Cotton

Cotton is an important fibrous crop which is used in making dresses and other clothing material. Its cottonseed oil is used as a raw material in production of Banaspati ghee.

About

Pakistan is in 4th position among the list of countries producing cotton. Punjab is given preference in this regard because approximately 70% of total cotton of the country is produced in Punjab. In the year 2016-17 in Punjab, cotton crop was cultivated on the land area of 43.88 lac acre which is less than the area of 55.42 lac acre in 2015-16. It is expected to obtain 64.03 lac lumps of cotton from it now which is less than the last year 2015-16 production (64.43 lac lumps). Total cultivated area, net and average production of Punjab in last five years are given in table below;

Year Area Net Production Average Production
Thousand Hectare Thousand Acre Thousand Lumps Kg per Hectare Mound per Acre
2012-13 2308.68 5705 9526 1980 21.47
2013-14 2199.00 5434 9145 1996 21.64
2014-15* 2322.90 5740 10277 2124 23.02
2015-16 2242.72 5542 6343 1358 14.72
2016-17** (Second Estimate) 1775.73 4388 6903 1866 20.24

* Reasons for increase in production during 2014-15

  • Increased production rate per acre due to suitable weather conditions.
  • Due to the steps were taken by the government to prevent pink bollworm attack.
  • Due to getting better rates of cotton.

* Reasons for decrease in land for cotton during 2016-17

  • Transfer of cotton land to other crops due to insufficient rates.
  • A severe attack of pink bollworm last year.

Cotton Cultivation Zones of Punjab

Core Areas Districts of Multan, Khanewal, Vihari, Lodhran, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh, Layyah and Rahim Yar Khan
Non-Core Areas Districts of Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Jhang, Chiniot, Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpatan
Marginal Areas Districts of Bhakkar, Mianwali, Khushab, Sargodha, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Lahore, Kasur, Attock, Rawalpindi, Jehlum and Chakwal

Seeds

Seed Varieties

Always select suitable types among the recommended types of the Department of Agriculture. Major characteristics of these types have been given in table no. 15.

 

Sr. no. Name of Type Sr. no. Name of Type Sr. no. Name of Type

1

MNH 886

9

KZ 181

17

IUB-13

2

VH 259

10

CA 12

18

MM-58

3

BH 178

11

FH- Lalazar

19

Leader-1

4

CIM 599

12

MNH-988

20

A-555

5

CIM 602

13

BH-184

21

AGC-777

6

FH 142

14

VH-305

22

AG-999

7

IR Niab 824

15

CIMB-33

23

AGC-555

8

IUB 222

16

BS-52

 

Note: In order to avoid the incompatible condition, it is appropriate for the cultivators to cultivate 2 -3 types of cotton.

Quantity of Seeds

Good quality, healthy, pure and disease free recommended seed should be used in the cultivation of cotton. Except for Punjab Seed Corporation, Authenticated quality seed can be obtained from registered private institutes. Seed rate should be used according to following table.

Seed Growth Quantity of seed per acre (kilogram)
Without Bur With Bur

75% or more

6

8

60%

8

10

Note: Use 6 to 8-kilogram seeds per acre for cultivation on fields. Organize more than 10% of seeds than actual need so that in case of re-sowing, no difficulty could be faced. Complete quantity of plants is a guarantee of increase in production per acre. That’s why buy approved seeds from authentic dealers only.

In case of Non B.T type cotton and cultivation on ridges, use 6 to 8 kg per acre while for drill cultivation, use 8 to 12 kg seed without bur per acre. Always use the recommended seed quantity for obtaining required quantity of plants and better and profit-making production. Approved seeds of good quality can be obtained from Punjab Seed Corporation and other registered private institutions.

Assesing Seed Growth

For the assessment of seed growth, dip the sample of 400 seeds in water for 6 to 7 hours. Take two damp towels and place one of them in clean shadowy place or in a room. Now spread four sets of 100-100 wet seeds on the towel and cover them with another wet towel. Sprinkle water on the covered seeds for two to three times a day so that seeds will get moisture to grow. After four to five days carry the upper towel and count the grown seeds from every heap. Now calculate their average. This will be seed rate. (Extension agriculture workers should give training of it as well)

Seed Processing

Making seeds bur free

One litre trading sulfuric acid is enough for making 10 kg of seeds bur free. For early cultivation of cotton, the process of making a seed bur free takes place at a low temperature. Increase the quantity of acid to 1.5 litres in case of low temperature. Place the seed in a plastic tub and slowly pour the acid on it. Now slightly shake the seed with the help of a wooden stick or a plank. This will make a seed bur free. There are special machines on the market now for making the seed bur free. Such machines can also be used for this purpose. When the seed becomes blackish, put it in a strainer and place it under a running water and wash the seed properly in order to remove all the traces of acid. In washing, cheap and flawed seed floats at the surface of the water while a healthy and good quality seed stays at the bottom. Dry the healthy seed in the sunlight. Put them in jute sacks or cloth bags and place them dry and airy cellars in a way that air could easily pass through the lower sacks. Never store seeds on the open floor (whether well-built or not). It can affect the seed growth. Do not use nylon and plastic bags for storing the seeds. Pick the joint seeds affected by pink worm and waste them. (Cultivator will take advice of host cultivators in the training process of this training program)

Making seed poisonous

It is very necessary to apply pesticides to the seed before sowing. This act keeps the crop safe from nectar sucking worms especially white bee (which leads to leaves twisting virus) in the initial period of almost one month. Making the seed poisonous results in the better growth of crop and the crop is less affected by the disease. In order to secure the seeds from disease attack (specifically in case of early cultivation) apply suitable fungicides on seeds on the advice of the staff of the department of agriculture as well. (Arrange practical training)

Availability of seed

55712 maunds (a bag of 40 kilograms) of seeds are present in Punjab Seed Corporation this year which can be obtained from regional sale depots of the corporation. Details of seeds present in the corporation have been given in following table. Except this, seed can also be obtained from authentic private seed companies.

