Different sowing dates affected cotton yield and yield components

Document Type : Research Paper


Institute of Desert and Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China.


This study was conducted to determine whether selecting an optimum sowing date could
improve yield. The experiment consisted of sowing a film-covered, drip-irrigated cotton field on
four sowing dates from April to May in 2011-2012 at the Agrometeorological Experimental
Station of Wulanwusu, which was in an arid region of north-western China. Late sowing dates
produced less yield and water-use efficiency than did the normal sowing dates. The yield
increased with the increases of mean diurnal temperature range (DTR) from full bloom to
maturity, mean temperature and sunshine hours (SH) during the whole growing season (WGS),
accumulated temperature (AT) and days from squaring to anthesis and mean temperature during
the reproductive growth stage. However, the main effect factors of meteorological parameters
were AT from squaring to anthesis, mean temperature during the WGS and AT from sowing to
emergence. The main effect factors of yield component were boll number per plant, gin turnout
and boll weight. Boll number per plant suffered from mean DTR from boll setting to maturity
and SH during the WGS. Gin turnout was affected by mean temperature during the WGS and
mean DTR from boll setting to maturity. Sowing date, year and their interactions all
significantly affected the yield. Sowing date was an important factor affecting the yield and
reproductive duration. With climate change, an earlier planting date might be an efficient
method of increasing yield.