Basics about cotton and its Cultivation


We know that India is known for its cultivation of various crops and agricultural economy. Cotton is one of the most important fibers and cash crops in India. Cotton is used to make clothes and various other healthcare use and various other textile uses. Cotton is grown in India in large quantities. Cotton in India employs over 6 million farmers and indirectly employs 40-50 million people. Cotton uses nearly 44.5% of the total pesticides used in agriculture. The cotton crops consume most of the water that is around 6% of the water for irrigation in India. The seeds also known as Binola are used in the vanaspati industry and are used as feed for the cattle to produce the best milk.


Factors for the growth of the cotton crops


  • Cotton is grown in large quantities in the delta region
  • The region where there is lots of cheap labor
  • Use of insecticide to kill insects such as Boll Weevils
  • Use of Hybrid seeds such as Bharathi and Sujata
  • The use of fertilizers are good for the growth of the cotton plants
  • States rich in the soil for cotton growth areas are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu


Types of Cotton


Long-staple cotton – This cotton is one of the finest kinds of cotton and the length of the cotton is 24mm to 27mm. It is shining and has fine, long fiber. It demands a high price value. About half of cotton grown in India are long-staple cotton. The states producing this type of cotton are Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh


Medium staple cotton – This is medium size cotton that is 20 mm to 24 mm long. About 44% of cotton grown in India is medium staple cotton. The states that produce this type of cotton are Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.


Short staple cotton – This is inferior variety cotton that grows for 20 mm in length. This is used to produce an inferior variety of clothes. The states are Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh.


Soil and climatic conditions for the growth of cotton


Climate hot and humid that carries moisture in the air is necessary for the growth of cotton. 70% of the cotton grown is rainfed. No moisture for 60 days to 120 days reduces the yield. The ideal temperature for cotton is 25 degrees Celsius. Rainfall of 150 cm to 200 cm is necessary for cotton farming. There must be moisture in the air getting good cotton crops. The soil must be black soil to deep black soil. The pH must range from 6 to 8. The salinity in the soil is not good for the crops. It is recommended for going for the soil test. The depth of soil must be at least 20 cm to 25 cm and not less than this.


Soil Preparation in Cotton Plantation


Flatbed soil is very important. This is done by disc harrowing and plowing. Advanced drip irrigation is suitable and reduces weeds. Round 4 to 5 tons of compost is added before the last harrowing. To avoid termites and white grub add 750 to 1000 kg of Neem cake along with FYM.


Crop rotation


Sugarcane, banana, maize, and hybrid sorghum, etc must be grown and cultivated before cotton cultivation. The cotton must not be followed after the cotton cultivation as the diseases and pests are high.


Hybrid varieties of cotton


Hirsutam * Hirsutam or Hirsutam * Barbadense is the preferred varieties of cotton are grown in many parts of India.


Seeds for cotton planting


Only certified and tested seeds must be used for plant growth. Delinted seeds and seed quantities of 2.5 to 3 kg per hectare are preferred. The seeds must be treated with Bavistin or Thiram. Plantation of 7 to 8 thousand per hectare is optimum.


Planting space


Spacing is 2.5’*5’*5′ or 3’*4’*3′ is preferred. The spacing of 4’*3′ for heavy soil and 3’*3′ for medium soil is adopted in a single row system.


Planting season

The cotton must be planted before the onset of monsoon so that the desired vegetative growth of the cotton plant is achieved.



Drip Irrigation near the roots of cotton is preferred that reduces the onset of the weeds



Nutrients that are applied in the soil for cotton cultivation are Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Iron, Boron, Sulfur, magnesium and zinc are good for cotton cultivation. The recommended doses are 100 to 125 kg of Nitrogen, 60 to 75 kg of P2O5, and 80 Kg of K2O per hectare.


Harvesting and Yield of Cotton

Manual or Machine picking is employed. Manual picking is slow but preserves the characteristics of cotton.


How is the cotton price calculated?

The factors that influence the price of cotton are as follows,

  • Cotton Quality
  • Color
  • Uniformity
  • Leaf
  • Staple length
  • Trash Content such as bark, leaf other extraneous matter
  • Strength
  • Micronaire


How many kgs is a bale of cotton?

The bale of cotton differs in various countries such as 480 pounds that is 217.7 kg in the US, 730 pounds that is 331.1 kg in Egypt and UK, 396.6 pounds that is 180 Kg in Brazil, and 393 pounds that are 177.8 kg in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The standard bale weighs 500 pounds that are 226.8 kg.


The price of cotton differs very highly in International markets. If you consider 500 pounds as 1 bale of cotton that costs between $0.70 to $0.80 in the international market. On average a bale that is 470 pounds approximately can cost $329. The cotton price that is the cost of a cotton bale in India varies between Rupees 9000 to 15000




We have discussed everything about the growth of cotton plants till harvesting and the weight of cotton and the cost of cotton in India. This article can be seen as a guide to cotton cultivation as it covers everything about cotton cultivation. Happy Cotton Farming!