MULTAN: Farmers advisory committee (FAC) issued fortnightly guidelines for cotton farmers of Sindh and Punjab in its first meeting of the season here on Tuesday observing that cotton sowing has surpassed last season’s sowing figures in lower Sindh and still in progress there while it has just begun in Punjab since Apr 1, 2021.
Meeting was chaired by Director CCRI Multan Dr Zahid Mahmood and attended by heads of different wings of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan including Dr Naveed Afzal, Dr Idrees Khan, Dr Fayyaz Ahmad, Dr Rabia Saeed and Sajid Mahmood.
FAC experts advised farmers to get their soil analyzed by soil testing laboratory for balanced and need-based application of fertilizers to cut cost and get good production.
Those who have skipped soil testing and have completed sowing sans fertilizers application should get their soil samples tested before applying fertilizers.
Farmers should bury the crop sown for green fertilizers fifteen days before sowing of cotton. Canola and potato farmers who want to sow cotton should prepare land early by applying laser land leveller and arrange seed for the sowing.
Farmers who have harvested wheat crop should avoid burning wheat remains and instead bury them in the same soil, apply half bag of Urea per acre to speed up decomposition process and then apply water for enhanced fertility.
Farmers should apply suitable pesticides on seed before sowing that will keep the crop safe against sucking pest attack particularly Thrips and Aphid for 35-40 days.
FAC experts advised farmers to sow only registered varieties of seed. In case of sowing of fur-free seed having 90 per cent germination strength on ridges, farmers should apply 4.5 kilogram seed per acre. The quantity of seed to be sown would increase to five kilogram per acre in case of germination strength of 75 per cent, and 5.5 kg in case of 60 per cent germination strength.
In case of sowing of fur-free seed by drill, nine kilogram seed of 90 per cent germination strength should be sown per acre. The quantity should increase to 10 kg per acre in case of 75 per cent strength, and eleven kilogram in case of 60 per cent germination strength. Farmers should arrange ten per cent more seed than the requirement.
Farmers should not sow short height plant varieties in weaker or saline land. Farmers should also avoid taller height plant varieties sowing in fertile soil but if they do they must not apply fertilizers.
Fur-free seed must not be sown in sandy soil as it would compromise seed’s germination capability. Approved and registered Bt varieties of CCRI Multan including CIM-663, CIM-632, CIM-602, CIM-600, CIM-177, CIM-178, and CIM-179 and CCRI Sakrand varieties including CR1S-129, CR1S-510, CR1S-585, CR1S-543 and CR1S-613 besides those developed by private seed companies can be used for sowing.
Farmers, were, however, also advised to select varieties in accordance with local soil structure and weather conditions. Farmers should cover ten (10) per cent of their total cotton sown area with traditional cotton varieties so that pests do not develop resistance against safeguards incorporated in Bt varieties. Farmers should avoid sowing cotton near Okra, brinjal or other crops that can host pests.