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  • Desi cotton cultivarsare re-emerging as potential alternative to obtain sustainable yields-during the era of climatic uncertainties. Seven cultivars were evaluated and the long-linted desi cotton cultivars,PA 528 and CNA I041 were identified to be the most productive. Planting under high density planting systems,was found to increase seed cotton yield by 275 kg/ha. Detopping along with side shoot removal and foliar application of mepiquatchloride (500mg/kg), was found to improve vigour index.
  • ICAR-CICR has standardized the technology for HDPS in which straight varieties of cotton are planted at 45 to 100 cm spacing between rows and 10 cm between plants. The technology is cost saving and yield enhancing (compared to hybrids) and also provides seed sovereignty to farmers. More than 5000 demonstrations of this technology were undertaken on farmers field during 2012-2015. The technology is now being independently demonstrated by the state governments in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu and Telengana. The technology has gained tremendous response in both irrigated (Punjab, Haryana, Tamilnadu) and rainfed (Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Orrisa) conditions and is emerging as an alternative to hybrid cotton.
  • The growing popularity of this technology has revived the seed chain of public sector. It is now proving to be an alternative to hybrids particularly on marginal soils and rain fed conditions. The popularization of Phule Dhanwantary suitable for surgical cotton production under HDPS has improved the profitablity of cotton farmers and has also revived the surgical cotton industry.
  • Despite wide variation in the behavior of monsoon across locations and years, high yields of 25 to 30 quintals per hectare of seed-cotton were obtained by several farmers. The cost of cultivation was Rs 20,000 to 25,000 per hectare. Net profit ranged from Rs 12,000 to 90,000 per hectare.

Conservation Agriculture

  • Soil compaction is increasingly being experienced due to excessive use of machinery to ensure timely operation but this leads to sub-soil compaction. Consequently, root and crop growth are adversely affected. Among the deep rooted rotation crops, pigeon pea had significantly great yield levels (35.3q/ha) followed by sunnhemp and sesbania(28to 29q/ha) with similar yield levels. Increase in bulk density beyond 1.6 g/cc resulted in a drastic reduction in root length of the Bt hybrid bu tthat of the varieties showed a decline beyond 1.7 g/cc.
  • Conservation agricultural(CA) practices are promoted as a solution to land degradation and improving productivity. CA system with 100% residue recycling had significantly higher CEY than Farmer’s practice. CA system with100% residue recycling significantly reduced the soil penetration resistance upto 9″ soil depth vis-a-vis Farmer’s practice. Among cropping systems under CA, cotton-blackgram- maize is a potential candidate cropping system under the irrigated conditions as it registered significantly higher Cotton Equivalent Yield (CEY )than the conventional Cotton- fallow system.
  • Epigenetic regulating chemicals (ERC) treated Suraj and LRA 5166 cotton plants were screened for drought tolerance in the second generation. The plants were subjected to drought stress during pin head stage of squaring by withholding irrigation for 10 days. 5-Azacytidine (10 mu M) and sulfamethazine (10 mu M) treated plants recorded high relative water content of 86.1% and 84.7%, respectively as against control(68.7%) under stress conditions in Suraj. Treated plants also had greater pro line content, higher epicuticular wax content than the control plants that were not treated.
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