Cotton is warm and light-loving perennial, technical plant belonging to Malvaceae family. Its homeland is India. Cotton was planted there 3 thousand years B.C. The first information about the cultivation of cotton in Egypt was noted in BC 1 century. It had been cultivating since B.C. VII-IV centuries in Transcaucasia.
Approximately 50% of the fiber used in World textile industry is obtained from cotton. Averagely, 30-35% fiber is obtained from 100 kg raw cotton. Yarn is made fiber used in weaving the various fabrics, as well as it is used in the production of cords for car wheel, nets and belts and so on.
Oil obtained from cotton seed is used in food products. Moreover, margarine, glycerin, soap, stearin, lubricants is made of cotton seed. Its waste is used in the production of pulp, alcohol, lacquer, linoleum, cardboard, film, and insulation materials
Cotton was spread in Azerbaijan through Ancient Eastern countries, especially Iran. Burnt cotton hanks and seed remaining from V-VI centuries was found in the archaeological excavations in Mingachevir. Fabrics were made of cotton in Barda, Nakhchivan, Beylagan, Ganja, Shamkir and other cities and exported to abroad. Cotton goods were exported to Russia from Shamakhi in the 15th century. There were a vast cotton fields in Mil-Mugan and Shirvan lowlands in the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, cotton was also developed in Guba and Baku provinces. The cotton planting area and cotton production was 100 thousand hectares and 65 thousand tons respectively in Azerbaijan in 1913.
Cotton varieties. High-productive cotton which meets the requirements of the textile industry and is suitable for collecting by car is planted in intensive industry. Zoned local such as AzNIXI-195, Ganja-8, Ganja-2, Ganja-78, Ganja, 80, Ganja-103, Ganja-110, Maras, Antep, White gold, Progen, Flora and introduced foreign cotton varieties are currently planted in Azerbaijan.
splitting of soil into fine particles, collection and preservation of moisture, increase the productivity of agro-technical measures such as washing, irrigation etc. Autumn ploughing is conducted with plough in the depth of 28-32 cm depending the thickness of fertile layer of the soil and predecessor plant. Ploughing should be completed till 15-20 December for cotton planting. 5-10 tons of manure per hectare should be provided under ploughing each year. Manure is universal organic fertilizer, as well as nutrient for the plants.
Cultivation operations before sowing causes to keeping the moisture reserve in the soil generated due to atmospheric precipitations and autumn and spring irrigation and early germination and destruction of weeds on the top layer of soil during harrowing. It is important that the area is flat and smooth surfaced during harrowing. Cultivation before sowing should be carried out in shallow – 6-7 cm of depth. Last course of the harrow should be in the direction of sowing.
Preparation of seed for sowing. Cotton seed is disinfected to control diseases as hommoz, root decaying in seed cotton plants. If seed is found to be fibrous before sowing in irrigation lands, they are soaked twice on asphalt place or polyethylene film (time interval between first and second should be 1-2 hours). For each wetting process 350-500 liter of water is used for 1 ton of seed spread in the thickness of 20-25 cm. After each wetting, seed is mixed with shovel, collected at a height of 70-80 cm and covered with polyethylene film. Soaked seed can be kept for maximum 12 hours. Naked seed should be soaked.
Sowing. Sowing is started in 8-10 cm of soil when temperature is +12 - +14° C. It is first 10 days and second 10 days in Mugan, Mil-Karabakh regions and Shirvan region accordingly. Planting is carried out after pre-cultivation sowing. Seed should be planted in the depth of 4-5 cm during sowing. In the beginning of sowing period, seed is planted in the shallow, but afterwards in the relatively deep place. Seed is sowed in 3-4 cm of depth in the lands of sown-irrigation. If sowing is done with fibrous seed, 70-80 kg of seed is used per hectare.
If sowing is done with non-fibrous seed, 20-25 kg of seed is used per hectare. Sowing with non-fibrous seed is carried out with pneumatic sowing machines of SCX-4a or SPC-6M brand.
Output. 110-120, 100-110 and 90-100 thousands of plants are kept in per hectare of lands having poor nutrition and water supply, lands having middle supply and fertile soils accordingly. When the gap between rows is 60 cm, one or two plants are kept in each 12-15 cm or 30 cm respectively. When the gap between rows is 90 cm, one or two plants are kept in each 8-10 cm or 20 cm respectively.
Cultivation. One of the most important agro-technical measures is softening of gaps between rows. Cultivation width should be 40-45 and 70-75 cm in lands having 60cm and 90 cm of gap between rows respectively. Root system of plants is shallow during two main leaves period. Therefore, cultivation is carried out in the depth of 6-7 cm. Cultivations till irrigation period is carried out in the depth of 10-12 cm.
Depth of furrow is 12-18 cm and 15-20 cm in the planting lands having 60cm and 90 cm of gap between rows respectively.
First and last cultivations are conducted with the first speed of tractor, but remaining cultivations are conducted with the second speed of tractor.
Processing with spud. Soil around plants is softened, weeds in protection stripe are eliminated during spud processing. Spud processing is conducted in the depth of 6-8 cm. Cultivation and spud processing should be conducted after 3-4 days from vegetation irrigation during physical maturity of the soil.
Fertilization. While calculating rate of fertilizer to be used in the land, the amount of nutrients in the soil (natural fertility) and planned productivity should be taken into account.
Phosphorus and potassium fertilizers should be provided under ploughing. If fertilizer rate is high, then 80% is provided under ploughing, 20% is given with sowing or feeding.
Nitrogen fertilizer should be given as 100 kg during sowing, but remaining part is given 2 times as feeding till budding period. Nitrogen feeding should be completed till blooming.
Vegetation irrigation. Vegetation irrigation plays an important role in agro-technical measures for growing high productive cotton.
Cotton should be often irrigated, irrigation should be started early and completed late in light mechanical textured lands where soil layer is shallow and ground level is deep. Irrigation should be carried out 1-2 times till blooming and 3-4 times till yielding in this kind of lands.
Irrigation norm is 700-800 and 900-1000 cubic meters in light mechanical textured soils and heavy mechanical textured soils accordingly.
Cotton diseases and pests. Pests such as autumn noctuid, cotton worm, spider tick, louse, trips etc. and diseases such as vilt, hommoz and root decaying damage to the cotton in Azerbaijan.
Cotton seed is disinfected with modern, chemical preparations to control diseases as hommoz, root decaying, pests as louse and trips in seed cotton plants.
Tip cutting. Tip cutting is carried out with mechanical and chemical ways. Tip of main body of plants are cut in the length of 3-4 cm and 1-2 cm with CBX-4 brand tip-cutting device and by hand respectively. When cotton bushes branch out, tips of side branches are cut too.
Chemical method is more effective for tip cutting. For this purpose, when you use piks, tur, mikvat-chloride etc. preparations, the growth of the main and side branches are regulated equally and bar branches are developing more quickly.
Cotton collection is carried out with hand or machine. Areas to be collected with hand or machine should be determined beforehand.
Collection with hand should be arranged in such way that it is completed in 50-60 days with calculated work force. Collection with hand should be started after blooming of at least 4 balls.
First collecting by machine is started when 55-60% of cotton balls are bloomed. While second collecting is started when 20-30% of cotton balls are bloomed. Otherwise, immature balls can be crushed and fell, so it can be product loss.
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