Type Name Seed Quantity
(bag of 40 kg)
Type Name Seed Quantity
(bag of 40 kg)

MNH-886

834

FH-142

20748

IUB-13

24480

CIM-602

3666

Others

5230

FH-Lalazar

754

Total Seed Quantity

55712

 

 

 

 

Cultivation

Land Preperation

For better cotton production, such fertile land is preferred which becomes fragile and grainy after its preparation. It should have a better concentration of organic matter, enough water absorption capacity and parameters to keep the land moist for more time. The inner surface of the earth should not be hard so that it would not be very tough for plants roots to spread inward. For this purpose, during the preparation of land, plough deep and use a laser leveller to level the earth so that plants roots could reach to the depth easily and the moisture could be retained for long. The remnants of the previous crop should merge in the land. Use rotavator, disk hero or soil turning plough for this purpose so that sowing could become easy.

Crops that are used as green fertilizers should be buried in the moist land before 30 days and should be watered within 10 days of its burial in the field so that the green fertilizer get rotten. To catalyze the rottenness, pour a ½ sack of urea during the burial of crops. Special care should be taken care of levelling the field during land preparation.

Cultivation Time (B.T. type of Cotton)

The cotton plant is much supported by summers than winters. Some cultivators, immediately after cultivating vegetables or other crops or in order to secure land from virus attacks, are cultivating cotton crop early. For early cultivation, it is requested that cultivation should be started from March 15. Seeds should not be sown before this because in order to obtain good results the minimum temperature of the earth should be 20-degree centigrade. In low temperature, the process of seed growth becomes slow and it also increases the risk of mould attack which can affect the production. It should be kept in mind that food producing process cotton plant becomes very slow at 15-degree centigrade and small plants start dying. That’s why never cultivate cotton at low temperature. After the harvest of wheat, select BT type in the light of suitable area, local information and past experiences. For this purpose, guidance can be taken from following table.

Sr. no. Name of Type Suitable Areas Cultivation Time

1

MNH 886

All the mid and fertile regions of cotton

From 15th April to 15th May

2

VH 259

All the mid and fertile regions of cotton

From 15th April to 15th May

3

BH 178

More suitable for midlands and low water regions

From 15th April to 15th May

4

CIM 599

All the mid and fertile regions of cotton

From 15th April to 15th May

5

CIM 602

More suitable for midlands and low water regions

From 15th April to 15th May

6

FH 142

All the mid and fertile regions of cotton

From 15th April to 15th May

7

IR Niab 824

Suitable for more fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

8

IUB 222

Central fertile regions of Punjab, Bahawalpur, Multan, D.G. Khan and Khanewal

From 15th April to 15th May

9

KZ 181

Suitable for mid fertile regions

From 15th April to 15th May

10

CA 12

All the mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

11

FH- Lalazar

All the mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

12

MNH-988

Medium fertile heavy regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

13

BH-184

All the less medium fertile regions of Punjab and

From 15th April to 15th May

14

VH-305

All the less and medium fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

15

CIMB-33

All the fertile areas of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

16

BS-52

All the fertile areas of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th June

17

IUB-13

All the low and mid fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

18

MM-58

All the low and mid fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

19

Leader-1

All regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

20

A-555

Mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

21

AGC-777

Mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

22

AG-999

Mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

23

AGC-555

Mid and fertile regions of Punjab

From 15th April to 15th May

Caution:

Along with the cultivation of these BT types, the presence of conventional (Non-BT) types is also necessary for fields so that attackers (caterpillars) could not get enough power to attack the BT types. For this purpose, the cultivators should make sure that 10%-20% of their total cotton cultivation land must comprise Non-BT types. Furthermore, If conventional types have been cultivated along with BT types and there is still a chance of attack which can exceed the economical limit then cultivators should do spray on the crops.

Cultivation Time of traditional (Non-BT type of Cotton)

Following is the cultivation time of traditional types in Punjab:

a) Suitable areas and cultivation time of American Cotton

Core Areas
Types of less duration Types of more duration Cultivation Time

CIM-506, CIM-554, Niab-777, CIM-608, Niab 112, Niab 2008

MNH-786, Alsemi H-151, CIM-573, SLH-317, BH-167, Njbi-115, FH-942, Niab-852, Niab-846, Niab Kiran, Niab Cyto 124, CIM- 620

From 15th April till 31st May

Non-Core Areas
Types of less duration Types of more duration Cultivation Time

CIM-496, CIM-506, CIM-554, Niab-777, CIM-608, Niab 112, Niab 2008

MNH-786, CRSM-38, Alsemi H-151, CIM-573, SLH-317, BH-167, Njbi-115, FH-942, Niab-852, Niab-846, Niab Kiran, Niab-112, GS-1

From 15th April till 15th May

Marginal Areas
American Types Local Types Cultivation Time

CIM-496, CIM-506, CIM-554, Niab-777, CIM-608, MNH-786, CRSMH-151, CIM-573, SLH-317, BH-167, Njbi-115, FH-942, Niab-852, Niab-846, Niab Kiran, Niab Cyto-124, GS-1

Ravi, Rohi, FDH-170, FDH-228

From 15th April till 15th May

Note: Cultivation should be preferably finished till 15th of May in the virus affected areas. The production rate of lately cultivated cotton is always less. That is why cultivate the cotton according to the above-given table.

B) Suitable areas and cultivation time of local cotton

Areas Cultivation Time

Non-Core and Marginal Areas

15th to 30th April

Note: Cultivate local cotton in virus affected areas because the virus does not attack it.

Quantity of Plants

For cotton cultivation, distance from plants to plants should be kept according to the following table.

Sr. no. Cultivation Time Distance from plant to plant Distance from field to field Plants quantity per acre

1

From 15th April to 30th April

9 inches – 12 inches

2 ft. 6 inches

17500-23000

2

From 1st May to15th May

6 inches – 9 inches

2 ft. 6 inches

23000-35000

Note: Determine the number of plants on the advice of local staff of the department of agriculture according to the fertility of earth, type, length of productive branches and the quantity of non-productive branches.

Cultivation Techniques

Cultivation by Drill

Cotton should be cultivated in rows with the distance of 2 ½ ft. with Kharif Drill and seeds should be sown till the depth of 2 to 2 ½ inch (5cm to 7cm). When the cultivated crop rises up to 1.5 to 2 ft. then leave one lane of plants and cover the other lane with mud making the bed & furrow. It is very necessary due to a shortage of water. It has following advantages.

