Optimizing Cotton Production With Strategic Herbicide Use

India is the leading producer of cotton worldwide, both in terms of cultivation area and production. Cotton is a vital commercial and fiber crop in the country. It plays a significant role in India’s economy.

Cotton is a prominent kharif crop primarily cultivated in states such as Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. In these regions, the irrigated crop is sown between March and May, while the rain-fed crop is planted in June and July coinciding with the onset of the monsoon season.


Effective weed control is crucial in cotton cultivation due to factors like high fertilizer use, slow initial growth, and wide spacing, which make cotton susceptible to weed infestations. Controlling weeds becomes imperative to maintain crop health and yield potential.

It’s better to go with integrated weed management strategies to control weeds in cotton, with the use of herbicides being a primary practice. By implementing a combination of techniques, including herbicide application, farmers can effectively manage weed populations and ensure the healthy growth of cotton crops.                  

In cotton crops, some common weed species that farmers often encounter include:

Several herbicides are commonly used in cotton crop to effectively control weeds. Here are some of the best herbicides recommended for use in cotton cultivation:

Applying herbicides is a crop- and weed-specific practice, tailored to meet the needs of the crop while targeting the specific weeds present. Careful consideration of the crop’s requirements ensures effective weed control while minimizing any negative impact on the crop itself.

Pre-emergence herbicides:

Herbicide application after the crop is sown but before weeds and crop have emerged.

Pre-emergent application of

Pendimethalin – 5-6ml/l (Ex: Tata Rallis Panida Grande, Stomp xtra, Dhanutop)

Butachlor – 5 ml/l (Ex: Machete) can control all most all narrow leaved and broad-leaved weeds.

Post-emergence Herbicides:

Application of herbicide after the crop and weeds have emerged from the soil.

Post-emergent application of

Paraquat dichloride– 6 ml/l (Ex: Gramaxone)

Propaquizafop – 2ml/l (Ex: Agil)

Fluazifop-p-butyl – 2-3 ml/l (Ex: Fusiflex)

Note: It’s important for farmers to carefully read and follow the herbicide label instructions, dosage recommendations, and safety precautions.

Tips while spraying herbicide

If you are Spraying non selective herbicide spray directly onto the weeds, try to avoid contact with the cotton plants.

Spraying should be done by reverse walking and avoid walking on sprayed field.

Avoid spraying during periods of high temperature or stress.

The ideal timing for herbicide application in cotton is when the crop is at a stage where it is less vulnerable to herbicide damage.

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