This is my 1st season as cotton grower/farmer. I was in IT industry for over 15 years and this year I quit and started taking care of my family farm land. We have about 24 acres and its in cotton belt of Vidharba. I am expection about 9-11 Quintal per acre harvest this year.
Since this was my 1st year I am just following what everyone around my field are doing. However next year I am planning to do many experiments. It will be another 5-6 year before i could tell that I know cotton cultivation; but never the less I would like to experient especially few of the pain points that I have observed during the 1st year.
Weeds [removing weeds (nindan in Marathi)] is the most painful and expensive part
Wastage of fertilizers
sowing timing ( seeds are expensive and one have to time the sowing with monsoon arrival
::Few solution:: (again i am no expert in this area but just contemplating few options
Mulching (not sure if its possible for huge area 25 acre?? cost would be too much)
Brick fertilizer (instead of throwing loose fertilizer, plant smal brick of NPK next to plant)
Prepare seedling ( sow in May 1st week and transplant after Mansoon settles. (Huge cost of trasplanting can be offset by the reduced weeding cost and early 1st flush in Oct (when the cotton price are generally high)
I like your thought, my area is also cotton growing area, I have not grown myself but have some inputs.
Weeding cost can be reduced by mechanising, use traditional bullocks to plough land in between cotton plants or you can keep a small petrol operated Mini Rotary Tiller , this will operate in between the plants.
Secondly, when your cotton is halfway grown, farmers here do intercrop of a short legume like horsegram, this helps with soil improvement as well controls further weeds.
Fertilizer can be applied to each plant at 15 days intervals by scooping small part of the earth and applying the fertilizer mix and then covering with earth, organic manure to be applied on day 1. You should how much fertilizers are required. Normally I feel basal dose of Phosporus, Urea at 15, 30, 45 days and Potash at 30, 45 and 60 is good for any crop of 3 months duration.
We tried to prepare seedling but could not, something to do with tap root system which is difficult to keep in trays, however you can make seedlings in bags, you need to work out cost.
I havent done myself, but I am telling this based on my observation. I would like to grow cotton, this year the prices are very attractive.
Thanks for the informative email, really appreciated.
Yes to remove weeds we do use the traditional bullock plough, it works just fine except when it’s raining continueouly.
Bigger problem is to remove the weeds next to the plants, which generally causes more damage. Traditional method to do this is to deploy army of women labor to remove the weeds. It cost lot of money… close to 3-4K per acre every session.
“small petrol operated Mini Rotary Tiller this will operate in between the plants” ==> I will explore this
This season we have used 4 varieties of seeds…Malika 207 & 307 (from Nuzeeduga), 3820 (ankur), Paras Brahma (monsanto), 3843 (ankur)…
We got best results with malika variety. its still flowering and as long as we keep watering the plants and fertigate we will get harvest till April 2014…
With regards to Cotton prices this year it stared ~4800 and not its hovering around 4400-4600 per quintal (100kg). This single biggest factor which moves the cotton prices are some of the decisions that Chinese govt took. 2 years back the cotton price went up all the way to 6000/quintal because China’s reserves were empty and they went on crazy importing cotton. Now they end up with huge stock piles and they have decided to release this stock they were holding since 2011… and it’s driving down the cotton prices.
Cotton prices are not dependent on how much china is importing or what they are doing afterwards.
i am an entrepreneur in textiles, and run the biggest spinning mill setup at a single location in india.
we grow, purchase, store cotton which we require for 3 yrs production. this is just to give you an idea about the volume i work in.
the truth behind all the price fluctuation, we all know it so why not accept the truth yea?
I agree with you for the local mandi’s. However the cotton future is totally depended (at least this year) on what china is going to do with its 30million bale reserves. There is also speculation quality of cotton since the reserve is from 2011 crop. If the local spinning mills decides to import fresh (2013) produce instead of consume from the Chinese govt reserve; then price in US and India would bump up.
For india this year, thr is political angle to this as well. general view is that in the election year govt will set the support price higher…
anyways I am storing my harvest for few more weeks, hope for better price.
My cost per quintal are close to 2700-2800 hundred so i need to get something close to 5000K
we have been growing cotton since 15 years in vidharbha. the plants have been yielding since 15 ears. no removal of plants every year. might be difficult to believe. no problems of pests and diseases or growth promoters.
we have also discovered perennial tree cotton plant near mysuru, which is of high quality than the hybrid varieties. we are now using this cotton for our personal needs.
we have planted cotton plants in january and they are ready for harvesting.
difficult to believe.