Advantages 

  • Water can be saved up to 20% to 30%.
  • It makes easy to control the herbs.
  • It is a cheap method which doesn’t require any machinery.
  • It is suitable for both prolific and non-prolific kinds of production systems.
  • The height of the crops remains appropriate.
  • It results in better usage of fertilizer.
  • It makes drainage system efficient in case of rains.
  • It makes the spraying easy.
  • It results in great production rate.

Cultivation on bed & furrow

  1. Cultivation by Machine

  • For cultivation by machine, it is very necessary to level the field.
  • Always start cultivation on dry bed & furrow.
  • After placing seeds with the help of a machine, keep the water 2 inches (5cm) below the seeds in the vessels.
  • Before the cultivation (after pouring water first time), pour the water with the gap of 5-6 days for early cultivation while pouring the water with the gap of 3-4 days in case of mid cultivation. So that the seed could grow better.

 

  1. Cultivation by hand

  • In case of placing seeds by hands, pour the water up to the depth of 6-7 inches (15 to 17.5 cm).
  • Place the seeds one inch (2.5 cm) above the water surface immediately after pouring water.
  • If there remain some missed holes. Try to cover them up with the second water.

 

Advantages of the cultivation on bed & furrow

  • It is useful in obtaining better seed growth and getting the whole amount of plants.
  • More cultivation can be done on small land.
  • It saves water than traditional cultivation.
  • It lessens the damages of rain.
  • Seeds can also be saved by placing them by hand.
  • It makes spraying easy in case of rain and irrigation as well.
  • It leads to the appropriate growth of the crop.
  • It also results in better growth in barren lands.

 

Prevention measures to avoid or reduce the damages caused by rains

By taking timely care of crops and with the help of following measures, crops can be saved from damages of rains.

  • In barren lands, cultivation should be done in ridges or bed & furrow.
  • If there is a rain after two or three days of seeding and there is a risk of hardening of land as well then it is preferred to do cultivation again by keeping the moisture in mind.
  • The cotton crop should not be cultivated in downstream lands rather it should be cultivated on ridges and bed & furrow.
  • Spade the fields after rain and assure the wastage of herbs.
  • Use hand spray pumps or power sprayers for spraying pesticides only when required.

 

Filling the holes

Seeds generally grow in 4 to 5 days after cultivation. After that spade, the empty area, place 4 to 5 already dipped seeds (for 5-6 hours) and cover them with damp mud. Filling the holes should not be delayed because seeds do not grow on less moisture which can lead to decrease in production.

Venting

In order to obtain better production, there should maintain an appropriate distance between the plants in the rows so that the plant could grow according to its allocated space. Distance can be completed by opening the land and drawing out unnecessary plants. Venting should be necessarily done at once within 20-25 days after seeding or before the first water or after dry spading and amount of plants should be kept according to the table no. 4. In the areas with high risk of virus attacks, venting should be done after first water and draw out possibly all affected plants.

In case of NoN B.T type cotton it is also very necessary to maintain the distance between the plants in the queues. In this way, the plant grows properly according to space. Distance can be maintained by drawing out excessive plants through venting. The process of venting should be completed once at every cost within 20 to 25 days after seeding or before first water or after dry spading. After spading, the total amount of plants in core areas of cotton should be from 23,000 to 35,000 per acre and in order to get the required amount of plants keep the distance of 6-9 inches between two plants. In non-core areas of cotton, the distance between two plants should be 9-12 inches and the number of plants per acre should range from 17,000 to 23,000. The number of the plant is determined by keeping the cotton type, fertility of land and past experience of cultivator in view.

Diseases

Pests

Roots and Stem Blight

This disease is caused by fungi named, Botryodiplodia spp. This disease attacks the leaves, roots and bolls. This disease outbreaks severely when the temperature rises from 27 to 35-degree centigrade and the ratio of moist in the air is more than 80%.

Prevention

In order to control this disease, use the fungicides as per recommendations of the Department of Agriculture:

  1. Thiofinate Methyl:     Use 2.50gm to 3gm with one-litre water.
  2. Difenoconazole:                     Use 1.00CC with one-liter water.
  3. Carbendazim:             Use 2.00gm to 00gm with one-litre water.

Bacterial Leaf Blight

Brownish forked stains are appeared on cotton leaves due to this disease. In case of severe attack, this disease can affect shoots of plants as well. Due to these symptoms on the stem, a black circle becomes visible and sometimes it leads to the withering of the plant. This disease happens because of Xanthomonas compestris pv malvacearum type of bacteria and is transferred to new crops by using the seeds of the previously disease-affected crop for cultivation. Similarly, remnants of the sick crop in the field can also affect the new crop.

Prevention

  • After the harvest of the sick crop, plough deep in order to bury the remnants of the previous crop.
  • Use disease free and healthy seed. Use seed after washing it with Sulfuric Acid.
  • Spray appropriate pesticides as per recommendation of agriculture experts.
  • Cultivate the type which has better immunity.

Boll Rot

A new disease has appeared in cotton fields. It has following symptoms.

  • Cotton bolls become brownish or blackish inside but seem healthy outside. They never open.
  • Some bolls get success in the opening but their cotton gets light yellow colour and upper part of seed also gets yellowish while the colour of healthy seed is black.
  • Picking this cotton is very difficult and its market rate is also very low.
  • This disease is the result of a bacteria Pantoea Agglomerans.

Prevention

It is necessary to control all cotton bugs in order to prevent this disease. Therefore, do cotton bug monitoring and use effective agricultural medicines according to the opinion of agriculture experts.

Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV)

Following steps are necessary to be taken in order to effectively control the fatal disease of cotton leaf curl virus.

