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Farmers are instructed to follow cotton picking safety measures for achieving high quality cotton.

Agriculture Department Punjab, has instructed cotton growers to follow safety measures for picking cotton. They said if cotton is harvested in a wrong way then the quality of cotton is reduced. Cotton should be picked in dry conditions and picking must be avoided when there is morning dew or moisture. It should be harvested when more than 50 percent cotton bolls are open. Picking should be always started from the lower end of plant, so that the lower bolls are protected from dry leaves and other materials that affect the quality of cotton when it is picked from the top portion. Experts said that women picking the cotton should cover their hair with white cloth, in order to avoid contamination of cotton with hair. During cotton picking, bolls should not be removed from plant, only cotton should be picked from bolls and cotton must not remain in the bolls.

They said cotton should be harvested at an interval of 15-20 days. Leaves, capsules and damaged bolls from the cotton harvest should be removed. Pink bollworm infested cotton should be picked separately. Cotton-picking women should be given proper wage so that they would consider cleanliness and quality of cotton. Cotton bolls in the same fields open at different times. There is a gap of at least 2 months before first and last boll opens. Thus picking should also be done in accordance, at least 2-3 pickings are required to completely harvest the crop. Picking of cotton usually start in September and continues till December or even January. Picking can be done both manually or mechanized. The lint from the first and last pickings should be kept separate because the fibre from the last picking is of comparatively low quality with the respect to first one or two pickings.

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