Cotton is not very demanding, it needs heat, a minimum ofthirteen degrees. The cotton tree has a development a bit special.
Indeed, ithas an indeterminate growth. On the same plant of cotton tree, we can find allstages of development. Insects are harmful to cotton plants and to stop them,producers use a lot of pesticides. To quote figures, cotton crops account for25% of the pesticides bought in the world. In some countries, such as China inparticular, caterpillars are reluctant to insecticides and it was necessary tofind a parade. This is where transgenic cotton appeared, adding a foreign genethat produces a toxin that kills caterpillars. To produce the cotton, producers utilize petroleum, coal andnatural gas which are especially energy intensive.
They also use fertilizers,pesticides, herbicides and cotton production requires intensive irrigation. Inthe end cotton plants will be treated up to twenty times by pesticides. Organic farming is one of the solutions to escape theescalation of toxics.
We distinguish 3 different culture modes: – Integrated Production (Integrated Pest Management System):The purpose is to reduce the costs of using pesticides and also to reduce thenegative effects on the environment. – Colourful fibers: It represent an ecological interest because the process of eliminate thecolour previously was polluting. Now more and more producers keep the colourfulfibers. – Organic farming: In this production synthetic chemicalpesticides are banned.
B. The processing stage The producers follow the culture constantly. From a certainstage they perform a count of the capsules. When 80% of the capsules havestarted to open, they use a maturation that will then accelerate the opening.And when 95% of the fruits are open, then it’s time to harvest them. In most producing countries, harvests are mechanized becauseproduction is very important.
Up to 800 kilos of cotton seeds can be harvestedper hour. Once the seed cotton isharvested, it has to go through the factory in order to become simply cotton.First cotton passes into machines to be rid of impurities such as stems,leaves. Then producers have to separate the fibers from the seed. After, thecotton fibers are compressed and form blocks of about 220 kilograms. Beforebeing sent to be processed, the cotton blocks will have to be checked andevaluated for their quality.
The length, strength and colour of the fibers arethen studied. Once checked the cotton is then ready to be sold. Cotton travelsmainly by sea voice.