cotton cultivation. COTTON (GOSSYPIUM SPP). Cotton is a fibre crop and belongs to the plant family called Malvaceae. It produces cotton lint, a white fibre used in textile industries. cotton is cultivated in large quantities in the northern parts of Nigeria and it is one of the major cash crops in Nigeria. cotton wool serves as a major part of a first aid box in schools and hospitals
Land Preparation for cotton cultivation
The 1and is cleared with cutlass or mechanically ploughed and harrowed to make it soft for planting of cotton seeds.
Varieties of cotton or Cultivars for cultivation
Gossypium hirsitum, Gosspium vitifolium, Ishan type, samaru, Gosspium peruvianum (meko cotton).
Climatic and soil requirement for the cultivation of cotton:
Cotton requires a temperature of 250C – 35°C, rainfall of 65cm – 125cm per annum, abundant sunlight and a very rich, deep, loamy or clay-loamy soil
Method of Propagation of cotton:
Planting Date for cotton cultivation:
Cotton is planted in June and July in Northern Nigeria.
Seed rate: 15-20kg/ha.
Planting: Four to five seeds are sown per stand. These are later thinned to two seedlings per stand at 3cm deep.
Cultural Practices in cotton production
(i) Weeding: This is done at regular intervals
read more of weed control methods here
(ii) Fertilizer Application: Apply 125kg of super phosphate fertilizer at sowing time
(iii) Mulching: This prevents evaporation and controls erosion.
Maturity period of cotton cultivation:
Cotton matures within five to eight months after planting.
Harvesting methods for cotton
Matured fruits (bolls) are handpicked and sun-dried
How to process cotton
Processing: Cotton cultivation for export is taken to a cotton ginnery after being dried. The seeds are then separated from the line which is made into bales of I 80 kg either hand or by bailing machines.
The seeds also packed for export.
Storage of cotton:
Cotton is placed in sack and kept in dry place.
Pests of Cotton and control methods
(1) Cotton stainer (Dysdercus spp): as an important crop pest during cotton cultivation, the cotton stainer feeds on the contents of the boll and also transmits bacterial and fungal diseases. They stain the lints. you can read farm storage systems here
Control: By handpicking the insects and regular spraying with insecticides. read about insect borne disease here
(2) Boll worms: The caterpillars (larvae) eat their way into the boll and spoil the lint.
(i) This is done by handpicking.
(ii) Destruction of infected plants.
Diseases of cotton and control method
one of the most vicious pest of cotton during cotton cultivation is known as bacteria blight. (1) Bacteria blight: It is caused by a bacterium. Symptoms include angular spots which appear on the leaves and branches
(i) It is used by dressing
(ii) Destroy and burn infected plants
(iii) Grow resistant varieties
(2) Leaf curl: It is caused by a virus transmitted by an insect. Affected leaves become twisted, mottled, vein clearing and curl at the margin.
Control: (i) Plant resistant varieties
(ii) Destroy infected plants by burning(3) Damping off: It is caused by a fungus which is spread through the soil. Cells of seedling become water logged, resulting in the death of the plants.