Field experiments were conducted in Hale Co., TX, in 2005 and 2006 to determine the effects of 2,4-D amine and dicamba applied at varying rates and growth stages on cotton growth and yield, and to correlate cotton injury levels and lint yield reductions. Dicamba or 2,4-D amine was applied at four growth stages including cotyledon to two-leaf, four- to five-leaf, pinhead square, and early bloom. Dicamba and 2,4-D amine were applied at 1/2, 1/20, 1/200, and 1/2000 of the recommended use rate. Crop injury was recorded at 14 days after treatments and late-season, and cotton lint yields were determined. Across all growth stages, 2,4-D caused more crop injury and yield loss than dicamba. Cotton lint was reduced more by later applications (especially pinhead square) and injury underestimated yield loss with 2,4-D. Visual estimates of injury overestimated yield loss when 2,4-D or dicamba was applied early (cotyledon to two leaf) and was not a good predictor of yield loss.
Nomenclature: Dicamba; 2,4-D; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. ‘FiberMax 960 BR’.