Water Conservation Strategy: FAC issues fortnightly guidelines to cotton farmers

MULTAN   –   Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) on Saturday issued its fortnightly guidelines for cotton farmers applicable till May 31 advising them to use laser land levellers for land preparation to save resources like water and fertilizers and get good production.

The 5th FAC meeting, chaired by director Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan Dr Zahid Mahmood, advised farmers that if they were planning sowing after May 15, then they should use six (6) kilogram seed per acre in case of seed having germination strength of 75 per cent. The per acre seed quantity, however, would double (12 kg) in case of sowing by drill. Plant population should be maintained at 23000-35000 per acre. Post-sowing spray be applied but only after consultation with officials.

Farmers whose crops have started showing flowers and buds should apply water to their fields in suitable quantity. Farmers should start trimming process to remove weaker and diseased plants within 20-25 days after sowing.

Excessive irrigation in shorter intervals can trigger growth of weeds, FAC warned and advised farmers to water crops at suitable time, in suitable dose.

The crop that was attaining height sans any flower and fruit should get water in longer durations and Nitrogenous fertilizers must not be applied. Farmers should get their soil analyzed from laboratory and apply fertilizers as per the recommendations of the soil report.

Phosphorous fertilizers be applied with water after removal of diseased and weaker plants, or, it should be put in rows between the beds and then water be applied. Alternatively, the Phosphorous fertilizers be applied on the moist field to be followed by hoeing plough. Officials said that quantity of the fertilizer per acre should be maintained at one bag of DAP, or a bag of TSP, or three bags of SSP, or two bags of NP.

The crop that has started showing flowers and bolls but has not yet received Potash then farmers should apply 10-20 kilogram SOP or MOP with water per acre. PB Ropes be installed in such fields at the rate of 120 per acre for defense against pink bollworm.

To protect bolls and buds, farmers should apply two kilogram Boric Acid and Six kilogram Zinc Sulphate per acre with water. Farmers can also apply it another way, officials said adding they can use 150 gram Boric Acid, and 250 gram Zinc Sulphate and mix them separately in water and then this solution be mixed in 100ml water and sprayed on the crop.

The crop shown for the purpose of seed preparation must be clear of all irrelevant plants for purity.

Before sowing, farmers should treat the seed with some anti-pest agent to keep it safe from sucking pests for at least 30-40 days after sowing.

Such spaces be selected for cotton sowing that are away from Okra, egg plant, or onion sown fields.

Sticky yellow cards be installed in the fields at the rate of 10 per acre to counter white fly while a pheromone trap per five acre field be installed for monitoring and eight (8) traps per acre for safety against pink bollworm.

In case of crop facing wilting due to extreme heat, farmers can apply water in the morning or evening. However, in case of likelihood of damage to roots due to water then farmers should apply some treatment after consulting officials.

Heads of different departments of CCRI Multan including Dr. Muhammad Naveed Afzal, Dr. Fayyaz Ahmad, Ms Sabahat Hussain, Dr. Rabia saeed, scientific officer Muhammad Akbar, Sajid Mahmood and others were present in the meeting.

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