  • Apply suitable pesticide to seeds before seeding.
  • Except for cotton, this disease is also found in other alternative crops and host plants. That’s why their prevention is mandatory. Details of such plants have been given in table number 14. Their prevention should be done both inside and outside crops.
  • Herbs should be prevented very well.
  • Cultivate the types with better immunity against virus only.
  • Must destroy the basis of cotton in February. If they are not dumped properly then the virus, present in the crops, spreads rapidly over the crop.
  • Leaf curl virus spreads rapidly over the crop through while fly. Therefore Biological Control pesticides along with IGR should be used for their prevention. Try to increase friend worms to the maximum in this regard.
  • Draw out virus affected plants during orifice.
  • In case of virus attack at the start of cropping, do vent lately and dump all the affected plants.
  • Remnants of spring crops, especially of vegetables, should be dumped immediately.
  • For effective prevention of whitefly, do the spray before sunrise or after sunrise till one hour max.
  • Use different kinds of spray for controlling whitefly instead of using same sprays again and again. Increase the amount of water for spray time to time.
  • Do prevention of whitefly in spring season crops as well.
  • Only a healthy crop can fight against the disease so act upon the recommended production technology according to cotton type for example cultivation time, irrigation, fertilizer and protection of plant. In case of a virus attack on crop, take well care of the cotton for less harmful effects and more production rate.
  • Do not cultivate host crops in the annual rotation in more disease-affected areas.
  • Harms of the virus can be lessened if proper fertilizers and water are used from the starting of the attack.

Alternative Host plants of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus and whitefly of cotton

Alternative host food plants of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Alternative host food plants of White Fly of cotton
Sr. no. Common Name Sr. no. Common Name Sr. no. Common Name Sr. no. Common Name

1

Mako

10

Ratanjot

1

Ladyfinger

10

Field bindweed

2

Tobacco

11

Gurhal

2

Potato

11

Tinda

3

Brinjal (Eggplant)

12

Puthkanda

3

Tobacco

12

Watermelon

4

Leah

13

Suncoke

4

Brinjal (Eggplant)

13

Melon

5

Field bindweed

14

Calotropis (Aak tree)

5

Halwa Kaddu

14

Sunflower

6

Jujube Fruit

15

Ladyfinger

6

Cucumber

15

Carissa Fruit

7

Carissa Fruit

16

Scilla plant

7

Tur Tree

16

Pepper

8

Lantana

17

Ut sit

8

Bitter ground

17

Gardinia

9

Hazar daani

18

Patonia

9

Tomato

18

Lantana

Plant Wilt

This disease happens because of two types of moulds which are Fusarium Oxysporum and Verticillium Dahliae. Disease affected plants remain smaller in size and the plants become destroyed after wilting. If the stem is checked by cutting it, it appears in dark brown colour.

Prevention

Do cultivation after applying appropriate fungicides as per the recommendation of agriculture expert.

Root Rot

This disease happens because of different moulds and bacteria. Plants suddenly wilt and are drawn easily on venting. Roots of the plant seem rotten.

Prevention

Organic material is put in the lands which are affected by the disease. Proper distance should be kept in the plant to plant because the risk of attack by disease is increased in case of less distance among the plants. Moreover, cultivate the crop after applying an appropriate fungicide as per the recommendation of agriculture expert and use the method of biological control of pests as well.

Protection of crops from pests and caterpillars

BT cotton is a crop of long duration. A part of the time duration of BT cotton and spring crops is overlapping that’s why there are very fair chances of the transfer of pests from spring crops to BT cotton. In this regard, it is very necessary to take control over nectar sucking worms on BT types from the start. Form the very start of the dry season there is always a possibility of an attack by thrips, whitefly, jassid and mites on cotton. That’s why crops should be protected by the attack of such worms. Spotted caterpillars and American Caterpillars do not attack BT cotton generally. An idea of caterpillar attack is got by pest scouting on ETL. Presence of eggs is not dangerous rather the presence of living caterpillars and their growth is precarious. Use spray according to time and quantity recommended by the staff of the department of agriculture.

For prevention of whitefly, spray over the crop during 40 days of its growth, without taking care of its economic threshold limit. After every 10 days spray permeating and IGR pesticides so that there will be a low risk of attack by whitefly and virus on the seasonal crop. Armyworm often attacks BT cotton. In case of its attack on any plant, immediately break the leaves and dump them in the earth. In case of a severe attack on the full field or parts of the field, use suitable pesticides against them. Use spray according to the recommendation of the staff of the Department of Agriculture for nectar sucking worms.

Stainer (Worms which make the cotton of bad colour)…. A growing concern

Stainer is a growing danger. If this danger is not prevented on time, it can create many problems for cotton cultivators and its industry in coming years. Cotton experts have given following recommendations for its reasons and prevention.

Reasons

  • Red cotton bug and Dusky cotton bug make the cotton stained which decreases the standard quality of cotton.
  • This pest, both baby and adult, enters its needle in the green boll and sucks all the nectar. Affected seed and cotton are attacked by bacteria and fungi. Due to this reason, the boll does not open properly which leads to the production of low standard cotton.
  • Insect’s waste can also pollute the cotton.
  • Cotton, lady finger, zucchini, jowar, millet and jute are its host plants.
  • The risk of their attack increases in more moisture and less temperature. These worms attack cotton from September till November.

Safety Measures

Agricultural Methods

  • After sowing cotton, plough over the fields so that the worms’ eggs may get destroyed because of sunlight.
  • In case of the first attack, pick the bugs by hand and destroy them.
  • Do not cultivate host crops near cotton fields.
  • Dump the herbs which grow around and inside the cotton fields.
  • Destroy all the outposts of these worms.
  • The best time to destroy this insect is when it sleeps in winters.
  • Cotton should not be cultivated before 15th April. After destroying the bugs’ colonies, rotavate all the herbs in the cotton field or use any one of the recommended herbicides along with irrigation in the field.

Chemical prevention

For chemical prevention, spray any one of the recommended pesticides by the staff of the Department of Agriculture.

Pest Scouting

Taking Idea of harmful bugs and the damages caused by them is called ‘Pest Scouting’.

