Cotton Plowdown in Fresno County

Taylor HillmanGeneral

Cotton growers in Fresno County are urged to complete their plowdown activities as soon as possible.

Stalks must be shredded by a power-driven shredder that will effectively reduce stalks to a particle size, permitting burial and rapid decomposition. Following shredding, tillage must be completed in such a manner that all stubs are loose from the soil around the roots and will prevent re-growth. At this point, there are two options for cotton growers; conventional plowdown or reduced tillage.
– Conventional plowdown is done by discing all roots, plant stubs, shredded debris and trash remaining from harvesting or clean-up operations and soils around roots to the point that they are turned over and thoroughly mixed with surface soil. This method of plowdown is required in sections where pinkie has been found last growing season or this season until September 1, 2012.
– Reduced tillage does NOT require the incorporation of all roots, plant stubs, shredded debris and trash remaining from harvesting or clean-up operations. If growers choose this option, they must submit a notification 10 days prior to tillage of their intention to reduce tillage on their acreage eligible for the program. Call the Department of Agriculture to find out which sections are not eligible for this program if you are not sure.
Once plowdown is completed by either method, any volunteer cotton must be destroyed that may appear during the host-free period even if it is on ground that was not planted to cotton this season. If re-growth does occur during the host-free period in 2013, the grower/landowner will be cited for a violation of cotton plowdown regulations. Be sure to check fallow fields for isolated plants growing in the field and in easement areas.