendar dates. The HU windows identify planting
periods which typically result in optimal performance for short, medium and full season
cotton varieties. A simple graph showing annual HU accumulation and the planting windows
s used to illustrate the proper planting time
The remainder of the Planting Date Advisory is devoted to weekly updates on 1) weather
conditions (current situation, long-term normals and 5-day forecast), 2) early season pest
management, and 3) agronomy. Among the topics discussed in the Planting Date Advisories are
variety selection, seeding rates, plant population, optimal planting conditions for rapid and
uniform germination and early season crop phenology.
Cotton Development Advisories are issued beginning in late April or early May and provide
growers information on cotton development, pest management, and season-long crop management
(Figure 2). A simple graph tracking HU accumulation for cotton crops planted on five (four at
high elevation areas) representative planting dates is located at the top of the advisory
(Figure 2). HU-based development time lines are used to indicate when growers should expect
particular phenological or physiological events such as pinhead square, susceptible square,
first flower, peak bloom, cut-out, etc.
The text portion of the Cotton Development Advisory is similar to that of the Planting Date
Advisory and provides updates on weather (both normal and forecasts), insects and cotton
agronomy. Estimates of cotton water use are added to the weather section to assist growers
with irrigation management, and regular updates on the heat stress conditions are provided
during monsoon. Insect updates discuss appropriate scouting and control measures for pink
bollworm, whitefly, lygus, aphids and other insect pests. The Agronomy Update provides details
on nitrogen and water management, factors impacting fruit retention, crop monitoring techniques,
identification of cut-out, timing of terminal irrigations and defoliation strategies.
Advisory Development and Distribution
The data processing center (DPC) of the Arizona Meteorological Network (AZMET) serves as the
site for advisory development. Because the advisories make use of near-real time weather
information (e.g., HUs, soil tempertures, evapotranspiration, humidity and rainfall), the
presence of a local AZMET weather station is a prerequisite for advisory development.
Table 1 lists 19 locations served by the program, and the AZMET
weather stations serving each location.
Advisories are developed each Monday morning in the following manner. First, AZMET personnel
summarize the previous week's data and make the necessary computations of weather-based
variables. Second, Extension Specialists in entomology and cotton agronomy submit their
respective weekly updates to the AZMET DPC for inclusion in the advisories. AZMET personnel
then develop, proof and print the advisories for each region. The advisories are either sent
via the Internet or facsimile machine to each county extension office on Monday afternoon where
local modifications are made prior to distribution to growers. The level of local modification
varies with county but generally consists of additional information on local production or pest
problems and inclusion of brief, one-page reports on cotton management and/or market information.
Growers interested in accessing advisories by computer have two options -- the AZMET Internet
Web Page located at http://ag.arizona.edu/azmet
or the AZMET Computer Bulletin Board.Advisories are placed on each computer system on Monday afternoon and remain on the system
through Saturday of each week. Procedures for accessing these two systems are provided later
in this publication.
The 1998 Cotton Advisory Program
Changes planned for the 1998 Cotton Advisory Program include the addition of advisories for the
Buckeye, Coolidge, Eloy and Maricopa areas; and an expanded Weather Update on both advisory
formats. The Buckeye advisory will utilize weather data from a new AZMET station that was
installed in the area in January of 1998. Advisories for Coolidge, Eloy and Maricopa will
utilize weather information from existing AZMET weather stations and are being developed to
provide Pinal County growers with more localized information. Pinal County has been served in
past years by a single advisory that provided average countywide weather conditions derived
from the Coolidge, Eloy and Maricopa AZMET stations.
The expanded Weather Update section will summarize normals and 1997 data for the coming week as
well as weather conditions observed for the past week. Information provided in the Weather
Update will include maximum, minimum and dew point temperatures; heat unit accumulation;
precipitation; and heat stress conditions. Heat stress conditions will be summarized using a
crop temperature/ heat stress model that uses AZMET's temperature and humidity data.
Aside from the changes mentioned above, 1998 Cotton Advisory Program will resemble the 1997
program. The weather, insect and agronomy updates will remain in the same order, and their
content will change as 1998 conditions dictate. Each county extension office will continue to
have the option of localizing the advisory. This may involve making additions and/or
adjustments to fine tune the advisory for local conditions. An example of localization might
be the inclusion of control recommendations for a local pest outbreak or announcements about
upcoming workshops and/or meetings.
How To Obtain The 1998 Cotton Advisories
Growers and other interested individuals may obtain advisories from three sources: 1) local
county extension offices, 2) AZMET's Internet Web Page and 3) AZMET's Computer Bulletin Board
System. Procedures required to access advisories from each source are provided below.
