Cotton is the oldest textile fibre used for textile purpose.Cotton is a fibre, oil and protein yielding crop of global significance. It is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions of more than 80 countries of the world.

It is believed that India is the first country to grow cotton.The important cotton producing countries are Egypt,Gulf of Florida,Brazil,U.S.A,India,Pakistan,China,Russis etc.In India cotton is grown in three major areas in which the cotton is cultivated in three regions.

1.Black Brown Soil      – Bombay,North Hyderabad,Maharastra,Some areas of Tamil Nadu

2.Red Soil             – Tamil Nadu,Orrisa,East Hyderabad.

3.Alluvial soil of Indo – Gangetic Plain.

Normally Indian cotton cultivation and harvesting takes place in marchto August as it requires 6 months continuous warm weather climate.

Botanical Classification :
  1. Gossipium Herbaceum     – America,India
  2. Gossipium Hirsutum      – America,India
  3. Gossipium Peruvianum    – South America
  4. Gossipium Barbadense    – Gulf of Florida
Varieties of Cotton :

The first two species of cotton are diploid (2n=26) and are native to old world. They are also known as Asiatic cottons because they are grown in Asia.The last two species are tetraploid (2n=52) and are also referred to as New World Cottons. Gossipium hirsutum is also known as American cotton or upland cotton and Gossipium barbadense as Egyptian cotton or Sea Island cotton or Peruvian Cotton or Tanguish Cotton or quality cotton.

Gossipium hirsutum is the predominant species which alone contributes about 90% to the global production. In USA and Uzbekistan, more than 90% area is covered by Gossipium hirsutum. Perhaps, India is the only country in the world where all the four cultivated species are grown on commercial scale. In India, 45%, 30% and 24.7% area is covered by hybrids, upland cotton and diploid species respectively. Gossipium barbadense is grown on a very little area (0.3%) in the state of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Gossipium herbaceum is limited to the states of Gujarat and Karnataka. Gossipium hirsutum and Gossipium arboreum are grown in all the major cotton growing states in India.

The varietal improvement work in cotton started as early as in 1904 when Agricultural

Departments were established in various states. It was further strengthened in 1923 when Indian Central Cotton Committee (ICCC) was constituted. The varietal improvement work got momentum with the inception of All India Coordinated Cotton Improvement Project (AICCIP)

in April, 1967. After inception of AICCIP, 90 varieties of upland cotton, 3 of Egyptian

cotton, 39 of diploid cottons and 43 hybrids have been released for commercial cultivation in different states of India.

The following Table distinguishes about the varieties of cotton by their origin:

varieties of cotton

Hybrid Cotton :

In India, hybrid cotton era started since 1970 with the release of world’s first cotton hybrid “H 4” from Cotton Research Station Surat of Gujarat Agricultural University. This hybrid was developed by Late Dr.C.T.Patel who is rightly called as father of hybrid cotton. This hybrid, by virtue of its high yield potential and wide adaptability,became very much popular among the farmers initially in the Gujarat state and later on in other adjacent states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Two years after the release of H 4, the

world’s first interspecific hybrid between G.hirsutum and G.barbadense was released from the cotton Research Sciences, Bangalore under the name “Varalaxmi”. Initially, Varalaxmi was released for cultivation in Karnataka state, but later on spread to other states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra under irrigated areas. With the success of these two hybrids,heterosis breeding got momentum in the country and several hybrids in tetraploid cottons and few in diploid cottons were released for commercial cultivation.

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