Importance

Pest Scouting proves helpful in determining appropriate pesticide on proper time for effective prevention of bugs, salvation from the inappropriate and untimely use of poisons and Integrated Pest Management (I.P.M)

Advantages of Pest Scouting

  1. It gives a fair idea about the time for prevention of bugs.
  2. It saves cost and time at the time of spray.
  3. Escape from blindly use of the spray.
  4. Saves the earth from environmental pollution.
  5. It helps friend bugs to grow.
  6. It also forecasts the injurious bugs.
  7. It points out the weak and sensitive aspects of bugs’ life.
  8. It also points out the deficiency of food nutrients in the plants.

Duration

Examine the field worms on weekly basis. In case of any emergency, pest scouting should be done twice a week.

Suitable time for pests examination

The best time for examining the crop for worms is that when worms are active for their food. This process is slow in high sunlight and warmth. That’s why this activity should be done in morning or evening. Pest scouting can be done in the area of one acre or more. If the area of the crop is more, then pest scouting in 5 out of 25 acres of land is enough. Separate pest scouting for each type of cotton is necessary. After that, the spray should be selected on the basis of economic threshold limit of different bugs, which is as follows.

Economic threshold limit of cotton bugs

Nectar sucking bugs

Sr. no. Bug Name Economic Threshold Limit

1

Thrips

8 to 10 Adult/baby per leaf

2

Jassid

One Adult/Baby per leaf

3

Whitefly

5 Adult/Baby per leaf or altogether 5 whiteflies per leaf

4

Mites

On the appearance of symptoms of damage

5

Aphid

Clear damage on upper shoots

6

Mealybug

After noticing attack in the field

7

Dusky Cotton Bug

More than 15 bugs in 100 ft. long queue

Caterpillars (for BT types)

1

Spotted Caterpillars

On appearance of alive caterpillar in the field

2

Pink Worm

On appearance of alive caterpillar in the field

3

American worm

On appearance of alive caterpillar in the field

4

Armyworm

On appearance of attack in the field

Caterpillars (for traditional types)

1

Spotted Caterpillars

3 caterpillars per 25 plants or 10% loss of shallots, flowers and bolls.

2

Pink Worm

5 caterpillar per 100 soft bolls or 10% loss in August or 5% loss in September

3

American worm

5 brown eggs or 3 little caterpillars per 25 plants or altogether 5 worms per 25 plants

4

Armyworm

On appearance of attack in the field locally

Farmer-friendly bugs

Many farmer friendly bugs are found naturally in cotton fields. These bugs should be taken care of properly because they eat the enemy bugs. Details are as follows.

Enemy Bugs Farmer Friendly Bugs Proportion of Farmer Friendly Bugs

Whitefly

Krai super

1 to 2 larva per plant

 

Sunehri Bhundhi (Ancarcya)

25 to 30 percent attacked babies of whitefly per leaf

Jassid

Magic worm

2 adults/ 5 babies per plant

Thrips

Cord Bug

3 adults/ 5 babies per plant

 

Karai superla

1 to 2 larva per plant

 

Hunter mites

7 adult and babies per plant

Mites

Teendni

1 adult/ 2 babies per plant

Spotted Caterpillars

Karai superla

1 to 2 larva per plant

American Worm

Aures bug/ karai superla

2 adults or 5 babies or 2 larva per plant

Pink Worm

Yellow fly

5-7 fields

Army Worm

Spider

1 to 2 per plant

 

Damsel and Dragonflies

5 to 7 fields

 

Teendni

1 to 2 per plant

Cotton bollworm

Trichogramma

10 to 15 cards per acre

Methods of Pest Scouting

Nectar sucking worms

Enter from one corner of the field in the 5-acre block. Examine bugs from leaves of 20 different plants in following way:

  1. Take a complete sized upper leaf of a plant in the first lane.
  2. Take a middle leaf of the second plant.
  3. Then take a lower leaf of the third plant.
  4. Now take the complete sized upper leaf of the fourth plant and so on.

Collect 20 leaves according to above arrangement. Count the number of nectar sucking worms and beneficial worms and note down them onto pest scouting card. Compare the average value with the given economic damage limit. Do pest scouting of all the worms twice in a week.

Bollworms

Examine 5 plants per place from different places which mean 25 plants in total and note the number of worms. Compare it with economic threshold limit.

Methods of making physical traps for pink worm

  1. 4 traps should be made for a block of 20 acres which means one trap per five acres. If the block is bigger than 20 acres then place one trap per 10 acres. Collectively there should be at least five traps in a field. Count a number of moths in all the traps every morning and take out the average.
  2. If the area of cotton is more than 50 acre then usage of PB Roop is very beneficial for prevention of pink worm.

Use of Trichogramma Card

Trichogramma Card is a parasite which helps in destroying the harmful insects of butterflies’ family. Scientists have discovered ways of bringing up this insect in the laboratory and prepared such cards which contain their eggs. These cards can be successfully used in all the crops. 10-15 cards are enough for one acre of cotton. These cards should be used during cultivation after the gap of every seven days. These cards are available in sugar mills, district offices of Department of Agriculture (Extension), agricultural universities and Ayub Agricultural Research Center Faisalabad. These cards can control the attack of the pink worm, spotted worm and cotton bollworm and save the cost of pesticides per acre.

Weed Control

It is usually observed that cotton worms and viruses attack starts from the herbs present at the ends of hides, wilts and roads. That’s why these areas should be cleaned first.

Damages of Weed

  • They result in the huge decrease in the production.
  • They give shelter to the worms which are harmful to the crop.
  • They become part of plants in getting nourishment from water, air and light.
  • They are proved as hurdles in the process of cultivation.
  • They lead to the spread of cotton’s leaf twisting virus and mealybug.
  • These herbs excrete chemical waste materials which are harmful to plants.

Prevention Methods

It is better to prevent the herbs as soon as possible. It can be prevented through two effective ways.

  1. Via spading
  2. Via herbicides

Via spading

Along with disposal of herbs, there are some supplementary advantages of spading as well. For example, moisture is stored in the field and air passes through the land.

1. Dry Method

This spading is done after seeding and before first water. It is enough for once and herbs should be disposed of completely. Keep the depth of dry spading up to 2 to 2 ½ inches so that moisture could not be wasted. Try to keep the mud within the lanes of plants during spading. Furthermore, spading should be necessarily done after rain.

