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Krishi Gyan
30 May

Suitable Time for Irrigation and its Management in Cotton

Proper irrigation management in cotton farming improves crop yield and quality. The water demand for cotton varies according to the stages of crop development: the initial stage requires less water, but it is important to maintain soil moisture. During the growth stage, the water demand increases, which makes the plants strong and healthy. The reproductive stage requires more water so that flowers and fruits can develop well. To save water, adopt the alternate row (skip row) method and make subsequent irrigations lighter. Excessive irrigation increases humidity, which can raise the risk of pests and diseases. Therefore, timely and methodical irrigation is crucial in cotton farming.

When and How to Irrigate Cotton?

Germination Stage (from sowing up to 1-15 days)

  • Irrigate once on the 5th day after sowing the seeds.

Vegetative Stage (16-44 days)

  • For Light Soil - Irrigate on the 20th or 21st day after sowing, three days after weeding and hoeing. Irrigate again on the 35th or 36th day after sowing.
  • For Heavy Soil - Irrigate on the 20th or 21st day after sowing, three days after weeding and hoeing. Irrigate again on the 40th day after sowing.

Flowering Stage: For hybrids (45-100 days)

  • For light soil: Irrigate on the 48th day, 60th day, 72nd day, 84th day, and 96th day.
  • For heavy soil: Irrigate on the 55th day, 70th day, 85th day, and 100th day.

Maturity Stage: For hybrids (more than 100 days)

  • For light soil: Irrigate on the 108th day, 120th day, 130th day, and 144th day, and stop irrigation after the 150th day.
  • For heavy soil: Irrigate on the 115th day and 130th day, and stop irrigation after the 150th day.

Methods of Irrigation in Cotton

Drip Irrigation

The drip irrigation method is highly beneficial for cotton crops. It conserves water and provides plants with the necessary amount of water.

  • Instead of placing a drip line in each row of Narma or BT cotton, placing a drip line between pairs of rows can reduce the cost of the drip line by half.
  • Keep the distance from plant to plant at 60 cm, and keep the distance from row to row in pairs at 60 cm.
  • Keep a distance of 120 cm between pairs of rows.
  • Place one drip line in each pair.
  • The distance between drippers on the drip line should be 30 cm.
  • The water flow rate from each dripper should be 2 liters per hour.
  • Activate the drip line for 2 hours daily for 5 consecutive days to ensure good germination.
  • Start drip irrigation 15 days after sowing.

Micro Irrigation

The micro-irrigation system is highly effective for cotton crops.

  • Using this method, applying the recommended amount of nitrogen in six equal parts at two-week intervals through a drip system has been found to be more effective compared to surface irrigation.
  • This method increases yield and saves irrigation water.
  • Additionally, this irrigation method improves the quality of cotton and reduces pest infestations.

Alternate Furrow Irrigation

The alternate furrow irrigation method is suitable for heavy soils such as clayey and loamy soil.

  • During any one phase of irrigation, a specific set of alternate furrows is irrigated.
  • Irrigation interval should be less as compared to traditional furrows.
  • During the next irrigation, the remaining furrows will be irrigated.

Which type of irrigation method do you use for cotton crops? Share your answers and experiences with us by commenting. For more such interesting and important information, follow the 'Krishi Gyan' channel now. And if you liked the post, don't forget to like it and share it with your fellow farmers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the yield of cotton per acre?

A: In India, the average yield of cotton per acre is approximately 400 to 500 kg. However, the actual production can vary based on various factors such as soil quality, weather conditions, irrigation, and farming techniques. It's important to note that cotton is a highly water-intensive crop and requires proper irrigation and fertilizer management for optimal growth and yield.

Q: In which month is cotton sown?

A: Cotton is typically sown during the Kharif season in India, which is during the months of May and June. However, the exact sowing time can vary depending on the region and weather conditions. In some areas, sowing can also be done in the month of April.

Q: What fertilizers should be used in cotton farming?

A: For the better growth of cotton, it is essential to use a balanced amount of fertilizers. Use an appropriate amount of urea, di-ammonium phosphate (DAP), muriate of potash (MOP), along with single super phosphate (SSP) fertilizer.

Q: How should cotton be sown?

A: Before sowing cotton, it is important to consider several factors, including land preparation, seed selection, seed quantity, seed depth, and the use of fertilizers. Prepare the land thoroughly, choose high-quality seeds, ensure the correct seed quantity and depth, and use appropriate fertilizers.

Q: How can we manage weeds in cotton?

A: To manage weeds in a cotton crop, the following steps can be taken: Regular weeding and hoeing should be done. If the weed problem is severe, use a top-quality herbicide.

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