Cotton farming has seen an increase this year with 16.67(lh) of land used for cotton cultivation compared to 12.25 (lh) land used in 2016, as the data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
The huge margin in the production of these different crops was attributed to the state agenciesâ€™ response in buying them from the farmers, who require immediate compensation for picking the cotton and using pesticides.
Farmer Raosaheb Vittalrao Gavhane from Hiswan Khurd in Jalna taluka said that the traders themselves came to buy the kapas (raw un-ginned cotton) straight from his fields at Rs 5,600 per quintal this February, compared with Rs 4,000 in the previous year.
Cotton is sowed after the second week of June, with the first harvest or picking taking place 120 days post sowing, in its 175-180 day span.
The farmers who have basic irrigational access harvest about 12 to 15 quintals per acre, depending upon the availability of the drip irrigation. Cotton is relatively harder than soybean, which can be washed off in heavy rainfall. It can also be picked four to five times despite rains and at least twice if the weather isnâ€™t favourable, said Usha Barwale Zehr, Joint Director of Research at Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company.
Farmers generally have to bear the cost of picking which comes at Rs 6000 per acre. Pesticides like Confidor, Actara and Polo amounts to Rs 4000 an acre, excluding the Rs 200 labour on each round of spraying the chemical. Other expenses include weeding, fertilizer, and seeding, which costs the least to a farmer.
This year the crop choices then left for a farmer which yield better returns in the kharif season was cotton.
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