New Cotton Variety Enhances Productivity

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CO17 is a hit among farmers in Perambalur and Ariyalur, in Tamil Nadu.

Cotton farmers in Perambalur-Ariyalur belt are able to see higher productivity through cultivation of CO17 variety released by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. The farmers could get a yield of 24 to 28 quintals per hectare, and were also able to produce seeds on their own, under the guidance of TNAU’s Cotton Research Station at Veppanthattai in Perambalur district. This variety was also suitable for mechanical harvesting.

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Somasundaram, Associate Professor and Head of the Research Station, said the cotton crop was being raised in about 50,000 hectares in Ariyalur and Perambalur districts. The main problem in cotton production used to be low productivity and absence of mechanical harvesting. Farmers used to spend about 500 mandays for one acre.

The CO17 variety with a duration of 135 days was ideal since there was no side branching, and was suitable for mechanical harvesting and high-density planting wherein one lakh plants are raised per hectare, Prof. Somasundaram said. This kind of planting was suitable for mechanised weeding with power tiller, sub-surface drip irrigation and also use of machines for harvesting, Prof. Somasundaram said.

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These aspects were explained thoroughly to farmers during the Field Day conducted by the Research Station recently. The farmers were told that it was very important to reduce vegetative growth for high-density planting. Interacting with the farmers, K. Sakthiel, Assistant Professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics, explained about the architecture of the plant and said the crop was suitable for rainfed, summer irrigated, winter irrigated condition, and to sustain drought.

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