Practical early season diagnostic tool for cotton

08 December, 2004

___The Early Season Diagnostic Tool (ESD), developed by CSIRO, is proving a valuable addition to the cotton grower’ production toolbox._

The ESD is a graphical tool that compares Day Degrees (DD) accumulated with the number of Squaring Nodes (SN) per plant, or the number of Nodes Above White Flower (NAWF) per plant, and compares that to a target line representing the crop’s optimal potential.

Sandra Deutscher, an experimental scientist with CSIRO at Myall Vale, Narrabri, told viewers of the CSD weekly Web on Wednesday video that the tool is especially important for high retention crops.

__“The ESD tool is particularly useful for monitoring the growth of Bollgard® crops, so you can pick up problems that might be occurring in crop vigour, and correct those problems early before they turn into a yield problem.

“At the moment the crops are just starting to square, so that’s the time to count the squaring nodes per plant, it’s around 9 to 10 nodes or should be about 500 DD after sowing.

“A lot of crops are variable in their crop growth, so pick a part of the crop that is representative of the management area of the whole field, and go back to the similar area each week,” she said.

Detailed information about the ESD tool, about the definition of a Squaring Node, and the Day Degree Calculator are available on the Australian Cotton websites:

Further clarification and assistance on accessing, entering or analysing ESD data can be obtained from:
Sandra Deutscher ( or Dave Larsen ( Phone (02) 6799 1500.

__Simon Struss, from Cotton Consultant Services at Theodore, said he is using the Early Season Diagnostic Tool to monitor squaring nodes.

“Most of the crops, because we have had such a good run this season with rainfall, have not been under stress. So we would normally assume that all our crops would be running above that optimal potential line in any case so far as SN production relative to DD accumulation.

“Because we have had the rain, it was always going to be above the line right up until flowering, occurring next week. We are hoping to get most of our crops to slip into flowering with at least 8 if not 9 NAWF. We can use the ESD graph to maintain or verify that the crops have crossed the line at the 9 NAWF point.

“It is our intention to keep them revving at that pace for certainly the first couple of weeks and then we will start to tighten up at the water end and/or Pix, and hopefully set most of the crop during this period,” he said.

Further Information: *"Robert Eveleigh**, John Marshall, Craig McDonald or David Kelly":showstaff.asp?staff=1