I love harvest time and while we have a while before we will be picking cotton in Missouri, a time-lapse video of cotton boll opening from the Texas Gulf Coast sure is getting a lot of people excited about what is to come!
Over the years, we have shared about cotton plant physiology quite a bit — creamy white flowers turning pink and into a boll that does the Jiffy Pop dance to open. Well, this year, Justin Roberts (@horned_ranch on Twitter who is a crop consultant in Sinton, TX) caught a boll opening on video. He has rocked the Twitterverse for sure! Just check it out.
Justin says it took a few days for the boll to go from initial cracking to fully open. It also takes some good sunshine and heat units.
Justin has worked in cotton quite a while — he reminded me we had worked on some projects in Georgia years ago. He has a depth of knowledge in cotton genetics and physiology that makes him naturally curious (he’s say nerdy) about things like this so he set up his camera and let it go for a while. I’m always a fan of this sort of thing but time-lapse video of cotton? Sign me up! I love that you can see the strong sun of mid-day and the shadows of morning and evening come and go.
We laughed about how the breezes coming off the Gulf of Mexico make this branch dance more than you’d necessarily expect. But with 10 years in Texas, he’s grown used to the breezes and wind. I suggested he could set up a stake or brace and duct tape the plant to it (no, I never expected him to agree).
It’s interesting to realize that way geography hits when Justin points out the proximity to the Gulf means there is really no measurable irrigation — wells there pump saltwater!