Cotton is not very demanding, it needs heat, a minimum of
thirteen degrees. The cotton tree has a development a bit special. Indeed, it
has an indeterminate growth. On the same plant of cotton tree, we can find all
stages of development.
Insects are harmful to cotton plants and to stop them,
producers use a lot of pesticides. To quote figures, cotton crops account for
25% of the pesticides bought in the world. In some countries, such as China in
particular, caterpillars are reluctant to insecticides and it was necessary to
find a parade. This is where transgenic cotton appeared, adding a foreign gene
that produces a toxin that kills caterpillars.
To produce the cotton, producers utilize petroleum, coal and
natural gas which are especially energy intensive. They also use fertilizers,
pesticides, herbicides and cotton production requires intensive irrigation. In
the end cotton plants will be treated up to twenty times by pesticides.
Organic farming is one of the solutions to escape the
escalation 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 the
negative effects on the environment.
– Colourful fibers:
It represent an ecological interest because the process of eliminate the
colour previously was polluting. Now more and more producers keep the colourful
– Organic farming: In this production synthetic chemical
pesticides are banned.
B. The processing stage
The producers follow the culture constantly. From a certain
stage they perform a count of the capsules. When 80% of the capsules have
started 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 because
production is very important. Up to 800 kilos of cotton seeds can be harvested
per hour. Once the seed cotton is
harvested, 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, the
cotton fibers are compressed and form blocks of about 220 kilograms. Before
being sent to be processed, the cotton blocks will have to be checked and
evaluated for their quality. The length, strength and colour of the fibers are
then studied. Once checked the cotton is then ready to be sold. Cotton travels
mainly by sea voice.