Kharif Season Blog #2 - Cultivating Cotton
More than 40 million people are employed in the trade and industrial processing of cotton. As the basic raw material for the textile industry, it is one of the most important fibre crops worldwide. Thus, cotton also plays a dominant role in India's agricultural economy. Cotton cultivation provides a direct livelihood for more than 6 million Indian farmers and is grown on a large scale in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, especially in Kharif season.
Being very thirsty for water, cotton requires proper and timely land preparation to conserve soil moisture and provide optimum tilt for germination and weed control. Therefore, a good flatbed is very important. This can be done by harrowing and ploughing. According to efficient usage of water, it is recommended to take advanced drip irrigation systems into account for cotton cultivation. However, the soil should also be well prepared for this. Hence, add 5 tons per acre of well decomposed farmyard manure or compost before the last harrowing. In case the soil has termites or white larvae, add 750 to 1000 kg/ha of Neem Cake in addition to FYM. For further best practices and useful tips like these, use the Plantix App and set up a Crop Advisory Service. You will be notified about all the necessary work steps and will receive comprehensive step-by-step instructions during the entire cotton cultivation cycle.
The decision about which seed variety to use will be crucial for the whole season. Therefore, you should take into account a number of criteria: Resistance, yield stability, ripeness and fibre quality. You should also keep water availability in mind when choosing between irrigated, semi-cultivated or rain-based varieties. The #PlantiXperts in the Plantix Community will be happy to help you find the most suitable variety for your local conditions.
Prevention of Pests & Diseases
Thrips, Jassids and Leaf Reddening are the most commonly occurring pests and diseases on cotton crops in India. Some of them can cause serious crop failures. Therefore, it is wise to integrate effective disease management into the running of the entire farm. In doing so, the focus should be on the host, the potential pathogen and the environment. In general, you should pay attention to the following points:
- practising proper hygiene on equipment and fields between the seasons.
- using clean seeds and resistant varieties.
- planting at the same time as other farmers in your surrounding area.
- proper usage of fertiliser.
- monitoring your crops with the Plantix Health Check feature regularly.
- encouraging natural enemies of pests.
The integration of Plantix into your IPM strategy offers you many advantages: You can easily monitor the health status of your plants with the Health Check function and then get detailed information on prevention and pest control. You will also be alerted when diseases or pests start spreading in your area.