Recent Rains To Be Beneficial For Cotton Crop
The current monsoon rains may negatively impact on cotton crop if they are sustained for a long period, but would have a positive impact over other standing major Kharif crops including rice, sugarcane and maize. According to senior officials of the Ministry of Food National Security and Research (MNS&R) and Ministry of Textiles, sugarcane, rice and maize are water loving or high delta crops therefore rains would have a positive impact on their output.
However, according to officials excessive rains would lead to different diseases to cotton crop and presence of large quantity of water does not suit the cotton crop as it is a water sensitive crop. Therefore excessive monsoon rains may have a negative impact on cotton output, they said.
Khalid Abdullah Cotton Commissioner in the Ministry of Textiles while talking to Business Recorder said that recent rains are well-distributed or intermittent; therefore it would be beneficial for cotton crop. However, he said that it will have negative impact on the crop’s production if rains continue for a long period as above normal rainfall causes various diseases in cotton crop.
Cotton sowing in the country registered a significant decline of 15 percent in 2016-17 as compared to the year before, he said, adding the crop has been cultivated on 2.86 million hectares of land in the country against its proposed target of 2.9 million hectares for 2016-2017.
Cotton is grown mostly in the Punjab and Sindh with the former accounting for 79 percent and the latter 20 percent of the nation’s cotton growing area. A senior official of MNSF&R said that the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) had fixed sugarcane crop production target for 2016-17 at 67.5 million tons from an area of 1.13 million hectares, compared to last year’s production of 65.1 million tons from an area of 1.1 million hectares. The committee fixed rice production target for 2016-17 at 6.9 million tons from an area of 2.8 million hectares, he said.
According to weather advisory issued by Pakistan Metrological Department farmers must control weed growth at the present growing stage to stop any negative impact on crops. Pest and viral attacks are expected on cotton and sugarcane crops during hot and humid conditions. Farmers are also advised to be very careful and take precautionary measures on time in this regard, it said.
Metrological department predicted good monsoon rains along with thunderstorms at a number of places in the country particularly on Saturday and Sunday. Spokesman of weather department stated that strong monsoon currents are penetrating the country and a westerly wave is also expected to grip upper parts of the country. Under the influence of these meteorological conditions rain along with thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are expected at a number of places in Punjab, KP, Sindh and Kashmir.
He further said that rain and thundershowers with isolated heavy falls are expected at scattered places in FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and parts of Balochistan. Heavy downpour may trigger flash flooding and landslides in the vulnerable areas of Punjab, Balochistan, KP, GB and Kashmir. The concerned authorities are advised to remain alert during the period, he said.

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