County Extension Offices
The bulk of the advisories are delivered to clientele via local county extension offices.
Access via the county office allows recipients to benefit from any local information
generated/provided by local extension personnel. These local modifications/additions are
presently available only from county extension offices (not available via computer sources).
Most county offices distribute advisories through regular weekly mailings. Delivery via
facsimile machine is offered in some circumstances. Individuals interested in receiving the
advisories via county extension offices should contact their local office for details.
Access Via The AZMET Internet Web Page
The Arizona Meteorological Network (AZMET) now provides access to AZMET information and the
Weekly Cotton Advisories via the AZMET Internet Web Page. The AZMET Web Page URL address is:
To access the advisories, proceed to the bottom of the main web page
(contains the map showing AZMET station locations). Locate the section labeled "Special Reports"
and click on "Cotton Advisores" to access to the Cotton Advisories sub-page. Identify the l
ocation of interest and then click on the word "Current" to view this week's advisory.
Advisories from previous weeks and an advisory designed for use with the Adobe Acrobat Reader
are also available for each location.
You may also retrieve cotton advisories by selecting the location of interest from the station
list located left of the state map. A description of the AZMET station location and a listing
of available data files is followed by the heading "Special Reports" which provides access to
Cotton Advisory sub-page.
The AZMET Web Page also provides an FTP site for individuals interested in downloading files.
Specifics on the FTP site are as follows:
- Host Name: ag.arizona.edu
- Host Type: automatic detect
- User ID: anonymous
- Password: guest
- Initial Directories at Remote Host: /pub/azmet
The file cotton.txt in the Documentation directory provides the proper filenames for the
Individuals planning to generate hard copy output of advisories downloaded from the AZMET Web
Page must adjust their printer settings. Page length, print typeface and type pitch must be
adjusted in order to generate a one-page hard copy report. Specific details and recommended
printer settings are provided in the next section entitled "AZMET Computer Bulletin Board".
AZMET Computer Bulletin Board
A third means of obtaining cotton advisories is to view/download them off the AZMET Computer BBS located in Tucson. A personal computer, modem, communications software and access to a
phone line are required to use the AZMET BBS. Use of the AZMET BBS is free; users pay long
distance phone charges if applicable. Table 2 lists the equipment, communications requirements
and phone numbers necessary to access the AZMET BBS.
The AZMET BBS is the computer equivalent of a standard wall bulletin board. The BBS is
subdivided into specific regions or file areas which serve as repositories for weather
information. A file area is provided for each weather station in the AZMET system. Computer
files (ASCII text files) containing information obtained from a particular AZMET station are
stored within each file area. Users may view or download any file stored on the BBS, provided
they know the filename. The filename for the cotton advisories will be COTTON.RPT.
To view or download a cotton advisory, users must first enter the file area holding the
advisory (location) of interest (Table 3). Once in the correct file area, the user can view
(using the Type command) or download (using the Download command) the advisory by entering
COTTON.RPT when prompted by the AZMET BBS to enter a filename.
If a user downloads the advisory to their computer and plans to generate a hard copy report,
some changes in the normal printer setup will be necessary to print out a functional final copy
that fits on one page. The first required adjustment is to change the number of lines per page
from 60 (normal default) to 76. This is necessary to get the entire advisory printed on one
page. Print typeface represents the next likely printer adjustment.Do not use a proportional
spaced typeface! Instead, set the printer to a non-proportional or monospaced typeface.
When using laser printers, Courier typeface works well.
The final setting that may need adjustment is the type pitch (characters per inch).
A type pitch setting of 11 or 12 is recommended; a setting of 10 may result in truncated lines.
The advantage of accessing advisories via AZMET is same-day delivery. AZMET places the
completed advisories on the Internet Web Page and BBS shortly after noon each Monday. However,
it is important to note that advisories obtained from the AZMET BBS will not contain localized
information added at county extension offices. Growers interested in this local information
will need to obtain advisories from their local extension office. Users of the BBS should also
note that cotton advisories will be developed only for the 19 locations listed in
In situations where an advisory covers a region that is served by more than one AZMET weather
station, the advisory will be stored in all relevant file areas
(Table 3). For example, the Yuma Valley advisories will be
placed in the Yuma Valley, Yuma Mesa and Yuma North Gila file areas.
This is a part of publication AZ1006:
"Cotton: A College of Agriculture Report," 1998, College of Agriculture, The University of
Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721.
Any products, services, or organizations that are mentioned, shown, or indirectly
implied in this publication do not imply endorsement by The University of Arizona.
The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
This document located at http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/crops/az1006/az10061a.html
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