Water Management

Ridge and furrow system

  • Out of the various moisture conservation practices, tested over the years in 40 farmers field on upper, middle, lower and bottom top sequences, moisture conservation practice of opening furrows in alternate rows across the slope was evaluated as the best system and effective in reducing runoff, increasing percolation, conserving water and improving the recharge capacity of irrigation wells.

Rain Water Management-Watershed approach:

  • About 4-5 lakh litres of excess run-off water can be harvested from one-hectare catchments area, which can be stored in fields ponds of size 18x18x3 m.
  • 0.7 to 1.0 ha area in medium deep and deep soils could be irrigated at early boll to peak development stage using harvested rainwater.

Recycling of harvested rain water

  • One irrigation at peak boll development stage was found economical. One protective irrigation to cotton @ 4 ha-cm of water maintained superiority over in-situ moisture conservation and enhanced seed cotton yield by more than one q/ha.
  • Skip row (2:1) irrigation or alternative furrow irrigation have proved most profitable in saving irrigation water affecting seed cotton yield.

Micro Irrigation Management

  • Irrigation with drip and fertilizer application through fertigation saved 50% water and 25% nutrients with increased productivity.
  • To reduce the cost of drip irrigation system, poly tube lateral (600 gauge) were used, which was found to give maximum gross return (Rs.47951/ha), net return (Rs.17151/ha) and benefit cost ratio (1.56).
  • Growing cotton under polymulch enhanced seed cotton by 2.32 fold besides 40% water saving and complete control of weeds.

Nutrient Management

  • Sulphur coated urea and neem cake coated urea improved the efficiency of applied nitrogen as compared to normal application of urea under irrigated condition, while for the rainfed conditions urea + FYM followed by neem cake treated urea were found to be efficient.
  • Supplementing half of the recommended dose of fertilizer N with FYM viz. N30 P30 K30 + 5 t FYM/ha and N45 P45 K46 + 7.5 t FYM/ha significantly increased seed cotton yield over N60 P30 K30 and N90 P45 K45 besides improving the soil organic matter status in rainfed cotton varieties and hybrid respectively, grown in Vertisols.
  • Sulphur application @ 10 kg/ha significantly increased the seed cotton yield and dry matter production in LRA-5166 while in H4 (an intraspecific hybrid) a linear response upto 20 kg/ha was observed.
  • Cotton under rainfed conditions responded to phosphate application at 40 kg P2O5/ha placed at 7.5 cm depth in Vertisols.
  • Foliar application of 2% urea or DAP at 60 and 80 DAS improved the seed cotton yield by 15% in cotton varieties and hybrids.
  • In the studies on long term effect of nutrient management, cotton- sorghum rotation out yielded cotton monocrop by 38%. G.arboreum out yielded G.hirsutum by 32-35%.
  • Alternate sprays of potassium @ 1% and DAP @ 2% concentration (two to three sprays each at 15 days interval from first blooming) was beneficial for high yielding, high strength, and higher cotton counts.
  • Seed treatment with biofertilisers (Azotobacter chrococcum and Azospirillum brasiliense) with half the recommended nitrogen dose gave seed cotton yield more than the recommended dose of fertilizers
  • Micro nutrient application @ 10kg Zn,10 Kg Mn and 3 Kg B/ha with 75 % soil and 25 % foliar spray) improved seed cotton yield by 25 % under two supplemental irrigations.

Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE)

  • Use of Neem cake coated urea and 5% gypsum coated urea was found to increase seed cotton yield and NUE.
  • Nitrogen application in 3 splits half as basal, at 45 DAS and ¼ at boll development was beneficial for varieties as well as hybrids under rainfed conditions.

Stabilising productivity: Resource poor soils

  • Application of FYM @ 5 t/ha, soil incorporation of in-situ grown legume and further addition of 10 t/ha subabul or sesbania lopping at 45 DAS supplied available nutrients and also helped in conserving 2% additional moisture, resulting in increasing seed cotton yields by 15-20% over the recommended N60 P30 K30 in resource poor soils.

