This season with Punjab managing to sow cotton on 5.67 million acres of land that is more than 227,000 acres from last year is now looking ahead to getting closer to 10 million cotton bales out of it.
Of the total area, 13 per cent was sown what is termed as early crop. The rest 87 per cent was sown after May 15 – regular sowing period for the crop.
The farmers are now avoiding early sowing for two reasons the crop was still yielding between 40 to 50 maunds, depending on the weather conditions. It was not worth 10-month long tendering of the crop. Thus the early sowing is now almost out of vogue now.
The regular crop, which makes 87 per cent of the total area in the province, is better for everyone. It leaves over a million acre for other crops, which the early crop was consuming for the last few years.
This year, even regular crop was delayed by almost three to four weeks because of delayed harvesting of wheat and then prolonged dry and hot spell. Both these factors have now turned positive for the crop.
Firstly, it took boll formation time out of the hot and dry period that otherwise could have led to massive shedding or drying of bolls. Luckily, the wet spell has now started, wiping out water deficit and leading to ample supplies – both from canals and skies.
But this early onset of wet cycle might create its own problems, fears a cotton growers. The early crop suffered attack from white fly and now Jassid and army worm are threatening the crop because of hot and humid weather.
But Pakistani farmers by and large now know how to deal with them as these pests are part of the crop cycle.
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