Cotton is an important cash crop that provides raw materials to Indian industries. It is a tropical crop grown in the Kharif season. Climatic Conditions for Cotton Cultivation, Soil, Methods of Cultivation, Varieties of Cotten, and Distribution are written below.
Climatic Conditions for Cotton Cultivation
The cotton plant requires a high temperature ranging between 21°C and 30°C. While during October, the temperature should be above 26°C to help in the ripening and bursting of cotton balls, the minimum temperature should not fall below 20°C as it retards plant growth. 2. A long growing period of at least 200 frost-free days is also necessary for the plant to mature. Moderate rainfall of 50–75 cm is required for the growth of the plant. Rainfall more than 85 cm can destroy the crop.
Soil Needed for Cotton Cultivation
Well-drained clayey soil rich in lime and phosphate is suitable for the growth of cotton plants. The deep black soil of the plateau regions and Gujarat is also considered suitable for the growth of the cotton plant.
Methods of Cotton Cultivation
Sowing: The seeds are sown by the drilling or broadcast methods generally before the beginning of rainfall.
Harvesting: Harvesting is done in October when the cotton balls ripen and burst.
Processing: After harvesting, the cotton crop passes through the following processes:
- The cotton balls are ginned after harvesting. Ginning is a process of separating cotton fibres from cotton seeds.
- The seeds are then crushed to produce oil; the residue is then used for feeding cattle.
- The cotton fibre or the bale is then transported to the manufacturing regions.
- After washing fibres, rope-like mass of fibre known as sliver is formed.
- The sliver is then spun to make cotton yarn.
Varieties of Cotton
Five main varieties of cotton are grown in India. These are a superior long-staple, long-staple, superior medium staple, medium staple, and short-staple.
The chief cotton-growing regions of the country are
- The northwestern parts of the Deccan having fertile black soil
- The central and southern Deccan of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
- The Upper Ganga Valley
Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab are the chief cotton-producing states in the country. Other cotton-producing states are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, and Tami Nadu.
Also, Read Sugarcane Cultivation in India