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Cotton cultivation requires holistic approach

Cotton cultivation requires holistic approach

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13

Cotton cultivation presents lucrative opportunities for cotton farmers, but demands careful attention to several key factors to ensure successful yield and sustainable farming practices. During the past several years, cotton productivity has been adversely affected due to various pests, diseases and adverse weather conditions. Therefore, successful cotton cultivation in Punjab requires a holistic approach that integrates sound agronomic practices, efficient resource management, and proactive pest and disease control strategies.

The foundation of a successful cotton crop lies in the quality of seed. Farmers are advised to cultivate varieties recommended by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. Of the recommended varieties, farmers may choose those varieties which have shown potential of high yield and resistance to sap-sucking insects and leaf curl disease. It should also be ensured that the seeds are purchased from a reliable source with a bill. In no case, the seeds of unrecompensed varieties from other states should be sown, because those varieties have shown high insect-pests and disease infestation in recent past, said Navneet Kaur from Punjab Agricultural University’s Farm Advisory Service Centre (FASC).

Farmers should aim to sow seeds at the recommended spacing and depth, taking into account the local climate conditions and soil moisture levels. Timely sowing typically between April and May is advisable to capitalise on favorable weather conditions and ensure robust crop establishment. Early and delayed cotton sowing reduces the yield, and increases the insect-pest incidence. The best suitable cotton sowing period is from April 1 to May 15. In any case, ensure sowing of cotton before May 15.

“It has been observed that cotton is affected more by whitefly infestation in the fields where cotton sowing is delayed. For better seed germination, pre-sowing irrigation with good quality water is very important. It is recommended to use 900 g seed per acre of Bt-cotton hybrids,” said Amarjeet Singh Sandhu from the FASC.

Further, Pritpal Singh from FASC said that adequate soil preparation is essential to create an optimal seedbed for cotton sowing. During the last few years of surveys, it has been observed that in many fields the root of the plant does not develop properly due to the formation of hard layers in the soil. The formation of hard layer hinders the optimum root growth and development of cotton plant. In such fields, there is a need of deep ploughing (45-50 cm deep) using tractor-driven chisel plow on both sides at a distance of one meter.

He said, “Utmost care should be taken that the field hosts proper moisture conditions at the time of sowing. Maintain a slow speed (of tractor) while sowing and the depth of the drill should be uniform. If the seed is sown too deep or too shallow, it will adversely affect the seed germination and therefore, plant population will decrease. It is important to achieve at least 7,850 cotton plants per acre.”

THE ADVICE

  • Of the PAU-recommended varieties, farmers may choose those varieties which have shown potential of high yield and resistance to sap-sucking insects and leaf curl disease
  • Early and delayed cotton sowing reduces the yield, and increases the insect-pest incidence. The best suitable cotton sowing period is from April 1 to May 15. In any case, ensure sowing of cotton before May 15
  • For better seed germination, pre-sowing irrigation with good quality water is very important. It is recommended to use 900 g seed per acre of Bt-cotton hybrids
  • Maintain a slow speed (of tractor) while sowing and the depth of the drill should be uniform. If the seed is sown too deep or too shallow, it will adversely affect the seed germination and thus, the yield

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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