Cotton Research Station; Nanded was established in year 1941. Research work on improvement of Desi ( G.arboreum ) and American ( G.hirsutum ) cotton is in progress at Cotton Research Station, Nanded since its establishment. Cotton is mainly grown as rainfed crop in Marathwada region; the objective of research work is “ to evolve cotton varieties showing tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses ”. During the period of 1941-60, the focus of research was improvement in Gaorani ( Desi ) cotton, which was grown on large area during that period. As a result of selection work carried out in local material, improved varieties viz., G-22 and G-46 were evolved and released for cultivation. These varieties, due to their good yield, better fibre quality were found popular among farmers and occupied large area. During later period i.e.1960-70, the emphasis of research work was shifted to “ improvement of American cotton” due to its introduction in this region. Large number of germplasm lines was evaluated for their adaptability to local conditions. Two American cotton varieties viz. L-147 and SRT-1 were recommended for cultivation. These varieties were found resistant to sucking pests and drought. Further efforts for improvement in yield and ginning out turn led to development of two American cotton varieties viz ., NH-239 and NH-452 which were released for cultivation during 1983 and 1994, respectively. Both the varieties possessed high ginning out turn (39-40%) besides high yield potential and tolerance to sucking pests and drought. NH-452 is popular in some pockets of Vidrabha region. Recently, a high yielding American cotton variety viz. NH-545 was released for cultivation. This variety has sympodial plant and is found suitable for growing under high plant density. NH-545 is found suitable growing under rainfed conditions due to its drought tolerance and resistance to sucking pests. It has given yield at par with hybrid, NHH-44 under rainfed situation and marginal cultivation.

Research on Hybrid development

Hybrid cotton era started during 1970's when hybrid cotton variety H-4 evolved at Surat was introduced in Marathwada region. H-4 became popular due to its high yield and fibre quality. However, it was found susceptible to sucking pests and intensive sprayings were required for its successful cultivation. Godavari (NHH-1), a hybrid having hairy leaves and possessing tolerance to sucking pests was developed at this Research Station and released for cultivation during 1976. Both the hybrids viz. , H-4 and Godavari had longer duration (180-200 days) and suffered from moisture stress during later period of boll development. A need was felt to develop early maturing hybrid having tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress conditions suitable for rainfed situation. Intensive efforts made in this direction led to development of promising intra hirsutum hybrid, NHH-44 which is popular among farmers and occupied large acreage in Maharashtra and adjoining states. Besides early maturity (160-165 days), NHH-44 had open plant type, wider adaptability and more rejuvenating capacity. Farmer's benefited economically due to cultivation of NHH-44, which gave assured yields. Two cotton hybrids, which gave, assured yields. v iz ., NHB-12 (inter specific hybrid) and NHH-302 (intra hirsutum ) were released during the year 1989 and 1990, respectively. NHH-302 had bigger boll size, erect plant type better fibre quality and more yield (10-15% higher), ginning outturn (3% higher) than NHH-44.

Research Achievements at Nanded

Cotton Breeding

G.hirsutum variety, NH-545 was released during 2002 by state varietal release committee and notified by Govt. of India during the year, 2004. NH-545 has recorded higher yield potential (22% higher than NH-452), with high ginning outturn (39%) and superior medium staple (24-25 mm). This variety is found tolerant to sucking pests, bollworms and drought. Farmers have been greatly benefited by growing this variety on substantial acreage in Vidharba and Marathwada region due to less cost of cultivation and better yield under rainfed conditions.

G.arboreum variety, PA-255 (Parbhani Turab) was notified during 2004. PA-255 has superior staple length (28.3 mm) with high yield potential, early maturity (140-150 days) and is found more beneficial than tetraploid ( G.hirsutum ) cotton varieties under rainfed eco-system. Marginal cultivators with poor resources have been greatly benefited due to less input requirement and higher productivity by growing this variety which fetches good price for cotton due to excellent fibre qualities.

PA-402, G. arboreum variety having bigger boll size (2.8 g), better fibre quality and higher yield potential has been released by State Variety Release Committee during the year 2003. This variety has shown better performance in trials conducted on farmer's fields under NATP (RCPS-07) project and FLD's conducted during 2002 and 2003.