Soil Depth

  • Soil depth plays an important role in yield maximization of rainfed cotton. Seed cotton yield was increased with increasing soil depth. Maximum seed cotton yield has been recorded in deep (>90cm) soils and the minimum in shallow (<45 cm) soils. However, the optimum soil depth for rainfed cotton cultivation was evaluated in between 67 to 110 cm soil depth.

Efficient cotton based cropping systems

  • Green gram, black gram and soybean were identified as suitable intercrops for varieties grown in wider spacing (90 cm) and hybrids. For irrigated southern region, cowpea and small onion were found to be best suited for intercropping.
  • Of the several soybean genotypes, five were identified compatible for intercropping with cotton Punjab 1, TAS 40, Pusa 16, PK 472 and PKV 1.
  • Cotton intercropped with cowpea harbours more of coccinellids and in addition to higher parasitisation.
  • Intercropping of greengram with cotton enhanced maximum WUE of cotton by 2.46 kg ha-1 mm-1, while blackgram (2.40 kg ha-1 mm-1) and the minimum (2.01 kg ha-1 mm-1) under control. Similarly, two irrigations, first at flowering and second at boll development stage has given maximum (3.20 Kg ha -1 mm -1 ),WUE closely followed by (3.11 Kg ha -1 mm -1 ) one irrigation at peak boll development stage and the minimum(2.20 kg ha -1 mm -1 )under control.
  • Maize when grown as a rotation crop after cotton in the same polymulch sheet with zero tillage, gave 2.78 tonnes/ha of additional yield than conventional system.
  • The highest seed cotton yield (14.2 q/ha) and the maximum gross return (Rs. 23445/ha) was obtained with intercropping of one row black gram between cotton rows which was closely followed by cotton + green gram intercropping system (14.2 q/ha) and cotton + soyabean system (13.9 q/ha) under rainfed condition.
  • Multitier intercropping of radish and amaranthus planted between cotton rows under normal planting method registered the higher gross return (99%), net return (252%),benefit cost ratio (81%) and seed cotton equivalent yield (99%) than sole cotton crop.
  • Diversification of cotton by rotating with jowar (Sorghum bicolor) for both grain and fodder has substantial benefits in terms of quantity and quality of outputs besides improvement of soils.

Tillage and residue management

  • Reduced tillage system comprising pre-plant qherbicide application and one pass of harrow and two inter-row cultivation for early and late season weed control, respectively, was found to be a viable technology to cotton growers of Central India.
  • Deep ploughing once in two years before cotton sowing was found effective in increasing the yield of irrigated cotton wheat system.
  • Conventional tillage (one time disc + two time cultivator) for irrigated wheat was found beneficial in increasing the yield of irrigated cotton-wheat system.
  • Cotton stalk and wheat straw shredded and incorporated in the soil after crop harvest was found helpful in improving soil fertility and yield of cotton- wheat system under irrigated conditions.


  • Application of Azotobacter, in combination with Azospirillum + PSB without organic manure and fertilizers has been found to result in a 25 % saving of nitrogenous fertilizers without any reduction in yield.
  • Bio-inoculants tolerant against synthetic and adverse climatic conditions were identified for use in cotton-wheat/soybean based cropping systems with 11-15 % improved yields.
  • Pink pigmented facultative methylotroph (PPFM) isolated from cotton phyllosphere has improved the vigour index of cotton and helped in Sulphur oxidation and P solubilization.



  • Bullock and tractor drawn cotton planters were developed.

Organic cotton production

  • Technology for organic cotton production using organic soil amendmentsAnd biocontrol based pest management with the following key inputs was developed.

