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LAHORE: The local cotton market on Tuesday remained dull while the trading volume remained low. Cotton Analyst Naseem Usman told that the rate of cotton in Punjab and Sindh is in between Rs 18000 to Rs 20,000 per maund.

He also told that due to increase in the rate of dollar the price of raw material is also increasing. 200 bales of Feroza were sold at Rs 21000 per maund and 2400 bales of Khan Pur were sold at Rs 21000 to Rs 21500 (conditional) per maund.

Agriculture experts have advised farmers to sow only registered varieties of cotton and maintain plant population from 15000 to 20,000 per acre depending on the sowing time to obtain a good yield. Agriculture spokesman said on Monday that farmers should select fertile land and prepare the soil softer in the field.

He said that farmers can avail Rs 1000 subsidy per bag of registered and approved seed varieties including BS-15, CKC-1, CKC-3, CIM-663, IUB-2013, Nayab-878, Nayab-545, MNH-1020, and Nayab Kiran.

Every bag of above mentioned seed varieties contained a Rs 1000 voucher which farmers can claim either by sending a message i.e (Scratch Card Number space CNIC) to 8070 or those having Kissan Cards can also get it from registered dealers.

Farmers should select any registered seed variety keeping in view the nature of soil in their area, weather conditions, water availability, and advice from agriculture extension officials. At least ten (10) per cent area should be covered by non-Bt varieties to ensure that bollworms do not develop resistance against Bt varieties.

The seed with germination strength of 75 per cent or above should be sown at the rate of six kilogram in case of fur-free seed and eight (8) kilogram in case of seed with fur. Seed should be treated with some suitable pesticides to keep it safe from sucking pests and white fly at least for the initial first month. Some antifungal agent should also be applied to the seed after consulting officials.

Cotton should preferably be sown on beds or ridges either by machine or by hands. In case of sowing by drill, row-to-row distance be maintained 2.5 feet and when plants attain the height of 1-2 feet, farmers should put soil at the plants’ bottom in first row but leave the next row unattended and so on. Experts said that removal of weeds and application of fertilizers becomes easy in case of cotton sown on beds, a technique that also brings safety against losses caused by excess water or rains.

For cotton sown by drill, first water be applied 30-35 days after sowing and rest be applied maintaining intervals of 12-15 days. For cotton sown on beds, first water should be applied 3-4 days after sowing, while second, third, and fourth be applied maintaining 6-7 days intervals. Remaining water be applied maintaining 12-day intervals as per crop need.

Farmers should complete the process of removing unnecessary or weaker plants to maintain plant population to a suitable level within 20-25 days after sowing or before first water or after dry hoeing in one session, at all cost.

The plant population be maintained at 15000-17500 per acre for crop sown till Apr 20 and 17500-20000 per acre for crop sown from Apr 21 to May 10. The Spot Rate remained unchanged at Rs 20,500 per maund. Polyester Fiber was available at Rs 290 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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