Starting Cotton Farming
The cotton industry is growing in other areas in the U.S. where it has not existed before. This is due to the emergence of new cotton varieties that have better survival capabilities than older ones. Are you interested in the cotton business? Read the basics of cotton farming from our guide.
Cotton is the most commonly used natural fiber for spinning into yarn or thread used to make textile.
Cottonseed is also used to produce cottonseed oil. The U.S. supplies most of the cotton needs of the world. Cottonseed is widely grown in the South, although due to the emergence of new cotton varieties, the industry is growing in areas where it has not existed before. The government is supportive of the industry and is providing subsidies for cotton farmers.
Cotton Growing Basics
Soil for cotton farming doesn’t have to be of excellent quality. Water requirement is less than for crops like corn and soybeans and cotton could be planted in dry land. But cotton needs a lot of heat and long frost-free period. It needs sufficient heat and light to mature and should not be subject to frost prior to maturity. Frost could retard growth and lead to reduced yield in the same way that too little heat could. Too little or too much fertilizer, planting seeds too early or too late and weed and insect infestation could also reduce yield. Planting time varies according to weather conditions of the location. Good farm management is the key to producing high yields.
Cotton Farming Requirements
Due to its susceptibility to insects and pests, particularly to boll weevil, cotton farming requires high capital and labour requirements. Added to these are the costs of securing transportation and machinery for cultivating cotton and building a warehouse for storing produce. A farmer wanting to start cotton growing must be aware of the labour and capital requirements that cotton farming requires. He must learn growing practices that lead to higher productivity. He must also be aware of the condition of the cotton industry in his area.
A cotton farmer must not only grow but sell its produce in order to make a profit. If large tracts of neighbouring lands are already planted with cotton that is supplied to several cotton gins nearby, then the industry is already established. If the nearby cotton gin is at a distance such that transportation cost to deliver the produce is too high to operate profitably, then one must reconsider growing the crop. Pursue it if the industry is growing and cotton farming promises to have a potential. Hire the services of a crop consultant whose expertise will be valuable for a starter.
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