G. hirsutum, PH-348 having 15% higher yield than NH-545 and fibre length (27-28 mm) superior fibre and robust plant type was released by sate variety relative committee during 2004 after its extensive testing in AICCIP (CZ) trials. Due to its hybrid plant type and high yield potential, this variety is spreading fast.

Three G.hirsutum genotypes viz. NH-615, NH-630 and PH-1009 have shown consistently better performance in AICCIP trials (CZ) conducted from the last 2-3 years and are in pipeline. These genotypes have superior fibre properties in addition to higher yield potential and have tolerance to sucking pests, bollworms and drought conditions.

Two apomictic cultures viz. IS-181-7-1 and IS-244-1-2 have been identified from inter specific cross material. These lines are being utilized for fixation of heterosis in promising hybrids.

Cotton Physiology

Screening for drought tolerance : Under this project, in all 125 genotypes were screened for drought tolerance based on physiological parameters viz. chlorophyll, stability index (C.S.I) and relative water content. Based on the studies conducted during the last four years, the genotypes viz. F-2025-04, CSH-2563, IS-376-2-84, LAS-6-2-1, DC-911, PA-405, PAIG-09, CCH-226 were found drought tolerant.

Based on studies of physiological parameters such as dry matter stress index, yield stability index and drought susceptibility index, the strains, GK-147, PH-1009 and NH-594 were found drought tolerant.

These strains were recommended for their utilization in Breeding Programme

Studies on whether parameters in relation to physiological shedding of fruiting bodies: Critical studies for six years indicated that maximum day temperature and bright sun shine hours / day are responsible factors for physiological shedding in cotton apart from moisture stress and nutrient deficiencies.

Foliar spray of nutrition : Based on results of 3 years studies, two foliar sprays of 2% DAP + 1% KCL + 1% MN + 40 PPM NAN in addition to 75% of recommended dose of nutrients has given maximum net monetary returns with C:B ration of 1:1.73 and hence recommended to the farmers.

Studies on physiological parameters in relation to growth and yield cotton genotypes: In selected promising varieties were carried out during 2002-06. The studies revealed that for higher yield, physiological parameter such as higher LAI, biomass, HI (harvest index), relative growth rate and Net assimilation rate plays important in increasing seed cotton yield. The studies further identified genotypes like PA-1009, NH-615,NH-594,CCH-4 and LH-1995and PH-348 were found to have higher values of different physiological parameters and hence efficient genotypes were identified for their utilization in future breeding programme for high yield.

Cotton Agronomy

In order to exploit maximum recovery from the unit area under cotton cultivation, the recommendations have been made by Cotton Research Station, Nanded since its establishment and after launching of AICCIP projects

Agronomic recommendations for cotton cultivation under Marathwada condition

Planting time of cotton :

  • Dry sowing of Cotton : Dibble or drilled the cotton seeds before onset of monsoon in first or second week of June taking in to consideration the forecast of monsoon arrival on Radio or T.V. Seeds should be dibbled 5-7 cm depth to avoid bad emergence due to short fall of rains.
  • Dry sowing of cotton and application of basal dose of fertilizers 10 DAS gave significantly higher seed cotton yield than sowing of cotton on onset of monsoon.

Late sowing : Farmers wish to sow the cotton beyond normal sowing period due to some unavoidable natural calamities, at that time, farmers should maintain 20 to 25% more plant population than normal and select short duration cotton genotypes like, NHH-44, PKV-081.

Seed Treatment : Seed treatment with thiamethoxem@ 7.5 g/kg cotton seed (cruzer) is recommended for getting maximum seed cotton yield with recommended dose of nitrogen i.e. 100 kg/ha to cotton hybrid PHH-316.

Fertilizer management : Cotton crop should be manured with FYM or compost at least once in 3 years at the rate of 12 to 15 tons/ha.

The fertilizer dose of 100:50:50 (NPK) kg/ha for irrigated cotton; 80 :40:40 (NPK) kg/ha for rainfed cotton hybrids and 50:25:25 NPK kg/ha both for desi and hirsutum varieties are recommended.