2. Wet Method

If there are enough resources then try to spade the field after every irrigation and rain. Spading should be kept continued until there is no danger of rupture of plants.

Via herbicides

Two types of herbicides are used for prevention of herbs in cotton crops.

  • Pre-Emergence Herbicides
  • Post-Emergence Herbicides

 

1.Pre-Emergence Herbicides

  • Before cultivation, spray over the prepared land equally.
  • During the preparation of seedbed, spray on the levelled land equally before ploughing the last plough. After ploughing lightly and applying borax, start seeding. This is the best method and it gives 100 percent results but there is very little time for the whole process. Slight negligence can lead to decrease in growth rate. In case of cultivation on bed & furrow, before the emergence of herbs, spray the herbicides immediately after seeding of cotton within 24 hours. This method is only for the cultivation of cotton on bed & furrow. Do not merge these herbicides into the land. Otherwise, it can affect the growth badly and cotton plants will die immediately after they grow up.

 

2. Post-Emergence Herbicides

Following instructions should be followed while using these herbicides.

  • Use foam nozzle.
  • Such herbicides which can harm the crops should be sprayed by using a shield with the help of T-Jet nozzle.
  • It will be more advantageous to use herbicides after the emergence of herbs.
  • In case of the possibility of rain, do spray after some time.
  • Use clean water for spray.
  • Do not use standing water of canals and ponds.

 

NOTE: Determine quantity according to the instructions given on the label and advice of local staff of the Department of Agriculture.

Instructions for using herbicides   

  • The land should be prepared properly. There should be no remnants of previous crops.
  • Use T-Jet or foam nozzle.
  • Do calibration of spray machine. Always take care of the matter that no place of the field should be left without spray and no place of the field should be sprayed twice.
  • Do equal amount spray to all places in a way that a person who is doing the spray should have the same speed.
  • Keep the pressure of spray machine same during the spray.
  • The nozzle of spray machine should be in good condition.
  • Use appropriate quantity of pesticides.
  • Do spray in morning or evening.
  • After spray, bury the bottle of pesticide deep into the land.
  • Do not spray in severe winds.
  • Always take measures to prevent the bad effects of pesticides.

Irrigation

Irrigation is done by keeping the fertility of land, cultivation method, type, weather conditions and condition of crop in view. Symptoms of water shortage are first noticed on higher parts which include the teal colour of leaves, decrease in the normal length of upper branches, rising of white flower at peak, rapid redness on the above part of stem and roughness of peak leaves. Irrigate the crop before it shows these symptoms so that a crop could be saved easily.

Cultivation Method Irrigation

For cultivation in lanes

First irrigation should be done after 30-35 days of seeding and after that do rest of the irrigations with a difference of 12-15 days. If it is subjected to cultivate wheat after cotton then last irrigation should be done until 10th of October.

For cultivation in bed & furrow

After seeding, pour first water after 3-4 days; second, third and fourth water after 6-9 days and rest of the waters with the difference of 15 days. If it is intended to cultivate wheat after cotton then last water should be poured until 15th of October.

NOTE: Change in the interval of irrigation can be made according to weather conditions.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers should be used on the basis of the external condition of plant, weather, rain and cotton type as per the advice of the department of agriculture. The time duration of early cultivated BT type is comparatively longer. That is why BT type needs more amount of minor and major elements. For this purpose, along with the use of fertilizer, minor elements are also sprayed over the crop. It is better to do an assessment of land in order to determine the number of chemical fertilizers and minor elements. Check the assessment report with the help of the following table.

Assessment Presence of nutrient elements
Organic Material Nitrogen

Less than 0.86 percent

From 0.86 percent to 1.29 percent

More than 1.29 percent

Less

Medium

Satisfactory

Achievable Phosphorus in 10 lac part (ppm) Phosphorus

Less than 7 ppm

From 7 ppm to 14 ppm

Form 15 ppm to 21 ppm

More than 21 ppm

Less

Medium

Satisfactory

More

Achievable Potash in 10 lac part (ppm) Potash

Less than 80 ppm

From 80 ppm to 180 ppm

More than 180 ppm

Less

Medium

More

NOTE: For the number of nutrients, take help from following table. Use fertilizers with the help of land assessment on the basis of recommendation provided in table.

Quantity of nutrient elements of different fertilizers

Name of Fertilizer Mass of bag (in kg) Nutrients (in percent) Quantity of nutrients per bag (in kg)
Nitrogen N Phosphorus P2O5 Potash K2O Nitrogen N Phosphorus P2O5 Potash K2O

Urea

50

46

-

-

23

-

-

Ammonium Nitrate

50

26

-

-

13

-

-

Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN)

50

26

-

-

13

-

-

Triple Super Phosphate (T.S.P)

50

-

46

-

-

23

-

Single Super Phosphate (18% P2O5)

50

-

18

-

-

9

-

Single Super Phosphate (14% P2O5)

50

-

14

-

-

7

-

Di Ammonium Phosphate (DAP)

50

18

46

-

9

23

-

Nitrophos

50

22

20

-

11

10

-

Potassium Sulfate (SOP)

50

-

-

50

-

-

25

Potassium Chloride (MOP)

50

-

-

60

-

-

30

Recommended Fertilizers for BT Types

Nature of Land Achievable Phosphorus in land (ppm) Nitrogen N Phosphorus P2O5 Potash K2O Quantity of Fertilizers per acre

Weak

Less than 7

80

34

38

2 ¾ bags of urea + 1 ½  bags of DAP + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

3 ½  bags of urea + 3 ¾ bags of Single Super Phosphate (18%) + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

1 ¾  bags of urea + 3 ½  bags of Nitrophos + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

3 ½  bags of Nitrophos + 3 ¼ bags of Calcium Ammonium Nitrate + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

Medium

From 7 to 14

80

27

38

3 bags of urea + 1 ¼ bags of DAP + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

3 ½  bags of urea + 3 bags of Single Super Phosphate (18%) + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

2 ¼ bags of urea + 2 ¾ bags of Nitrophos + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

2 ¾ bags of Nitrophos + 3 ¾ bags of Calcium Ammonium Nitrate + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

Fertile

More than 14

80

23

38

3 bags of urea + 1 bag of DAP + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

