The Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR), scientist has developed cotton variety which would require only 100-120 days for maturity. This variety has been arrived through the process of selection of the best traits over the last four years. After complete field trials, this new variety will become available to dryland cotton farmers in regions like Vidarbha and Telangana which could emerge as the solution to their problems, said CICR Director Keshv Kranthi.
Explaining the importance of the new variety, he said that one of the main reasons for repeated failure of dryland cotton crop is its long duration. In India, the period generally extends for 170-240 days, while it is about 150 days in countries like Australia and China. So, the duration here extends well beyond the monsoon months. These plants then go without water during the crucial time of flowering and fruiting, suffering weak uptake of nutrients due to lack of water.
Developed by Santosh H B from the crop improvement department of CICR, the variety has been tentatively named “Yugank”, after the son of Dharwad cotton scientist S S Patil, who provided the original material. It will be available in both Bt and non-Bt forms.
Santosh said that the variety has proved to be resistant to sucking and other pests and has a large boll size too. One plant gives up to 20 bolls, which is way below the average hybrid yield of 60-70 bolls per plant. But if used in high-density plantation system, the number of these plants is at least six times higher. So the new variety will give higher yields within a short time period.
Another advantage of shorter-duration cotton is that the fibre quality is better while the longer the duration, the weaker the fibre.