By admin       2018-09-07

Cotton farmers in Coimbatore may be looking at better yield in a smaller area next planting season, as scientists have come up with a new variety of long staple cotton. The new variety, Subiksha or CCH 4474, is expected to produce cotton staples upto 34mm long, spin up to 60s count yarn, mature in five months and is suitable for soil and weather conditions in Tamil Nadu. Most importantly it is a compact variety that will help farmers plant more seeds in a high density planting system and will ensure higher harvest. Subiksha, developed by scientists at the Central Cotton Research Institute in 2014 along with the medium staple variety CCH 2623, is undergoing frontline demonstration trials in many parts of the state including Coimbatore, Jolarpet and Dharmapuri. "While CCH 2623 was released in 2016, release of Subiksha was delayed because its yield was not up to the mark in conventional wider spacing," said A H Prakash, project coordinator (Cotton Improvement), ICAR-CIRC. "We realized that with its plant architecture, we could do high density planting to give high yields," said S Manickam, principal scientist, cotton breeding. Subiksha’s release was approved earlier this month by the Central Sub-Committee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties in Agricultural Crops, said an official with the varietal release committee. "It should come out by 2018-end," he said. Besides being a long staple variety, Subiksha is also expected to give farmers a high yield. "The plant is compact where the branches produce fruits or bolls, hardly 5cm from each other, unlike other varieties which are 10cm to 15cm from each other," said Manickam. "Farmers can plant many seeds closer to each other and thus enjoy a higher yield, of around 3,325kg per hectare," he said. Subiksha is known to be resistant to Jassids but does require farmers to spray insecticides to keep away bollworms. While awaiting the release of Subiksha, scientists at ICAR-CICR have begun working on multiplication of seeds of Subiksha and CCH 2623, so farmers looking to try out the new varieties for the next planting season will be able to purchase the seeds from the institute. "We have begun multiplication of seeds. It is the usual step after commercial release of the variety. We are getting encouraging results in our trials. If farmers decide to try the new varieties, they should get good yield," said Prakash. "They can contact the institute for seeds," he added

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