Abiotic Stress Management

  • Drought tolerance: The drought tolerance in Asiatic cotton was found to
  • Be associated with deep root system, higher root/shoot ratio and leaf
  • Transpirational cooling, whereas in American cotton enhanced leaf water
  • Status due to higher stomatal resistance led to dehydration avoidance
  • Tolerant genotypes possessed higher antioxidant enzymes viz. catalase and peroxides. Application of pix (25 or 50 ppm) at floral initiation stage and kaolin (12%) one month after cessation of rains was found to enhance the water use efficiency.
  • Salinity tolerance: Most of the cotton cultivars and germplasm lines could with stand salinity levels of 7 to 8 ds/m without significant reduction in growth and yield. Asiatic cotton reduction in growth and yield. Asiatic cotton show better tolerance to salinity compared to upland cotton. The leaf area expansion is more sensitive to salinity compared to photosynthesis. Tolerant genotypes could maintain cellular osmotic potential by accumulation of osmolytes such as praline and K+. They had higher K/Na ratio in roots and leaves.
  • Water logging tolerance: Cotton is very sensitive to water logging at early seedling and squaring stages with drastic yield reduction. As a morphological adaptation, plants produce specialized cells known as hypertrophoid lenticels at the zone of submergence, which facilitates the transfer of O2 from shoot to root to maintain root activity. At the metabolic level tolerant genotypes possessed higher Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme activity. Response of plants to water logging was again found to be genotype x environment specific. Genotypes with large canopy and heavy boll load show wilting known as parawilt under bright light and high temperature.
  • Anatomical changes due to water logging: The anatomical change in the collar region of the stem-root during water logging was studied in detail. The lenticels formation, Its rate of development and production of newer roots in cotton genotypes formed the basis for adaptive under water logging situation

Physiological disorder

  • Bud and boll shedding Management:
  • Low concentration sprays of Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) and DAP.
  • Application of pix (25 or 50 ppm) at floral initiation.
  • In irrigated condition application of cycocel 40 ppm.
  • Growing of tolerant genotypes.

Source-Sink alteration

  • Ethrel at low concentration found to minimize the effect of mechanical square removal, but it prolonged the duration of the crop. This under rainfed condition had an adverse effect of growing bolls in depleted soil moisture and resulted in reduced yield.
  • Foliar application of ethrel with an effective concentration of 30-45 ppm ethrel effectively controlled reproductive growth in the initial phase and produced profuse flowering leading to synchronous flowering and boll bursting. The yield realized was 25-30% higher than control without affecting the fibre quality.
  • Maleic Hydrazide at 500 and 1000ppm induced the axillary buds to sprout and break the apical dominance. The morpho -frame was altered with short stature, bushy growth. The yield enhanced by 30% with large number of small bolls.

Gossypol content

  • Wide variability in gossypol content in seed and other plant parts was noticed in about 300 working collections of cotton germplasm lines. Database for seed gossypol content germplasm lines which include the working collections and other genotypes of G.hirsutum, G.arboreum and G.herbaceaum and also will species. Wide variability have been observed and the germplasm lines have been categorized as low, (0-0.5%) medium (0.5-10%), high (1.0-1.5%) and very high (>1.5%) gossypol content lines.

Cotton simulation model

  • A generic model 'INFOCROP' has been calibrated and validated using crop weather, soil, genotypes, date of sowing, nitrogen level as basic inputs. The model has simulated the phenology more accurately and accuracy of simulated yield was 94% and biomass 89% across the agro-climatic zones. Using the crop model an integrated method was developed along with remote sensed area estimation and GIS techniques incorporating soil and weather parameters to predict the cotton production the regional level.

Photosynthetic efficiency

  • Asiatic cottons showed a bettering their photosynthetic efficiency under adverse growing conditions. At flowering and early boll development stages transgenic cotton has higher stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration compared to non-transgenic counterparts.

Studies on CO 2 Enrichment

  • Cotton plants grown under elevated carbon dioxide level of 650 ppm and temperature of 40 degree centigrade was found optimum for photosynthesis and nitrate reductase activities of the plant leading to improved productivity.

Fatty acid profile of cotton seed oil

  • In order to determine the nutritional value of cotton seed oil the essential fatty acids profile was estimated. The following lines containing high linoleic acid (>50%) were identified which offer potential in improving cotton seed oil quality. Fatty acid profile with special emphasis on unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids has been documented in nearly 600 germplasm lines.

