The earliest mention of cotton in written sources dating back more than 3,000 years – is Rygwedzie. At the end of the sixteenth century. BC cotton has become firmly established in the warmer regions of the Americas, Africa and Eurasia.
In cultivation there are many species and varieties of cotton, both annuals, green and shrubby perennial. Depending on natural conditions, the type of cotton and methods of cultivation of fiber length and quality vary greatly.
Cotton is a plant that requires uniformly high (21-22C) temperature and generally no less than 200 frost-free days. Sunlight is also very important, especially in the early stages of growth and maturation stage. Instead, it is less sensitive to moisture, however, requires at least 180-200 mm rainfall during the growing season, with the exception of the maturation period, which must be quite dry, because rain cause the darkening of the fiber.
The production cycle
The cultivation of cotton requires a considerable amount of labor. Even in the United States, where the mechanization of cotton growing has made good progress, the cost of living labor are higher than the cultivation of any other plant. In small farms in Egypt, where most of the work carried out by hand, the cultivation of cotton will absorb 5-6 times as much work as any other plant.
The production cycle of cotton is everywhere the same. After preparing the ground seeds are planted in rows. With mechanical cultivation must be increased, with manual cotton can be sown thickly. Young plants require hoeing and interruption. The land between the rows of cotton must be periodically re-cultivated to kill weeds and aerate the soil.
Very laborious is a collection of cotton.
As soon as the bolls begin to burst, all the power is directed to the collecting fibers, and the work involved often workers from nearby cities and even imported from abroad. The gathered cotton he drives up to the treatment plant, where it is ginning, namely the separation of fibers from the seed.
Genetically modified cotton
Through genetic engineering were obtained from genetically modified bawełnicę, resistant to most pests. This made it possible to reduce the use of pesticides almost 80%. The area under cultivation modified crops was estimated at 20% of the total – 67 thousand. km² in 2002. In 2003. the amount of cotton derived from genetically modified crops in the United States amounted to 67% of the total. The introduction of genetically modified of cotton in Australia has proved a failure. Collections were much lower than expected, and the plants pollinate each other with other varieties, which was the cause legal trouble unsuspecting farmers. Despite this, the introduction of a second modified variety of cotton has led to an increase in cultivated acreage modified plants to 15% of the total in 2003. Since 2004. Banned the cultivation of the original variety.
Organic cotton is obtained from crops that do not use pesticides and chemical additives to fertilizer, based on the methods more environmentally friendly. It is used to produce exclusive products – from the tissues after kimonos. There are different levels of certification for organic cotton, the minimum requirement is the cultivation of plants in the soil free from chemicals for at least three years.
Major manufacturers and importers
The biggest producers of cotton in the world are China and the United States. Further in cotton production deal with India, Pakistan, the area of the former Soviet Union. Of the remaining countries they play a more important role Egypt, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey and in Europe Greece, Bulgaria and Spain.
The largest importer of cotton is Japan, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Less import India, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada.
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