The application of basal dose of fertilizer to dibbled cotton crop should be given at the time of sowing by ring method 5 to 6 cm away from dibbled seed. Delay application of basal dose of fertilizers reduces the yield of seed cotton to the tune of 10 to 40% with in late duration period of 10 to 30 DAS.

Spraying of DAP at the rate of 2% at the time of flowering and boll development stage gave 10 to 20% higher seed cotton yield as well as avoid the redding of cotton.

The application of FYM @ 10 t/ha + 50% RDF (40:20:20 NPK kg/ha) + two foliar sprays of MgSo 4 @ 0.2% (20 grams in 10 lit of water) at 45 and 75 days after sowing to rainfed cotton hybrid NHH-44 is recommended for getting the maximum seed cotton yield and highest gross monetary returns.

Plant population management :

  • Normal as well as paired row cropping pattern of sowing for cotton gave similar yields hence either planting pattern can be adopted. Spacing depending upon the hybrids / variety of cotton to be sown.
  • For rainfed intra-hirsutum hybrids two plants per hill produced significantly higher kapas yield than one plant per hill.
  • Sowing of deshi and American cotton to the direction of North-south or East-West was not found beneficial in increasing the yield of seed cotton under rainfed condition.
  • Rain water management for rainfed cotton :
  • Sowing of cotton crop on contour ridges resulted in to good crop growth and optimum plant population both in high rainfall and low rainfall situation under rainfed condition.
  • Normal sowing of cotton on flat beds followed by earthing up at the time of each hoeing and opening of ridges and furrows at last hoeing across the slope produced maximum seed cotton yield. Hence, this practice is recommended for rainfed cotton for rain water conservation in cotton crop.

Weed management in cotton

  • When sufficient laboures are available for hand weeding then hand weeding be under- taken for cotton crop. It gives better weed control in cotton crop and produced maximum seed cotton yield than all other weedicidal treatments.
  • Use of Basaline @ 1.25 Kg /ha pre-planting + Ronstar @ 1.0 kg /ha as post emergence should be done for control of weeds.
  • In case of non-availability of labours then farmers may go for use of herbicides like Basaline @ 1.25 kg /ha as a presowing incorporation in soil + one hand weeding and two to three hoeing at six weeks after sowing as per intensity of weeds in the field.

Cotton based cropping systems :

  • Normal as well as paired row sowing of cotton gives similar yields, hence either planting pattern can be adopted. Spacing depending upon the hybrid/ variety of cotton. Intercropping of urd (T9) in general (solid or paired row planting ) should be adopted for getting maximum monetary returns.
  • In sequence cropping system, the sequence of cotton followed by summer groundnut and cotton followed by summer sunflower were found more remunerative than other sequences.

Cotton Entomology

  • Demonstration of pilot project on cotton IPM i.e. “Ashta Pattern” at village level over 100 ha
  • Development of resistance lines for Jassids – IS 376-4-3-1, IS 2-2, IS 1-43
  • Estimation of losses due to sucking pests (16-27%) and bollworms (38-73%)
  • Determination of ETL for bollworms (5-10% fruiting bodies)
  • Recommended IPM module for rainfed cotton is included in plant protection schedule of Maharashtra Govt.
  • Insecticidal recommendations : Cypermethrin, fenpropathrin & spinosad for bollworms
  • Seed Treatment of Thiamethoxam 5 g/kg seed against sucking pests of cotton

Cotton Pathology

  • The cotton line NCMDR –8,10,13,15,16,18,21,22 and 23 were found disease resistant to Bacterial blight disease.
  • The cotton lines NCMDR-3,6,8,12,13,17,20,22 were found disease resistant to Alternaria leaf spot of cotton.
  • All most all Arboreum cotton varieties were found disease resistant to parawilt (new wilt) of cotton
  • The fungicide calixin 0.01% (N-Tridecyl-2,6 dimethyl) was found most effective to control the grey mildew of cotton.
  • Copper ocy-chloride 0.25% + Agrimycin 100 ppm recommended for control the bacterial blight of cotton.
  • Carbendazin 0.1% found most effective, to control the bollrot of cotton.
  • Seed delinting with sulphuric acid + seed treatment with thirum 2-3 gram / kg. Seed found most effective in reducing the seedling mortality of cotton.
  • The crops of bhendi, Brinjal and Tomato acts as Alternate host for the fungus Alternaria, so it is suggested that these host plants should no be planted near the cotton crop for minimize the Alternaria leaf spot incidence on the cotton crop.
  • Identification of races of Xanthomonas Campaytris Pv malvacerium the rase No. 10 was identified from NH-452, NHH-44, NHH-302 and PH-93 cotton varieties.
  • Observations on appearance and progress of cotton diseases in relation to wheather parameters.


