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Irrigation


Cotton

In many countries cotton (Gossypium spp.) is one of the most important fibre producing plants. Cotton crop not only provides fibre for the textile industry, but also plays a role in the feed and oil industries with its seed, rich in oil (18 – 24%) and protein (20 – 40%). An estimated 350 million people are engaged in cotton production either on-farm or in transportation, ginning, baling and storage. China consumes 40% of the world’s raw cotton. Australia and Egypt produce the best quality cotton in the world. Cotton is a major export revenue source for Burkina Faso, Benin, Uzbekistan, Mali, Tajikistan, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Syria. The world’s lowest cost cotton producers are Australia, China, Brazil and Pakistan.

The USA and Israel are two of the highest cost cotton producers in the world. World’s main cotton exporters are the USA, Uzbekistan, Brazil and Australia. World cotton demand has increased steadily since the 1950s at an average annual rate of growth of 2%.

In terms of global production, cotton is the foremost fibre crop. Present world production is some 25.5 million tons of seed cotton from 34.8 million ha. China, USA and India are the world's major cotton producing countries, accounting for nearly 60% of the world production. Nearly 53% of cotton produced in the world is subsidized. Cotton producing countries that subsidize their domestic industry include the USA, China, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and India.

Cotton is grown in more than 100 countries accounting for 40% of the world fibre market. The cotton is raised in diverse climates such as tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climates.

The development of the crop is sensitive to temperature. Cool nights and low daytime temperatures result in vegetative growth with few fruiting branches. The crop is very sensitive to frost and a minimum of 200 frost-free days is required. The length of the total growing period is about 150 to 180 days. Depending on temperature and variety, 50 to 85 days are required from planting to first bud formation, 25 to 30 days for flower formation and 50 to 60 days from flower opening to mature boll. Cotton is a short-day plant but day-neutral varieties exist. However, the effect of day length on flowering is influenced by temperature. Germination is optimum at temperatures of 18 to 30 °C, with minimum of 14 °C and maximum of 40 °C.
Delayed germination exposes seeds to fungus infections in the soil. For early vegetative growth, temperature must exceed 20 °C with 30 °C as desirable. For proper bud formation and flowering, daytime temperature should be higher than 20 °C and night temperature higher than 12 °C, but should not exceed 40 and 27 °C respectively. Temperatures between 27 and 32 °C are optimum for boll development and maturation but above 38 °C yields are reduced. Strong and/ or cold winds seriously affect the delicate young seedlings and at maturity will blow away fiber from opened bolls and cause soiling of the fiber with dust. Continuous rain during flowering and boll opening will impair pollination and reduce fiber quality. Heavy rainfall during flowering causes flower buds and young bolls to fall.

Cotton is grown on a wide range of soils but medium and heavy textured, deep, well drained, fertile clayey, alluvial, chernozom and laterite soils with good water holding characteristics are preferred. Acid or dense sub soils limit root penetration. The pH range is 5.5 to 8 with 7 to 8 regarded as optimum. The crop is tolerant to soil salinity. The plant propagation is by seed. The plant density varies between 100,000 to 160,000 plants/ ha under high density and between 14,000 to 37,000 plants/ ha under low density population.

Adoption of drip irrigation and fertigation in cotton proved to be technically feasible and economically viable and beneficial in many ways in many countries. Drip irrigation in many diverse agro-ecological situations registered higher yield (15 to 30 %) besides saving in water (30 to 45 %) and improving lint quality in comparison to conventional furrow, overhead sprinkler and centre pivot sprinkler irrigation methods. Under Adana, Turkey agro-climatic conditions subsurface drip irrigated cotton raised on 11 ha registered seed cotton yield of 5.5 to 5.8 tons/ha (33% increase over furrow irrigated cotton) besides saving 30% water, 20% energy, 15% labor and 5% plant protection chemicals.

