The uncontrolled growth of cotton plants, the formation of branches and leaves, flower buds, and later the process of formation of clumps all take place in a time-bound cycle. Due to lack of water and nutrients, unfavorable temperature, and infestation of insects, flower buds and buds continue to fall. A good yield of cotton is easily obtainable if these factors are under control. Doing so requires drip irrigation tools and the corresponding method for cotton.
The cotton crop requires 7 to 9 mm of water. On average, the irrigated northwest region is receiving 275 ml in the form of rain during the cotton crop. While meeting the rest of the water requirement is achievable through irrigation.
The number of irrigations in cotton depends on the amount of rainfall and its distribution. Generally, indigenous cotton need 4 to 5 irrigations and 5 to 6 irrigations in American cotton. Cotton is a deep-rooted crop. Its roots go deeper than 1 meter. Therefore, prepare the field well by deep plowing in the field. Keep in mind to do deep irrigation at the time of paleva. Deep rowing increases the ability of the crop to tolerate heat (loo) and the plants die less even in hot summers. Due to which a full number of plants remains in the unit area and a good yield is obtainable.
In this area, only surface irrigation is prevalent in cotton. In surface irrigation, the size of beds is 5 meters long and 0.8 to 1 meter wide. Most of the soils in this area are sandy loam. Therefore, there is a lot of loss of irrigation water through seepage and runoff from surface irrigation. Water distribution efficiency is less than surface irrigation due to non-uniform bed beds. Due to the rawness of the field, a lot of water is wasted by seepage even in carrying water. Due to all these factors, the efficiency of surface irrigation remains only 4 to 5%. About 5 to 6% of the water goes to waste. In view of the scarcity of irrigation water, it is necessary to utilize it optimally.
Drip irrigation system
This water is used slowly, drop by drop, in the root zone of the crop. The one of the drip irrigation tools used for this has three major parts. The first part is a pumping unit that generates water pressure of about 2.5 kg per square centimeter. The second part of this is a pipeline that is connected to PVC. And the third part is the installation of drip line and drippers, from which water drips near the plants. The water is lifted from the well or diggy to the dripper through the pipeline at a certain pressure, due to which the water drips drop by drop near the plant and the land then absorbs it.
In this method, the supply of water to the plants continues continuously, due to which the growth and development of the plant are good. This leads to a higher yield as well as an increase in the quality of the product. In this method, there is no loss of water by transport, seepage, and evaporation on the land surface. Therefore, irrigation efficiency is high in this method and drip irrigation tools. This method is extremely useful for dry areas. This method is very useful for orchards, vegetables, and broad row crops like cotton, sugarcane, etc.
Drip irrigation in American cotton
For three consecutive years, forest research work on the drip irrigation method for hybrid American cotton (LHH-144) at the Agricultural Research Center, Sriganganagar were performed. Different experiments were conducted on crop configuration, irrigation manual, and fertilization. The results of these experiments were found to be promising.
The purpose of this experiment is to reduce the cost of a drip irrigation system in cotton. This is achievable by changing the crop configuration. In hybrid American cotton (Narma), the recommendation is to keep row to row distance of 67.5 cm and plant to plant distance of 6 cm. Sowing should be in pairs of rows in a single line. In a single line, row to row distance is at 9 cm and plant to plant distance is at 6 cm. The number of plants per unit area remains the same in both configurations.
In pair sowing, about 1% higher yield has been obtained as compared to a single line. There is a distance of 4 feet between the two, due to which the movement of air and light is good. At the same time, there is effective control of pests due to being more efficient for protection from pests. In this, the number of laterals is also reduced by half.
In this method, fertilizers are dissolved in water and brought to the crop through a drop-by-drop irrigation method in cotton along with irrigation water as per the requirement of the plants. Its purpose was to find out the number of soluble fertilizers (urea and muriate f potash) to be given to the crop. In hybrid Narma 15 kg of nitrogen, 4 kg of phosphate and 2 kg of potash have been recommended per hectare. Urea murate of potash being soluble was given to the crop by fertile irrigation. The full dose of single super phosphate was given in 4 and 6 equal parts at intervals of 21 and 15 days respectively.
The results of the experiment of 3 years revealed that the recommended fertilizers (Nitrogen and Potash) were applied in 6 equal parts in the hybrid Narma at an interval of 15 days. Application of the recommended fertilizers (urea and muriate of potash) in 6 equal parts at 15 days intervals resulted in a higher number of twigs per plant, average twig weight, and per seed weight. Thus, fertile irrigation resulted in about 5% higher yield and about 1.5 times the fertilizer use efficiency as compared to true surface irrigation and use of recommended fertilizers.
This experiment was done to find out the correct amount of irrigation by drop-drop irrigation method. In this, drop-drop irrigation was done on alternate days and the quantity of water was given 6, 8 and 1% of the water requirement. The water pressure at the pumping unit was kept at 1.5 kg per sq. cm. The distance from dripper to drip was kept at 2 feet. The rate of seepage of water from each dripper was 4 liters per hour. Drippers were installed inside the drip line itself.
The results of 3 years in this experiment show that with the increase in the amount of water, the yield also increases. In cotton, by drop irrigation method, 8 and 1% of the crop water requirement of water was given in comparison to surface irrigation and registered an increase of 14 and 24.2 percent respectively. The highest water use efficiency was found by applying 6% of the crop water requirement, which decreased after applying 8% and 1% of water. Water use efficiency was found to be higher in each treatment of drop irrigation in cotton as compared to surface irrigation.
Quality of produce
Drop by drop irrigation method in cotton not only increases the yield but also gives good quality cotton. The experiments show that by irrigating cotton with drop-by-drop irrigation method, the length of the cotton fiber is more, the cotton is softer and the number of small elements are less in it.
In cotton, spraying of insecticides is more effective due to sowing in pairs in a drop-by-drop irrigation method. Along with this, the incidence of white mosquito and spotted caterpillar is less in cotton by drop-by-drop irrigation as compared to surface irrigation.
Benefits of drip irrigation system
Due to the high cost of drip irrigation tools and systems, initially, the farmer has to spend more. Adopting this method is beneficial due to good yield and water saving.
If we look at the total net profit, then the drop-by-drop irrigation method is a profitable deal by saving water in the drop-drop irrigation system and cultivating additional areas with the remaining water. This benefit increases, even more, when the grant is received. Hence it is in the interest of the farmer to adopt it.
In hybrid Narma (LHH-144) cotton, introduce the doses of Nitrogen and Potash (full amount of Phosphorus at the time of sowing) by drip irrigation in 6 equal parts at an interval of 2 weeks by drip irrigation method. About a 5% increase in yield was found in comparison to irrigation. With this method, 35% additional area can be cultivated by saving water. Instead of putting laterals in each row, putting laterals in pairs of rows not only reduces the cost of laterals but also increases the yield by sowing and irrigation in pairs of rows.
In this, the distance from the plant to plant is 6 cm, the distance from row to row in the same pair is 6 cm and the distance between 1 pair to another pair is 12 cm. There is one lateral in each pair. In this lateral, the distance between the dripper to the dripper should be at 6 cm. The rate of seepage of water from the dripper should be 4 liters per hour. In the drop-drop irrigation system, the water pressure should be at 1.5 kg per square cm. After 15 days of sowing, start the drip irrigation in cotton.
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