Thursday July 18, 2024

Cotton planting deadline looms on 31st

By Bureau report
May 21, 2024
A farmer harvests cotton in his field. — Reuters/File
A farmer harvests cotton in his field. — Reuters/File

MULTAN: Cotton growers can achieve the highest seed cotton yield by sowing the crop within the fixed deadline, as the timing of planting is crucial for the desired cotton yield due to the plant’s sensitivity to environmental conditions. Abiotic factors such as temperature, humidity, precipitation, and soil moisture can impact cotton yield and quality. Understanding the relationship between the plant and its environment, as well as implementing different management practices, may help in designing optimal management systems.

The Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) emphasized the importance of cotton planting timing and dates. During a meeting, the FAC recommended that farmers who have not yet planted cotton should complete sowing by May 31st and make seed treatment mandatory before sowing. They should also ensure the use of a laser land leveler when preparing the land. A well-leveled field not only conserves water but also improves germination and protects the crop from diseases. The recommended number of plants should be between 23,000 to 35,000 per acre.

For 23,000 plants, the distance between plants should be 9 inches, while for 35,000 plants, the distance should be 6 inches. Weeds should be controlled at an early stage, and growers should delay the first spray as much as possible. The defoliation process of 20-25-day-old cotton should be completed. In the case of triple gene cotton cultivation, farmers should first spray two or three lines for weed control before spraying the entire field. If there is no damage, then the entire field can be sprayed. Subsequent weed sightings should be targeted and sprayed with glyphosate. Farmers in sandy areas should cultivate bearer seeds.

The FAC recommended that growers soak seeds in water for 4 to 5 hours before sowing for better germination and sowing in the morning. Farmers who planted cotton in March for seed production should complete the rouging process for pure seed.

The meeting also addressed the attack of Dusky Bug on early cultivated cotton, recommending the use of Clothian Dun to protect against damage. Yellow adhesive traps should be placed in the field when the cotton crop reaches 6 inches to prevent whitefly attacks. Sex traps should also be installed to monitor and prevent pink bollworm attacks.

After weed control and weeding, cotton farmers should apply fertilizers to meet the plants’ nutritional needs and provide adequate water. Following pruning, farmers should apply one bag of SOP and one bag of DAP fertilizers per acre.