For high yields, the seasonal crop water requirements for cotton were estimated to be 350 to 900 mm/ ha under range of climatic conditions and varying length of growing season (150 – 210 days) with an average daily evapotranspiration rate of 4 to 8 mm/ day. Irrigation scheduling using either daily growing rate or leaf water potential measurements by pressure chamber enabled efficient use of water, fertilizer and energy inputs. Cotton is a heavy feeder of nutrients. The aim of the fertigation program is to cover the difference between crop demand and supply. The ability of drip system to apply nutrients by fertigation frequently according to crop developmental stages gives the grower the ability to react to the plant needs in the most efficient way.

Other best management practices include irrigation scheduling, protection of crop from pests & diseases, need based weed management, defoliation, harvesting and post harvesting operations to minimize yield losses.

Crop-based Training

Cotton Crop-Based Training

Cotton half-day seminar: Grow More with Less
Seminar code: cotton-sem-1d-eng-v1

Date and Venue
This crop-oriented program is for demonstration purposes only. However, it may be revised to suit any date or any venue around the world.

Introduction
In many countries cotton (Gossypium spp.) is one of the most important fibre producing plants. Cotton crop not only provides fibre for the textile industry, but also plays a role in the feed and oil industries with its seed, rich in oil (18 – 24%) and protein (20 – 40%). An estimated 350 million people are engaged in cotton production either on-farm or in transportation, ginning, baling and storage. China consumes 40% of the world’s raw cotton. Australia and Egypt produce the best quality cotton in the world. Cotton is a major export revenue source for Burkina Faso, Benin, Uzbekistan, Mali, Tajikistan, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Syria. The world’s lowest cost cotton producers are Australia, China, Brazil and Pakistan.
The USA and Israel are two of the highest cost cotton producers in the world. World’s main cotton exporters are the USA, Uzbekistan, Brazil and Australia. World cotton demand has increased steadily since the 1950s at an average annual rate of growth of 2%.

Drip irrigation, invented by Netafim in 1965, is an acknowledged modern technique for achieving high efficiencies in water and nutrient use under an up-to-date sustainable agriculture.
The drip system is specifically designed to enable corn growers to use existing infrastructure. Drip system provides fast return on investment, and provides a modern maintenance and management system.

At Netafim we are committed to share our know-how and that's why we have created Netafim University. We aim to bring you our profound global and local experience as we believe that "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” (Benjamin Franklin)
This crop seminar provides you with more knowledge and less open questions in order to plan to grow more corn with less water and less fertilizers, or as we say - Grow More With Less.

Seminar objectives
Upon completion of this seminar, participants will:

  1. Understand the benefits of drip irrigation for cotton growers
  2. Be familiar with the "Netafim solution" for cotton growers
  3. Recognize the economical benefits of Netafim's approach, highlighting efficient crop fertilization, uniformity of water usage, increase in tuber yield per hectare and decrease of environmental damage.
  4. Identify the first steps required in order to acquire additional information about drip irrigation.

Program

Who is this seminar targeting?
Farmers who grow cottons in the region.

Content supervision
Mr. Arie Bosak, Cotton Knowledge Leader, Netafim

Lecturers and presenters

  1. Netafim guest expert
  2. Local Netafim representative
  3. Local dealer representative
  4. Local cotton grower (host of venue)

Location
Cotton farm tbd

Language
English

Registration & cost
Participation in the seminar is free of charge.
The number of participants is limited. Please register in advance.

Transportation arrangements
According to location and needs of the participants.

Learning techniques & resources
Frontal lectures using audiovisual equipment, when possible.
Hard copy of the key presentations will be distributed on-site.
Access to Netafim glossary.

Program

 

Opening

Gathering and registration

8:30 – 9:00

Greetings by your hosts

9:00 – 9:15

 

Lectures

Think globally, act economically!
Global changes and their effect on cotton. It's not only about the price per hectare.

9:15 – 9:45

What happens when cotton meet drip irrigation?
The benefits of drip irrigation to cotton growers in comparison to traditional irrigation,
The main components of the Netafim solution for cotton growers.

