• Cotton  is a crop of topical and sub tropical climate .It requires high temperature (21°c to 30°c).
  • Temperature below 20° c is very harmful for its cultivation.
  • Cotton is main fiber  crop for cotton textile industry bedsides this cotton also provides seed (Binola) for vanaspati industry. It provides fodder for milking animals for better milk production.
  • For cultivation of cotton Frost is the biggest  enemy that is why it is grown in those regions where frost free days are easily available for almost 210 days in a year.
  • It requires a rainfall between 50 cm to 100 cm.It requires irrigation where rainfall is less than that.
  • In India almost 1/3rd area under cotton cultivation is irrigated.
  • Almost 80% of irrigated area under cotton cultivation is in Punjab, Haryana ,Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • Moist whether and heavy rainfall during boll -opening and picking are detrimental for cotton as the plant becomes vulnerable tp pests and diseases.
  • For a good crop it requires heavy rainfall in beginning and sunny and dry weather at ripening time .
  • Cotton is a kharif crop which requires 6 to 8 months for maturing .
  • In Punjab and Haryana it is sowed in April -May,and harvested in December -January before winter frost could damage it.
  • In Peninsular part of India it is sowed in October while harvested in January to May as there in no issue of winter frost.
  • In Tamil-Nadu cotton is grown as kharif as well as rabi.
  • Most of the cotton crop is mixed with other kharif crop such as maize,Lowar,Ragi,Seasum,castor,Groundnut and some vegetables.
  • Cotton cultivation is best in black soil(regur) of Deccan and the Malwa plateau and those of Gujarat.It also grows well in alluvial soil of satluj and ganga plains or in red and laterite soil of peninsular region.
  • Cotton exhausts the fertility of soil very quickly thus regular supply of manure and fertilizers for soil are very important.
  • Picking is a crucial period from the labor point of view.Since picking cotton is not yet mechanized and requires lot of cheap and efficient labor. Normally the picking season is spread over a period of about 3 months


Long Staple Medium Staple Short Staple
24 mm to 27 mm Long fiber. 20 mm to 24 mm long fiber. less than 20 mm long fiber.
In India 50% of cotton produced is long staple. 44% of total cotton produced is medium staple. 6% of total cotton produced is short staple.
Superior quality high price. Medium quality low price. Inferior quality very low price.


  • India has largest area under cotton cultivation 2nd largest producer in world.
  • A very marginal increase came in area under cotton cultivation if observed between 1951 to 2003.But due to a magnificent increase in yield (almost 3.5 times) between 1951 to 2003,the production has increased significantly in the same year.
  • But when compared with worlds average yield ,India’s yield in just half.
                                                         World’s Cotton Yield    – 731  KG/HECTARE
                                                         Egypt’s Cotton Yeild     –  816 KG/HECTARE
                                                          India’s Cotton Yield     –  307 KG/HECTARE
  •  India’s 65% of area of cotton cultivation is rain fed with erratic and poorly distributed rains during cropping season.It is subject to severe attack of pests and diseases


  • India has a sole distinction of growing all four cultivated species of cotton and their intra and inter specific hybrids.
  • Three Distinct agro ecological zones where cotton is grown.

About the author: Aman Kumar

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