Cotton is the livelihood for an estimated 60 million Indians including 6 million farmers, mostly small and marginal. Cotton provides 60% of the fiber used in our textile industries, supplies more than a million tons of cooking oil, and another million tons of quality animal feed.

Cotton seed accounts for 50% of the value of seed market in India.

Low productivity: While, India has 1/3rd of the global cotton acreage it accounts for less than 1/5th of the global production. Current average yield of around 550 kg/ha is significantly lower compared to other major producers like Brazil, China, and USA.

Crop improvements in plant architecture with suitability for high density planting, pest tolerance, herbicide resistance and drought tolerance are required to improve cotton productivity in India.

Low mechanisation: Globally cotton seed market is varietal which are suitable for machine picking. In India 98% of the cotton seeds used are hybrids. Current hybrids by their very nature have hybrid vigor and luxuriant growth and hence do not have plant architecture suitable for machine picking. Hence, 100% of cotton is manually picked in India. With increasing shortage of labour, the cost of manual picking in increasing. There is an urgent need for increasing mechanisation in cotton picking by developing plants suitable for machine picking.

To address the challenges of low productivity and mechanisation in cotton picking we @ Tierra, for the first time in India, have developed and successfully tested 3 hybrids with plant architecture suitable for High Density Planting System (HDPS) with over 80% synchronous boll maturity.

HDPS is planting of more number of plants per unit area. Apart from higher yields, HDPS maximises the efficiency of costly farm inputs. In HDPS the plant population is 28000 to 30000 plants per acre compared to 8000 to 10000 in conventional planting systems. Hybrids available in the market today are not suitable for HDPS and machine picking.

For HDPS and machine picking the plant should have lean canopy, synchronous boll development and opening, lesser monopodia (side branches), low leaf to boll ratio etc. Tierra's products are consistently exhibiting the above characters and the products are set to be commercially launched in 2016.

Apart from breeding for HDPS and machine picking cotton, other research priorities at Tierra are sucking pest tolerance, drought tolerance and better fibre quality. Tierra collaborates with National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR) to discover molecular markers for various important genetic traits in cotton. For more details and product enquiries contact here.

Hybrid Name Maturity (80% at 150 Days) Boll shape Boll wt (gm) Ginning % Yield Q/h Conventional Yield Q/h HDPS Type Suitable Areas Tolerance to Sucking Pests
TS1401 Early Oval 4.95 37% 32 57 HDPS Central & South Medium Tolerant
TS1402 Medium Oval 5.07 36% 34 79 Conventional & HDPS Central & South Medium Tolerant
TS1403 Medium Oval 5.22 36% 32 59 Conventional South Medium Tolerant
TS1501 Early Oval 5.19 35% 25 67 HDPS Central & South Medium Susceptible
Legend 80% maturity by
140 - 150 DAS Early
150 - 170 DAS Medium
170 - 180 DAS Full Maturity
> 180 DAS Late