MULTAN – The Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) on Saturday released its bi-monthly guidelines for cotton farmers applicable until May 31, advising them to use laser land levelers for land preparation to save resources like water and fertilizer and get a good production.
The 5th FAC meeting, chaired by Director of Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan, Dr Zahid Mahmood, advised farmers that if they plan to sow after May 15, they should use six (6) kilograms of seed per acre if germinating. 75 percent strength. The amount of seed per acre, however, would double (12 kg) if drilled. The plant population should be maintained at 23,000-35,000 per acre. Post-sowing spraying should be applied but only after consultation with the authorities.
Farmers whose crops have started to show flowers and buds need to water their fields in proper amount. Farmers should begin the pruning process to remove weaker and diseased plants within 20 to 25 days of sowing.
Excessive irrigation at shorter intervals can trigger weed growth, the FCC warned and advised farmers to water crops at the right time, at the right dose.
The crop that reached the height without flower or fruit should receive water longer and nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied. Farmers should have their soil lab-tested and apply fertilizers as recommended in the soil report.
Phosphorus fertilizers should be applied with water after diseased and weaker plants have been removed, or they should be placed in rows between beds and then water should be applied. Alternatively, phosphorus fertilizers can be applied to the wet field to be followed by hoeing of the plough. Officials said the amount of fertilizer per acre should be kept at one bag of DAP, or one bag of TSP, or three bags of SSP, or two bags of NP.
The crop that has started to show flowers and bolls but has not yet received potash, farmers should apply 10 to 20 kilograms of SOP or MOP with water per acre. PB ropes may 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 kilograms of boric acid and six kilograms of zinc sulfate per acre with water. Farmers can also apply it in another way, the officials said, adding that they can use 150 grams of boric acid and 250 grams of zinc sulfate and mix them separately in water and then this solution should be mixed in 100 ml of water and sprayed on the crop.
The crop presented for seed preparation must be free of all plants irrelevant to purity.
Before sowing, farmers should treat the seed with a pest control agent to protect it from sucking insects for at least 30 to 40 days after sowing.
Such spaces should be selected for sowing cotton that are far from fields sown with okra, eggplant or onions.
Sticky yellow cards will be installed in the fields at the rate of 10 per acre to counter the whitefly while one pheromone trap per five acre field will be installed for monitoring and eight (8) traps per acre for security against the pink bollworm.
If the crop is facing wilt due to extreme heat, farmers can water in the morning or evening. However, if there is a likelihood of water damage to the roots, farmers should apply treatment after consulting with authorities.
Heads of different departments of CCRI Multan including Dr. Muhammad Naveed Afzal, Dr. Fayyaz Ahmad, Ms. Sabahat Hussain, Dr. Rabia saeed, Chief Scientist Muhammad Akbar, Sajid Mahmood and others were present at the meeting.