3 ½  bags of urea + 3 ½ bags of Single Super Phosphate (18%) + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

OR

5 bags of urea + 4 ½ bags of Nitrophos + 2 bags Potassium Sulfate

OR

2 ¼ bags of Nitrophos + 4 ¼ bags of Calcium Ammonium Nitrate + 1 ½  bags of Potassium Sulfate/ 1 ¼ bag of MOP

NOTE: After the land assessment, in case of deficiency of Zinc and Boron, use Zinc Sulfate 33 percent per 5 kg or 21 percent per 10 kg and Boric Acid 17% 2½ kg per acre or Borax 11% 3kg per acre. Make changes in the quantity of Nitrogen according to type, the fertility of land and season. Use less amount of Nitrogen in long heightened types. For general weather conditions and an average fertility rate of land, there are following symptoms of deficiency of minor and major elements:

Symptoms of the deficiency of food nutrients

Nitrogen:       The colour of leaves fades and later it converts to yellow colour. Old and lower leaves are affected first. The growth of crop stops.

Phosphorus:  The growth of plants halts, plants remain short-sighted and leaves become dark green. The colour of stem turns into yellow on the surface of the earth.

Potash:           Edges of leaves turn yellowish and colour of mid veins of leaves becomes reddish. In case of more deficiency, the edges of leaves become dry and seem burnt.

Zinc:                Size of new leaves remain short and they become pale internally. One of the best symptoms of deficiency is the decrease in the distance between bundles. The veins of leaves become blurry (black).

Boron:            The leaves become pale, wrinkled and twisted.

Timing and Method of using fertilizers

  • Use all the quantity of Phosphorus, Potash, Zinc and Boron at the time of seeding.
  • Use 1/6 of nitrogen fertilizer at the time of seeding, 1/6 after 30-35 days of seeding while rest of the fertilizer should be used with the difference between one water and another. Use of fertilizer can be determined on the basis of the changes in weather, types of land and condition of crops.
  • Phosphorus fertilizer should be used in form of sprinkles at the time of seeding. It will give better results if it is used with 200 kg FYM.
  • Pour water immediately after putting nitrogen fertilizer to dry land. It is better to put fertilizer until evening.
  • In order to obtain better results of fertilizers, it is necessary to bury the remnants of other crops and prefer the usage of green fertilizer for increasing the concentration of organic matter in the land.
  • In case of virus attack, use a ½ bag of urea with first four glasses of water.
  • Zinc and Boron can be used in form of a spray. In case of deficiency of Zinc and Boron, do three sprays with the plan of 45, 60 and 90 days after seeding. In the preparation of spray, dissolve 17% of boric acid as per 300 g, zinc sulfate (33%) as per 250 g and 50 g washing powder in 100-litre water. Do not use zinc and boron with other pesticides. Do spray at morning or evening on the upper leaves. Do not spray at afternoon because it can increase the risk of burning of leaves.  

 

Harvesting

For better and pollution free harvest, following points should be kept in mind:

  • Start harvest when 40%-50% bolls have been opened.
  • Harvest should be done after the dew on the crop dries. Ideal timing for harvest is from after 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Harvest should never be done in case of rain or cloudy weather.
  • Harvest properly opened bolls only.
  • A person who is harvesting should be paid the attractive amount so that they will do their work honestly and avoid adding unripen bolls in the cotton for making it more weighted. It should be kept remember that unripen bolls can make the cotton of low quality.
  • Harvester should be paid on the basis of both quality and quantity of cotton so that they would give attention to the standard quality of cotton as well.
  • Never place harvested cotton in a damp area. Instead, place it on cotton fabric in a dry place.
  • Never mix polluted cotton with the clean cotton. Keep it separate.
  • Complete the harvest of fully opened bolls before severe winter season because it can worsen the quality of cottonseed.  
  • Keep the last harvest separate because at this time the cotton fibre is very weak and seed is unable to grow.
  • Harvest American Cotton with the gap of 15 to 20 days and domestic cotton should be harvested with the gap of 8 days so that opened cotton will not be wasted.
  • Keep different types of cotton in separate granaries.
  • Harvester should walk in the queue in a single direction under the supervision of a skilful supervisor.
  • A fabric which is used during harvest should be of cotton.
  • Do not use Jute, Polythene/ Polypropylene and plastic etc bags during harvest because they can pollute the cotton.
  • Harvesters should cover their heads during harvest. Because hair in cotton can affect its quality.
  • After harvesting cotton, leave cattle in the field for grazing so that they would eat all the remnants and destroy the pink worms in the bolls.
  • Land all the branches in the field via rotavator after the cultivation.
  • Larva of American and armyworm become pupa after entering the land which turns into moths in February with an increase of temperature. They start laying out eggs in the surrounding crops which lead to an attack on the coming cotton crop and cause damages to it. Therefore, dump them under the land by ploughing in the field after harvest and prevent their breed to grow.

Steps after harvesting the cotton crop

  • Keep different types of cotton in separate stores so that fibres and quality of seed could not get affected by mixing. Place 30 tablets of Aluminum Phosphide per thousand cubic ft. in the drawer where seeds are being stored so that pink bollworm which is present in the joint seeds could be destroyed.
  • Set the cattle in the field after picking the whole crop so that they would eat the crop remnants.
  • After the last harvest of cotton, dump the sticks into the field with the help of rotavator or cut and throw them out of the field. Plough deeply. Complete this activity until 31st of December.
  • Cotton sticks which are used as fuel by the farmers should be kept vertically in small heaps, away from the fields. This heap should not be more than 5 ft. so that the sunlight could reach to rest of the bolls and the pink worms, present in them, grow early before the growth of the crop and eventually die due to the absence of their food.
  • Overturn the piles of sticks in March so that the pupas of pink bollworms could be prevented.
  • Place the drawer in the cotton bags and stitch them with cotton thread. Do not use the bags of Jute or Poly Propylene. Do not use the threads of plastic or jute for stitching.
  • After the last harvesting, destroy rest of the cotton sticks and bolls.
  • Burn the bolls under cotton sticks.
  • Do not place the piles of cotton near cotton fields. Open the cotton sticks for the sunlight after overturning them. Burn the remnants in the ginning factories.
  • After harvesting the crop, plough deeply in order to overturn the mud.
  • Level the land by cutting the cotton sticks.
  • Apply water to the land in winters for protecting pink bollworms present in the earth.
  • Cultivate fodders and Lucerne in the fields in order to control herbs.
  • Smoke the cottonseed with the tablets of Phosphine Gas.
  • Provide Chlorpyriphos to cotton crop through irrigation.