Fibre Physiology

  • Very high phenols coupled with higher IAA oxidase and Peroxidases and lesser fibre to seed reducing sugar ratio affected fibre elongation in short stapled genotypes.
  • Under in vitro conditions, fibre length of 17mm was achieved for the first time in fertilized ovule culture and 12 mm in unfertilized ovules.
  • Parthenocarpic seedling with well differentiated root and cotyledonary leaves was obtained when unfertilized ovules were cultured in vitro.

Efficiency G.herbaceum genotypes with excellent adaptability in coastal areas

  • Steady state maintenance of metabolic status was evident in G.herbaceum as compared to G.hirsutum genotypes.
  • Higher levels of soluble protein, reducing sugar and phenolics was maintained upto 150 days of crop growth.
  • Metabolically important enzymes Nitrate Reductase and Peroxidase had a significant role for efficiency adaptability under adverse situation.
  • G.herbaceum genotypes (RAHS 14 & G.Cot 21) and desi hybrids (G.Cot DH 7 & G.Cot DH 9) have been identified with yielding ability of 15-20 q/ha and better adaptability to adverse situations in coastal areas of the country.

Social Sciences

  • The major risk aversion tendencies observed were varietal combination, use of F2 seeds, use of less than recommended dose of fertilizers, more than recommended number of sprays, resort to natural farming and institutional credit shyness.
  • Yield gap models showed that plant density gap in hybrid and soil dummy in variety were the major significant variables responsible for the yield gap while nutrient gaps is common to both.
  • Instability in yield was found to increase simultaneously particularly resource poor conditions leading to violent fluctuations during adverse years and thereby affecting the average performance.
  • The major constraints reported were the incidence of pests especially bollworm (62%), poor quality/ineffective chemicals (51%), non availability of canal water on time (48%), non-availability of power supply (48%), tied up credit (39%), non-availability of quality seed (37%),use of non-notified varieties(41%)improper use of chemicals mixing/cocktailing chemicals on own or at the advice of the dealers(35%) and loss due to leaf curl virus(12%).
  • Bt cotton has recorded significant increase in yield (2-5 q/ha), savings in plant protection expenses (Rs.1600-Rs.4000/ha), additional returns (Rs.2800-15000 /ha).The awareness and adoption level has increased with seasons.RCH-2 Bt has performed better than MECH Bt. There are many unapproved Bt hybrids in cultivation in A.P. and Gujarat performing better, but are causes for concern from management point of view.
  • Historical data collected from 40 organic cultivators revealed that organic cotton production is a mode or risk aversion, cost reduction motivated by premium of Rs.230-700/q and cost reduction of Rs.1900/ha.Further, the yield and price stability were high among organic farms. It has to be localized and cannot be a substitute for intensive farming.
  • Commodity diversion model results indicated that delay in cash payment and improper grading were the inducing factors for cotton diversion from the monopoly procurement than price difference and avoidance of credit recovery.
  • Criteria for research problem selection among cotton scientists in India were studied and it was found that priority of the organization set by various mechanisms has emerged as the most important criteria followed by foreign collaborations, feedback from clients, current hot topics and contribution to scientific theory and publication probability.
  • High degree of alienation from land was observed among cotton growers and perceived quality of life has become somewhat worse for majority of cotton growers.
  • Current financial condition of a family has become a serious problem for more than half of the cotton growers and seventy per cent of cotton growers are very concerned about returning the loan they taken for agriculture.
  • A major portion of variance in technology adoption behavior of cotton growers related to adoption of hybrid cotton is explained by the Model, which includes variables like spatial distribution, availability of the technology, marketing strategy, pricing, and promotional communication.
  • CICR web site were designed, developed and hosted with URL address www.cicr.org.in. Periodical updates are being done.

CD on Cotton cultivars developed-details of the cotton cultivars released by different R&D agencies with parentage, fiber properties, and other special features were were incorporated

CD on Digital image library on cotton developed-Different facets of cotton production, protection images were incorporated