Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dodds, Darrin M.

Committee Member

Krutz, L. Jason

Committee Member

Catchot L. Angus, Jr.

Committee Member

Irby, Trenton J.

Committee Member

Jenkins, N. Johnie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Plant and Soil Sciences (Agronomy)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Through proper irrigation scheduling and management of damaged cotton, sustainable agricultural withdrawal from the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer can be achieved while maximizing net returns. This research was conducted to 1) develop a sensor based irrigation strategy that maximized cotton lint yield and quality, irrigation, and water use efficiency (IWUE) and 2) quantify the effects of timing of damage, intensity, and foliar N on cotton growth and development. Lint yield, fiber quality, and IWUE were optimized using a season-long irrigation threshold of -90 kPa and irrigation terminated 2-weeks before cracked boll. Regardless of cotton variety (early- or late-maturing) or timing of damage, plant height, number of nodes, and lint yield were negatively correlated with the intensity of damage. Moreover, the application of foliar nitrogen to damaged cotton had no effect on plant growth, lint yield, or fiber quality, regardless of N application timing. These data indicate that lint yield, and fiber quality are optimized when cotton varieties are selected based on yield potential, irrigated at -90 kPa threshold, and irrigations are terminated two weeks before cracked boll.