Cotton is the leading fibre and cash crop cultivated mainly during rice fallow season in Tiruvarur district in about 1,250 hectares using the available residual moisture after the harvest of samba/thaladi paddy.

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Needamangalam in Tiruvarur district conducted one-day training-cum-demonstration programme on mechanised cotton picking at Simili village in Kodavasal block recently.

Sixty farmers from Simili and other villages in the district practised mechanised cotton picking in the programme. According to T.Senguttuvan, Head and Professor of KVK, Needamangalam, Cotton is the leading fibre and cash crop cultivated mainly during rice fallow season in Tiruvarur district in about 1,250 hectares using the available residual moisture after the harvest of samba/thaladi paddy.

The area under rice fallow cotton is not static but dynamic due to price fluctuation and labour scarcity in Tiruvarur district. The farmers have to spend a major share of expenditure for the harvest of cotton manually. They also face problems due to pointed tips of bract in the ball rots of cotton.

Mechanised cotton picking is the sole solution for the said problems and is the need of the hour. In the training programme, A.Kamaraj, assistant professor, explained the features and operations of cotton picker, which can run continuously for six hours with the help of 12 KV rechargeable battery of 750 gram weight. He also explained that a single labourer can pick 100 to 200 kg of cotton in a day using the picker.

M.Senthilkumar, assistant professor, Entomology, talked about plant protection measures. Farmers could see for themselves the difference in purity of cotton and easiness in operation.