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Cotton is an important fiber yielding crop of global importance, widely referred to as 'King of fibre crops' and 'White gold'. India has the distinction of having largest cotton area, accounting for more than 12 percent of the world's cotton production. In Andhra Pradesh, cotton is grown in an area of about 10.02 lakh ha, producing 27 lakh bales with a productivity of 458 kg/ha lint. The crop is mostly cultivated during Kharif season as a rainfed crop and also during Rabi in areas with sufficient residual moisture and irrigation facilities. The farmers are used to cultivate this crop under high input management because of its commercial value. The indiscriminate use of pesticides and continuous monocropping has resulted in flare-up of whitefly in 80's, Heliothes during 90's, jassid infestation and black arm disease in addition to micronutrient problems. Cultivation of unidentified hybrids, use of F2 seed and imbalanced nutrition with heavy reliance on chemical fertilizers are other major causes of low yields in cotton.

The use of recommended improved varieties/hybrids, resistant varieties against problematic pests and diseases in endemic areas, delinting of seed, seed treatment, integrated nutrient, pest and disease management, clean picking and grading of cotton kapas will aid in improving net returns to cotton farmers.

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