Cotton is a fiber crop. The seeds are covered with fibers which can be removed (ginning) and are then twisted together to make thread, which is then used to make textiles.
Upland cotton or Mexican cotton is the most important cotton species in the world. About 90% of all cotton production is this species.
Cotton was already cultivated in Mexico about 5,500 years ago
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Basic information and facts
Cotton originates from Central America. In Mexico it was already cultivated about 5,500 years ago.
Cotton is grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Highest production is in China, USA, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Uzbekistan, Australia and Turkey.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Cotton is perennial but cultivated as an annual crop.
The cotton seeds are contained in a fruit which is called a “boll”. The seeds are surrounded by white fibres.
Climate and weather:
Cotton grows in tropical and subtropical climates.
Cotton can self-pollinate or cross-pollinate with the help of bees.
Cotton grows as a small bush which can be up to 1.5 meter tall.
Cotton is grown from seeds.
Cotton bollworm (Heliothis armigera) is a major pest of cotton.
Cotton can be picked by hand, but in large scale production is harvested by machines (mechanical cotton picker).
The cotton fibers are used to make textiles. The seeds are used to produce cottonseed oil.
Proverbs and Quotes
- We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. (Golda Meir)
- Abundance will make cotton pull a stone. (Proverb in Niger)