Some Informative Detail about Cotton Crop
Cotton is harvested in three or more picking taken at suitable intervals. The success of harvesting is highly depending on adequate plant activity as leaf defoliation and boll opening is an active process. Inadequate weed control programs will present challenges with harvest and possibly impact fibre quality. The season of harvesting varies with sowing and duration of varieties. Generally the crop sown in April-June is harvested in Oct-Dec, while those which are sown in June-sept are harvested from Nov-Mar and from Mar-June respectively. First picking can be when two percent of bolls have burst open. Timing of harvesting is difficult decision for growers. Producers are often tempt to wait as long as possible for young immature bolls to open near the top of plant before defoliating. Manual harvesting is most common in developing countries. Depending on skills one person can harvest 10-60 kg seed cotton in a day machine harvesting is common in developed countries like USA, USSR and Australia etc. Cotton in united state is harvested using mechanical pickers or strippers. Mechanical pickers are equipped with rotating steel spindles attached to revolving drums or moving bars. Moistened spindles pull the lint and seed from the opened bolls after which they are pushed from the spindles with a doffer and then conveyed to the basket mounted on the picker. Strippers snap the opened and unopened bolls from the plants as the machine moves across the field. A cotton combine is a picker or scraper that cuts off the plants, strips out the seed cotton with spindles and chops the stalks and branches and returns them to the soil. Defoliation is not always required for mechanical picking.
Methods To Get More Cotton Picking and Storage
Picking of cotton
When 40-50 percent bolls opened then picking should be done. The picking should be done after the dry of dew drops. Generally the best time of picking initiate after 10 A.M. Picking should not be done if there is possibility of rain. If rain occurs picking should not be done until all the bolls become dry. The chances of mixing of dry leaf with seed cotton are minimum if the picking is done from the bottom to the top of plant. The picking of those bolls should be done that are fully opened. The better wages should be given to the labor so they not blend the leaf with seed cotton. Advice should be given to the labor so that they not pick the immature or improperly opened bolls. The picked cotton should not kept in moist place, it should be kept on dry place particularly on sooty clothe so that seed cotton remain free of contaminants. The dropped seed cotton from the plant is not free from the grasses, leaves and other debris so not mix it with clean cotton. The picking of opened bolls should be done before the occurrence of frost so that quality is not affected. The fiber of finally picked cotton is week and seed is not able to germinate so that last picked cotton should be kept separated. The picking of American cotton is done at an interval of 15-20 days and the picking of desi cotton should be done at an interval of 8 days so that opened bolls should not wasted. Seed cotton of different varieties should be kept in separate store rooms, so that the quality of lint and seed is not affected by mixing. The seed cotton affected with pink bollworms should be kept separated so that the grade and profit from good quality cotton remain high. The process of coloring become difficult on clothe made with that type of affected cotton. The labor should move in row under the supervision of trained supervisor. The cloth used for the picking of cotton should be sooty. The transfer of picked cotton from field to store or ginning factory should not be done in jute, polythene, polypropylene and plastic etc. bags except in sooty bags so that cotton remain free from contaminants. The labor’s should cover their heads so that their hair not mix in the picked cotton and its quality is not deteriorated. After the picking of cotton releases the sheep’s and goats in the field so that they eat all the remaining bolls affected with pink boll worms. After picking the remaining cotton stalks should buried in the soil with the help of rotavator. The larvae of American and pink bollworms remain in the field and turned into pupae stage and in the month of February due to the rise in temperature they become adult and damage the subsequent cotton crop. So that after final picking plow the field thoroughly that control the next generation of insects
Method of storage:
The moisture in the stored cotton not exceed from 8-10 percent. The store should be properly ventilated with paved and dry floor. If the floor of store is muddy then it is necessary to spread the plastic sheet on it. It is better to spread a layer of dry sand before the plastic sheet and then put cotton on it. In store the heaps of cotton should be made with proper distance. If the cotton is moist then sun dry it before storage. Different varieties should be kept separated in the store. If the store is not available then keep the cotton in the sooty bags. If cotton is kept out of the store then use the layer of sand and place the cotton on the plastic sheet that is spread on the sandy layer and keep the cotton in the form of heaps. If there is raining then cover the heaps with plastic sheet and when rain stop uncover the heaps and try to market it as soon as possible.