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September 18, 2020

Farmers advisory body upbeat about cotton crop situation

National

September 18, 2020

MULTAN: The tenth meeting of Farmers Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC) Thursday expressed satisfaction over the cotton crop situation and found the crop in a better position compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Central Cotton Research Institute Director Dr Zahid Mehmood chaired the meeting at CCRI. The FTAC issued recommendations for cotton care until September 30. The FTAC deeply reviewed cotton situations across the country. The in-charges of cotton research stations of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee participated in the meeting online. The stakeholders discussed cotton situations in their respective areas and expressed satisfaction over the crop situation.

The FTAC deeply discussed the crop situation in Punjab and found the crop was in better position than last year's crop. The meeting found that heavy monsoon rains did not damage cotton largely, however, the whitefly is now reducing, which has become a key threat in some areas. The cotton crop has entered into the final phase of maturity and flowers are developing into bowls rapidly. The present stage needs more attention so the farmers can pick maximum production.

The FTAC recommended farmers should not allow the cotton crop to run out of fertilizer and water at this stage. On this occasion, cotton growers should use half a sack of urea, one sack of ammonium sulphate or one sack of calcium ammonium nitrate. The participants informed in the meeting that it is time to turn the flower into fruit till October 10, so for better production, it is necessary to protect one flower and one bowl.

With the use of these fertilizers, the stalled cotton crop will start growing and will move towards fruits instead of growth. The FTAC meeting stressed upon growers to adopt measures for better and professional picking of the cash crop. The growers should start picking when more than 60pc bowls should mature. The growers should start picking from down to upward. The FTAC recommended the growers should avoid contamination mixing in cotton. Farmers should not let the crop run out of water at this time and continue the irrigation process.

Incomplete bowls should not be masonry. Similarly, picking cotton from pink bollworm or other bollworms or any disease affected bowls should be kept separate. It was informed in the meeting that care should be taken in the picking of cotton grown for seeds and different types of cotton picking should be kept separately so that they do not blend with each other and after picking the phuthi should be dried in the sun.

Its ginning should be completed as soon as possible and bales of different cotton varieties should be tested and healthy and well-grown seeds should be stored for cultivation. The FTAC meeting established the month of September is very important for pink bollworm attack, which needs comprehensive management against pink bollworm. The growers should not commit any negligence in caring for their crop. If the crop faces water shortage then the growers would perform inferior watering to the crop.

Among the meeting participants were include heads of cotton sector sections including Dr Muhammad Naveed Afzal, Dr Muhammad Idrees Khan, Dr Fiyyiz Ahmed, Sajid Mehmood and Dr Ishfaq Ahmed Shah. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cotton research station in charge Zahid Usman participated in the meeting online.