9:45 – 10:45

Questions & Answers

10:45 – 11:00

 

Break

Break. Light snacks will be served

11:00 – 11:15

 

Lectures

Cotton success story brought to you by a local grower or regional dealer

11:15 – 11:45

What’s in it for me? Economical decision-making when considering drip irrigation

11:45 – 12:15

 

Workshop

Presentation of a drip system by familiarizing with few of its components in order to comply with the following saying: "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.”
Confucius, Chinese philosopher and teacher (551-479 BC)

12:15 – 13:00

 

Closing

Seminar conclusion, practical advice and tips for the road.
Feedback forms

13:00 – 13:30

 

FAQ'S

How much a drip irrigation system costs per hectare of cotton?
This is very variable and depends on the following factors: Conveyance of water from source to the field: Normally this is the most expensive component of the irrigation system. It depends on the distance and elevation the water has to be conveyed by the pipelines. Peak crop water demand: Amount of water we need to apply to meet the peak crop evapotranspiration requirements during the cotton crop peak demand. This is a function of prevailing climate conditions, crop canopy cover and efficiency of the irrigation system. Other considerations: The land topography (flat or undulated) of the design area; the soil texture which determines the emitter spacing, for example sandy soils require closer emitter spacing and clayey soil require wider emitter spacing that will have a significant impact on the system cost per unit area.
Why choose drip and not sprinkler irrigation method?
The drip technology proved itself to be technically feasible and economically viable under range of environments besides increasing seed cotton yields and lint quality improvement. Drip technology also allows significant saving in water, fertilizers, labor and energy required for pumping water. In the long run, economic calculation shows that drip is the most suitable system for modern agriculture with higher economic returns.
Should I use subsurface or surface drip system?
Subsurface drip irrigation in cotton has shown to have many agro technical advantages besides regular drip system features: The drip lines are protected from agro-machinery damage, it permits using a thin wall drip line that effect significantly the cost, applying the water and the fertilizers directly to the root zone and performing all the crop agro machinery actions such as spraying of plant protection chemicals and mechanical harvesting without interfering with the day to day irrigation system protocols.
What is the life of the drip system and after how many years I have to renew it?
The accumulated field experience revealed that cotton raised under subsurface drip irrigation system can continue up to ten and/ or more years before the field is renewed. During the renewal of the field for new plant crop, all the hydraulics (pipes, pump filters, etc.) remain intact the field for further use and only the drip line must be replaced which represents around 35 – 40% of the total system cost per unit area.
Does Bt cotton offer benefits to small growers in developing countries like India & China?
Yes, insect protected cotton is especially important in developing countries where small farmers may have less access to machinery and crop inputs, or must apply pesticides with hand sprayers under difficult conditions. Chinese farmers who used Bt cotton applied 80 percent less insecticide than farmers who planted non-Bt varieties.
Does Bt cotton provide economic benefits to farmers?
The National Center for Food & Agricultural Policy concluded that Bt varieties required an average 3.9 fewer insecticide sprays for bollworm/ budworm, cost $15.4 per acre less for insect control, yielded 37 pounds more lint per acre and resulted in $40.0 more profit per acre.
Is Bt cotton safe for soil organisms as the cotton plants degrade after harvest?
Impacts of Bt proteins have been investigated on a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, including earthworms, collembola, daphnids, insect predators and parasites, spiders and honey bees. Even though test populations were exposed to levels 500 to 1,000 times greater than concentrations measured in the field, in most cases no adverse effects were observed.
What do you think about the possibility to say something about Roundup Ready (RR) cotton or generally about herbicides resistance?
Effective weed management and control in cotton is critical to maximize yields and harvest high quality lint. Some weeds act as host crops for insect pests that can invade cotton which can be an important reason to keep weed numbers low. Roundup Ready® cotton enables growers to treat their cotton crop with an over the top application of Roundup Ready® herbicide, a Roundup® branded agricultural herbicide formulation specifically labeled for use with Roundup Ready cotton. Roundup Ready herbicide is highly effective against the majority of annual and perennial grasses as well as broad-leafed weeds; it is the only glyphosate product registered for use over the top of Roundup Ready cotton. With the combination of Roundup Ready cotton and Roundup Ready herbicide growers gain superior weed control, plus a number of other environmental and crop management benefits such as the opportunity to reduce cultivation and residual herbicide use.

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