COTTON (GOSSYPIUMHIRSUTUM) is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. The fibre is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will tend to increase the dispersal of the seeds. The major use of cotton today is in the textile industry, the fibers or lints of the cotton plant are harvested and woven into fabric for the production of clothing, towels, bed sheets and many other textiles. Cotton fiber may also be used in the production of yarn and twine. The cotton seeds can be used to extract oil for use in the production of shortening or cooking oil and the manufacture of soaps and lubricants. The seed may be used as a feed for livestock. The fuzz produced as a byproduct of the ginning process can be used in the upholstery industry. Lint yields from flood-irrigated cotton crops have increased steadily over the past 25 years and impose a high demand for nutrients. Although cotton lint is composed of primarily cellulose, considerable amounts of nutrients can be removed with cotton seed.
The management practice are important for the production and as well as the yield of cotton. As the cotton crop is heat loving crop so it grows best in high temperature areas like Southern Punjab of Pakistan. Loamy soils with higher percentage of sand are best for growing cotton as the cotton crop requires good drainage and well aeration for maximum yield. Cotton plant is hydrophobic so water logged areas are not feasible for cotton cultivation. Before sowing the crop the land should be well prepared as cultivated 2 to 3 times with cultivator and 1 rota-vator. After preparation the land the seed must be pure with 90% purity and up to having 80% germination percentage. The 8 to 10 kg / acre seed will be used for drill purpose. But in Pakistan the 90 to 95% peoples use bed sowing for the growing of cotton crop. The bed to bed distance is 2 feet and plant to plant distance is up to 9 inch. The seed must be planted with planter or by hand with labour at the depth of 2 to 3 cm. The sowing time is an important factor for the best production of cotton crop. Late sowing leads to reduced yield of crop. The best sowing time for cotton crop is 15 April to 15 May. Always use the recommended as well the new varieties getting the maximum yield of crops. The different varieties are recommended for different agro-climatic zones of Pakistan as per recommendation of Agriculture Department of Punjab.
At the time of land preparation the one bag of DAP, one bag of Potash and half bag of urea per acre in addition to some Farm Yard Manure must be added in soil as basal dose for the improvement of soil physicochemical properties which include improvement of physical structure like aggregation and as result the fertility status of soil is enhanced. One bag of urea must be added after 60 days of sowing of crop and 1 bag of urea after 90-100 days of sowing. After 20 August fertilization of crop will be stopped.
The 6 to 8 irrigation are used for the full crop growth from sowing to harvesting. The thinning and weeding must be done after 40 days of sowing crop. Because the weeds compete with the crops and reduce the yield of crops up to 40%. The weeds compete with crops for light, nutrients, space etc. The hand weeding, hoeing or the recommended weedicides must be used at proper time for the elimination of weeds. After 40 to 60 days the insect pest should be started. First of all sucking insects attack is expected to the crop which can be controlled by using recommended pesticides by Plant Protection Department of Pakistan. Otherwise they will suck the cell sap of leaf and stunted growth of crop will occur. After this the attack of spotted boll worm will be started which also effect the crop growth. The attack of pink boll worm and army worm will be start at the time of flowering and boll formation stage. Varieties of BT cotton are resistant against the attack of boll worm. So, recommended doses of pesticides should be used for controlling the attack of insect-pests of cotton crop to avoid their after effects on crop which ultimately leads to the reduced yield of crop. At the time of boll formation application of recommended dose of Boron must be applied at it improves the pollen tube formation and strengthen the bolls. In September and October the harvesting will be started and farmers get 2 to 3 picking.
After harvesting the cotton sticks must be stored at proper place. The cotton seed, also store at best storage conditions to avoid the loss of moisture. These management practices are helpful for the farmers of Pakistan. By adapting these management practices, the farmer will get maximum yield of cotton crop.