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Growing Conditions And Nutrient Requirements Of Bt Cotton

Are you currently involved in cultivating Bt Cotton or considering it as viable option for your crops?  

Bt Cotton undoubtedly offers the advantage of added protection against pests, but it’s important to remember that even with this valuable trait, it still relies on suitable growing conditions and careful nutrient management for optimal growth and yield. Get a complete insight into these requirements to propel your Bt Cotton farming. 

Growing conditions required for Bt cotton  


To ensure proper germination in field conditions, a minimum temperature of 15°C is required. For vegetative growth, the optimum temperature range is 21-27°C. While cotton plants can tolerate temperatures up to 43°C, temperature below 21°C is detrimental to the crops.  

Warm days and cool nights during fruiting stage promotes good boll development and high-quality fiber. However, excessive rainfall or heavy irrigation during this stage can lead to the shedding of flowers and young bolls. Cotton plants are susceptible to frost. 

Soil Requirement

Cotton crops grow in well-drained deep alluvial soils (northern zone), black clayey soils (central and south zone), and mixed black and red soils (southern zone). These soil types provide favorable conditions for the growth of cotton plants. Cotton has a certain level of tolerance to saline soils and is highly sensitive to waterlogged conditions.  

Growing Season

  • Early planting: April – May (Northern India) 
  • Delayed planting: Monsoon based (Southern India) 

Cotton is generally a kharif season crop. Time of planting of cotton with respect to different states are given below; 

State  Irrigated Crop  Rainfed Crop 
Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh  March-May  June-July 
Tamil Nadu*  September-October  September-November 
Tamil Nadu (Summer Sowing)  February-March  N/A 
Parts of Andhra Pradesh* and Karnataka (Desi cotton)  August – September 

(* The sowings of cotton in the Rice fallows of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu span from the latter half of December to the middle of January) 

Land Preparation

Prepare the field to get a fine tilth. Chisel the soil with chisel plough, once in three years to break up the hard pan formation found at shallow depths in the soil. Apply the recommended dosage (in the table) of FYM or compost uniformly on the unploughed soil. 

Nutrient Management of Bt Cotton

Bt cotton crops grow well at 49:24:24 kg/acre NPK recommended dose. Spray Micronutrients as recommended if you find deficiency in the crops. 

Nutrient  Fertilizer  Dosage 
Basal Application 
Organic  FYM/Compost or  5 t/acre 
Vermicompost   1 t/acre 
Tapas Humic Acid with Special Minerals  Soil application: 5 ml/lit of water 
Biofertilizers  Azotobacter or  500 ml – 1 lit of product + 40 – 50 kg of FYM/vermicompost 
Azospirillum + Phosphobacteria  1 lit of the product (each) + 50 – 100 kg of manure or cake 
N  Urea  14 kg/acre 
P  Diammonium Phosphate (DAP)  52 kg/acre 
K  Muriate of Potash (MOP)  20 kg/acre 
First Split Application (40 – 45 DAS) 
N  Urea  35 kg/acre 
K  Muriate of Potash (MOP)  20 kg/acre 
Zn  Swarna Zinc EDTA 12%  Foliar: 0.5 – 1 gm/lit of water 
Mg  Multiplex Moti Mg    Foliar: 0.5 gm/lit of water 
Multi Micronutrient  Amruth Cotton Grow  Foliar: 2 – 3 ml/lit of water 
Second Split Application (65 – 70 DAS) 
N  Urea or  35 kg/acre 
Ammonium Sulphate  76 kg/acre 
Zn  Shamrock Zinc Micronutrient  Foliar: 0.5 gm/lit of water 
Mg  Multiplex Moti Mg    Foliar: 0.5 gm/lit of water 
B  Allbor Boron 20%  Foliar: 1 gm/lit of water 
Third Split Application (80 – 90 DAS) 
Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) – For higher yield and better quality  Geolife Nano Fert 13:00:45  Foliar:1 – 2 gm/lit of water 
B  Allbor Boron 20%  Foliar: 1 gm/lit of water 

*DAS – Days after Sowing 

(Foliar spray of 2% MgSO4 + 1% Urea can be given during boll formation stage, if needed to improve cotton fibre quality) 

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