Preparation of land
In Gujarat, the land for cotton cultivation should be prepared with 1-2 cross harrowing in normal monsoon. This may help in conservation of moisture in the soil. If monsoon receives late, the land should be prepared with one ploughing. Deep ploughing after 2-3 years with tractor drew implements may reduce the problem of perennial weeds in the field.
Time of sowing
Normally, the crop is sown with the onset of monsoon in the last week of June to the first week of July. Where irrigation facility is available, the crop may be sown little earlier i.e. in the first week of June. Advance sowing of the crop will give a higher yield than normally sown crop.
Seed rate and spacing
The seed requirement of the variety mainly depends upon the size of the seed and method of the distance of sowing. Spacing mainly depends on the growth habit of a variety and in which condition it is to be sown i.e. irrigated or rainfed. The details of seed rate and spacing of different cotton varieties are given in table 1. Normally, seed should be sown at a depth of 4-6 cm according to the availability of moisture in the soil.
Selection of variety in Gujarat
In Gujarat, the following varieties have been recommended to grow in different cotton zones
|Zone||Recommended varieties/ hybrids|
|South Gujarat Cotton Zone||Digvijay|
|Middle Gujarat Cotton Zone||Digvijay , G.Cot-16, G.Cot-17 and G.Cot-23|
|Wagad Cotton Zone||V-797, G.Cot-13, G.Cot-21,G.Cot-12 (Surendranagar dist.), G.Cot-18 (Junagadh)|
|Mathio Cotton Zone||G.Cot.15 and G.Cot-19|
All hybrids like Hybrid-4, G.Cot.Hy-6, G.Cot.Hy-8, G.Cot.Hy-10, G.Cot.Hy-12, G.Cot.DH-7, G.Cot.DH-9 and G.Cot.MDH-11 and hirsutum
Varieties like Deviraj and G.Cot.10 are recommended for the whole state. The economic characters of different varieties are given in Table-II
Thinning and gap filling
To harvest a good yield one should maintain proper plant population in the unit area. For the purpose one should carry out an operation like thinning and gap filling as and when required.
The organic manure@ 10 tonnes/ha should be applied as this will help in conservation of moisture, increase in aeration, soil drainage, microbial activity and availability of nutrients. This will also help in improvement of soil structure. The recommended doses of inorganic fertilizers for different varieties are given in Table 1.
Weeding and inter-culturing
The operation of intercultural and weeding may be followed as per one’s requirement. The weed should be removed by following deep ploughing in an earlier stage of the crop whereas shallow ploughing in the later stage of the crop. This is to avoid damage to root.
In the case of chemical weed control, the field should be sprayed with 2.8 litres/ha Fluchloralin in 600 litres of water. If spraying is to be done only on the rows of the crop, the quantity of the weedicide will be lesser i.e. 1 litre/ha or 50 ml in 10 litres of water.
In Gujarat, where irrigation facility is available, irrigation should be given 3-4 weeks after the last effective rainfall. In black soils, generally, irrigation should be given at an interval of 20-25 days. Whereas, in sandy loam soils (GORADU), it should be given at 15 days interval; irrigation water can be saved by irrigating the crop with alternate furrow method without decreasing in the yield as compared to flood irrigated area. In rainfed cultivation, when a shortage of rainfall occurs, the crop should be irrigated with one or two life-saving irrigations.
In cotton various intercrops like soybean, tur, urad and mung can be taken up. The recommendations emerged in Gujarat are given in Table-1.
Plant Protection during Cotton Cultivation in Gujarat
|No||Pest/disease||Measures to be taken|
|*Synthetic pyrethroids should be sprayed twice @ 15-20 days interval at the peak flowering stage alternated with conventional pesticides.|
|2.||Helicoverpa armigera**||Rimon 10 EC @ 100g ai/ha|
|** The IGR is sprayed when pest crosses the ETL|
|4.||Aphids, Jassids, Thrips and White flies ***||
Seed treatment :
|***Need-based application of any of the insecticides is recommended.|
|6.||Cotton pest complex||IPM strategy :
|1.||Seedborne diseases #||Delinting with sulphuric acid @100 ml/kg seed and seed dressing with mercuric fungicide @2-3 g/kg of seed|
|# Wash the seeds thoroughly after acid delinting dry it in shade before seed dressing|
|2.||Bacterial blight $||
|$ Two to three sprays at 15 days interval after disease initiation|
|3.||Wilt and Root rot||
|4.||Alternaria leaf spot ®||Captafol or Mancozeb @ 0.2% spray|
|® Four sprays at 20 days interval after disease initiation|
- Central Institute of Cotton Research