12. Effect of varying planting density on weed infestation, crop phenology, yield, and fiber quality of cotton under different sowing methods

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Binish Khan, Muhammad Ishfaq, Khadija Murtza, Zarina Batool, Nasir Ali, Muhammad Shafique Aslam Imran Khan, Shakeel Ahmed Anjum


The sowing method and planting density of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) are two important tools for enhancing crop productivity and quality while reducing weeds infestation. This study was conducted to explore how to weed infestation, crop morphology, yield-related traits and fiber quality of cotton may be improved through the sowing method and planting density. Cotton line PB-896 was cultivated and hand thinned to maintain 59, 259 plants ha-1, 44,444 plants ha-1 and 35, 555 plants ha-1 under three sowing methods (flat sowing, ridge sowing, and bed sowing) at Postgraduate Agriculture Research Station (PARS), University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Punjab during 2017 and 2018. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with a split-plot arrangement. Obtained results revealed that ridge sowing of cotton reduced the weed density by 25% in comparison to flat sowing. However, bed sowing of cotton increased the sympodial branches, opened bolls plant-1, lint yield, seed index, and seed cotton yield by 48%, 52%, 38%, 39%, and 50% respectively as compared to flat sowing. Higher planting density found to be more efficient in weed reduction, however, lower planting density improved the monopodial branches (18%), total bolls plant-1 (14%), boll weight (16%), seed index (17%), and seed cotton yield (23%) than higher planting density. In terms of fiber quality, sowing methods only influenced the fiber uniformity that was comparatively higher in bed planting, while planting density only increased the fiber fineness that was better in lower planting density. In conclusion, the bed sowing method along with lower planting density found to be more efficient in improving crop morphology, yield, and yield-related traits.   

Keywords: Cotton; Planting density; Quality; Sowing method; Weed infestation; Yield


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