Advertising campaign for the prevention of the usage of sticks for fuel

The landowner should be convinced on a point that instead of using cotton sticks as fuel, they should dump them in the field with the help of rotavator. This process will not only increase the fertility of land but pink bollworm will also be prevented.

Cutting of cotton sticks and prevention of remaining bolls

When the picking of the last crop is completed then cut off the cotton sticks or dump them in the fields with the help of rotavator and prevent the remaining bolls as well so that the insects present in them would destroy and couldn’t harm the crop again. This activity should be completed until 15th of February. In this regard, the district government is responsible for creating awareness among the landowners so this activity could be completed effectively.

Plowing in empty fields

Pick up the sticks from the fields right after their cutting and keep them in the place which is far away from the cotton fields. Plough in the empty fields so that harmful bugs could be prevented and the remnants would bury well in the land and could be used as green fertilizer later. This is also a responsibility of district governments that they should initiate a campaign to let people know about the benefits of this activity and force the landowners to do this activity. This task should also be completed before first of March.

Measures were taken in the ginning factories for the prevention of pink bollworm

  • EDO, Agriculture will have a meeting with the owners of ginning factories and make them aware that they would start a campaign in their factories for the prevention of pink bollworm and do efforts for the cleanliness in the factories. For this purpose, it is necessary to dispose of the garbage present in the seeds of cotton and spray suitable pesticides in their warehouses.
  • Assistant Director (PP), DOA (Agriculture) and the owners of ginning factories should make a plan in a meeting with their mutual concern. Inform the office of Director General Agriculture (extension) about this program and visit the relevant ginning factory according to this plan.
  • The banners will be placed in front of ginning factories on which the details about the steps for the cleanliness of factories and prevention of pink bollworms will be written clearly.
  • The staff of Pest Warning will regularly visit the ginning factories as per their program and they will make arrangements for picking garbage after completing the pest scouting there.
  • Pest Scouting officer of the relevant area will keep an eye on the pest scouting area which has more risks of pink bollworm.
  • DOA (agriculture) will make sure that the remaining garbage has been disposed of from closed ginning factories and he will send the first report of operating ginning factories to the office of Director General Agriculture (Extension) till the end of November and after that, he will send this report every Monday.

Program for better cotton crop production

By joining hands with WWF-Pakistan and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Department of Agriculture Extension Punjab is starting a program for the promotion of cotton production technology. According to this program, training for the increase in the better cotton crop production will be given to the farmers in the 12 districts of Punjab in 2017. In these districts, farmers will promote Better Cotton (BC) by acting upon the following rules of BCI.

Crop Protection: Better Cotton is produced by those farmers who work for the protection of crop by eliminating the dangers.

Use of Water: Better Cotton is produced by those farmers who take care of the presence of water in the land and give water to the land according to the condition.

The health of the Land: Better Cotton is produced by the farmers who take care of the health of the land.

Natural Inhabitants: Better Cotton is produced by the farmers who protect the natural inhabitants.

Quality of Fibers: Better Cotton is produced by the farmers who take care of the quality of the fibres of the cotton and save it from hazardous effects.

Decent Work: Better Cotton is produced by the farmers who promote the earning by respectful ways.

Safety Tips

Remember! Do not include a person under 18 during the activity of using acid or poison to remove bur from the seed. Make sure to wear gloves, shoes and take other safety measures in order to avoid hazardous effects of the acid.

Safety Measures

Do not involve a person under 18 in the activities related to acids and poisons. Appropriate safety measures like wearing gloves, shoes, full clothes and protection of mouth, nose and eyes should be kept in mind.

Earning through a respectful job

The respectful job is kind of a work in which men and women are given equal opportunities and their moral and ethical values are kept in mind.

In order to adopt a respectful job, following things should be kept in mind

  • Minor cultivators including small shareholders and other kinds of labourers should have a right to protect their interests via proper organizational structure.
  • A labourer should have access to clean water for drinking and washing purpose.
  • As per Convention no. 138 of International Laborer Organization (ILO) children should not be forced to work.
  • For dangerous tasks in the field, the labourer should be 18+.
  • Every person has right to choose his profession. No one should force him to perform tasks out of his will.
  • During the work in the field, do not keep any discrimination among the workers which could lead to inaccessibility to equal rights.
  • Employer and the employee have proper right to sign a mutual agreement related to their work.
  • A proper training related to health and security should be given to the workers.

Instructions for purchasing and using agricultural poisons

  • Always use the poisons which are registered on a national level and make sure that it has the label in national language.
  • Do not use the poisons which are restricted to use as per Stock Home Convention.
  • Always hire people to spray poisons who are healthy, well-trained, 18+ and are neither pregnant nor breastfeeding women.

Instructions for the protection of natural inhabitants

  • Farmers should take such actions which are beneficial for biodiversity and the environment.
  • Farmers should make sure that the selection, preparation and use of agriculture land for cotton are according to the national laws. Do not cultivate cotton by destroying natural and artificial forests, pastures, nests and lakes.

Storages

Following things should be kept in mind in order to save the quality of cotton in store.

  • Moisture should not be more than 8% to 10% in the stored cotton.
  • The store should be airy and its floor should be solid. Place plastic in case of the raw flour. It is better to spread soil first, then place plastic and then cotton on it.
  • Keep cotton in heaps in the store in a way that it should maintain some gap among heaps so that air could pass easily.
  • Dry the cotton in sunlight in case of moist in cotton and then store it.
  • Keep cotton of different types separated in a way that there would be no chance of their mixing.
  • In unavailability of the store, keep cotton in cloth sacks and if the cotton is not placed in a warehouse or is in open air then try to sell it as soon as possible.

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