  1. The co-relation study, revealed that there was positive and significant co-relation of Bacterial blight and Alternaria with relative humidity indicated that with increase in one parameter there was partial and proportionate in the other.
  2. It means as “humidity increased disease intensity also increased for both the diseases.”
  3. The spraying of 0.1% carbendazim at 30, 60 and 90 days after sowing is recommended for effective control of grey mildew of cotton and achieving higher seed cotton yield.
  4. The seed treatment with PF-1 i.e. pseudomonas fluorescens@10 g/ kg seed + PF-1 spraying (0.2%) three times at 30, 60 and 90 days after sowing is recommended for the control of bacterial blight and Alternaria and achieving higher seed cotton yield.


Cotton Breeding

  1. Development of superior intra hirsutum hybrids having high yield potential, stability in performance and superior fibre properties based on conventional as well as male sterility system suitable for rainfed conditions.
  2. Development of superior G.hirsutum varieties having high, stable yield performance, better fibre properties and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress conditions.
  3. Development of G. arboreum varieties with high yield potential, bigger boll size and superior fibre properties.
  4. G.hirsutum variety PH-348 having 15% higher yield than NH-545 and fibre length (27-28 mm) superior boll size (3.5 g) and robust plant type was released by sate variety release committee during 2004 after its extensive testing in AICCIP (CZ) trials. Due to its hybrid plant type and high yield potential, this variety is spreading fast among marginal farmers.
  5. Development of superior Bt cotton hybrids / varieties by utilizing ‘Bt' gene source developed by public institutes like CICR, Nagpur, UAS, Dharwad etc.
  6. Fixing heterosis in promising conventional / Bt hybrids by utilizing apomictic gene source developed at this Research Station.

Cotton Physiology

  1. Screening of cotton genotypes for drought tolerance under irrigated and rainfed situation.
  2. Studies on amelioratiana of water stress through use of osmoprotectants.
  3. Investigation on physiological efficacy in Bt cotton hybrids
  4. Studies on molecular markers for drought tolerance in cotton.

Cotton Agronomy

  1. The future research work on Bt cotton with its agronomic package of practices needs to be developed viz. plant population of cotton different ‘Bt' cotton varieties , Integrated nutrients management. Augmentation of irrigation potential through various water conservation, water saving measures and irrigation management in the cotton crop is to be undertake.
  2. The spread of Bt management technology will be very essential to increased the production of cotton. Simultaneously the necessary steps to increased the breeder seed production programme of cotton at CRS, Nanded.
  3. Establishment of vermin compost unit and organic cotton cultivation on commercial basis.

Cotton Entomology

  1. Identification of resistant lines of cotton against major pests of cotton for their utilization in breeding programme
  2. Development and validation of bio intensive IPM module for rainfed cotton.
  3. Spread of IPM technology for sustainable cotton production.
  4. Development of IPM module for Bt cotton and its dissemination to farmer's
  5. Management of pink bollworms of cotton.

Cotton Pathology

  1. Disease management by bioagents and new molecules
  2. Formulation of disease forecasting module for the farmers
  3. Screening of disease resistance for new breeding lines
  4. Breeding for disease resistance for important cotton diseases
  5. The chemical and biological disease management in Bt cottons


Dr A.S. Ansingkar
Sr.Scientist (Cotton),
MarthwadaAgricultural University, Degloor Road,
Nanded - 431 602

Phone no: 02462-39930(O) 41576(O) 48408(R)

Fax no: 02462-239930 264005

Email :