Fibres occupied an area of 340758.900 hectares (8,41,380 acres) in Amravati district. A little over 99 per cent of this was accounted for by cotton. The district is famous for production of cotton which has a very wide market. Other fibres grown include sann-hemp (Bombay hemp) and ambadi (Deccan hemp).


Kapas (Cotton) covered an area of 338339.835 hectares (8,35,407 acres) in 1960-61. The acreage under the crop in 1950-51 was 225180 hectares (5,56,000 acres). Thus during the decade between 1950-51 and 1960-61, area under cotton increased by 113159.835 hectares (2,79,407 acres), or 50.3 per cent. The Cotton Control Act was in operation in Pusha and Jarud revenue inspection circles of Morshi taluka. Since 1955-56, H-420 and Buri 0394 varieties were the improved varieties in the controlled area. The Cotton Control Act is not in operation now. The increase in acreage under cotton can be attributed to the propaganda for the growth of more cotton and the high prices obtained by the cultivators. The improved American varieties are Buri-0394 and Buri-147 whereas H-420 [The distribution of H-420 has been stopped since 1957-58.], Virnar 197/3 and Jarilla are the improved varieties of deshi cotton. Besides these, other varieties such as Cambodia, Umra, Co2, Rajpalyan. Verum. Rozia, etc. are also grown. The American varieties require more rainfall than deshi varieties and are grown on deep to medium types of soils. The deshi varieties are taken in medium soils.

Method of Cultivation.

The usual method of sowing is to drop the seed in the furrows of the drill through a sarala or a bamhoo tube of the seed drill. Cotton sowing is done in June. American varieties are sown many a time in May. This premonsoon sowing is practised only where irrigation facilities are available. The seed is sown on a chaufuli (a square formed by horizontal and vertical rows in the field) and is dibbled by hand and the individual plants are watered. Two or three such waterings are essential for the premonsoon crop. When the seed is drilled, the distance between the rows varies from 18" to 22". Cotton crop requires interculturing four or five times.

As a rule cotton is sown as an entire crop. However, jowar, sesamum and ambadi seed are occasionally mixed with cotton seed at the time of sowing. Tur is sown after every 10th to 25th line of cotton. Rotations usually followed are cotton, jowar and groundnut. Flowering of Deshi and American varieties commences in August and picking starts from October onwards. Buri-0394 variety is later than Buri-147. Picking of Deshi varieties is done three or four times and is in progress till December; that of American varieties is done five or six times and continues till February. Deshi varieties yield about 150 to 200 lbs. per acre whereas the yield of the American variety is 300 to 350 lbs. per acre.


[ A detailed discussion of diseases of cotton will be found in a separate section 'DISEASES' of this chapter.]

The cotton crop requires protection from diseases which affect the quality and yield of cotton and cause severe damage. The affected cotton fetches low price in the market. The most common disease on Deshi varieties is downy mildew, locally known as dahiya. The American varieties are free from the attack of this disease. When the infestation of dahiya is severe, the cotton crop is reduced to the state of brooms. The incidence of this pest was very severe in 1959. The American varieties of cotton are attacked by Aphids, Jassids, the spotted boll worm, the pink boll worm, the red cotton bug, etc.


The Cambodia cotton which is cultivated on a smaller scale is an improved variety. Another variety of American cotton known as Buri. acclimatised in the Vidarbha region, is also grown in this district. However, the lint of this variety was found to be weak. Attempts were made, therefore, to get a strain with consistent lint strength. Intensive selection yielded the improved strain Buri 107. But it proved to be a low ginner. and lost its popularity on that account. Another improved strain Buri 0394, a re-selection from Buri 107, is developed at the Achalpur Research Station. This has much higher ginning outturn as well as higher yield. Buri 0394 was released for general distribution in 1950-51 by the Department of Agri culture. Further selection from Buri 0394 resulted in an improved sister strain, viz., Buri 147. This is an earlier variety than Buri 0394, has a longer staple length and higher ginning percentage. All these varieties belong to the Gossipium hirsutum species.

Among Deshi varieties Bani was the common variety grown in Vidarbha region. But on account of its low ginning, poor yield and susceptibility to wilt it was soon replaced by a mixture of coarse types known as Jadi found in Jalgaon and Dhulia region. Efforts were made to get higher yielding strain from Jadi variety which resulted in the isolation of Roseum cotton. This was also found to he highly susceptible to wilt and hence organised research was undertaken to effect improvement. This resulted in the selection of Verum 262, which was released for distribution in 1929. As it was susceptible to variations in climate conditions, further improvement way made, which led to Verurn 434 in 1932, and was soon made available for distribution.

Recently, a strain known as Virnar 197-3 has been introduced in the district. This variety has been imported from Jalgaon district and occupies large tracts in all the eight districts of Vidarbha region. This variety has replaced H-420 cotton on account of its higher ginning percentage. Virnar 197-3 was obtained as a result of crossing Jarila X NRS (a high ginner), Being a late variety, it can withstand adverse seasonal conditions. However, now-a-days due to its high susceptibility to downy mildew (dahiya), it is losing its popularity. The com-parative value of Deshi strains is given below: -

Name of the variety

Yield per acre (in kg.)

Ginning percentage

Staple length (millimetres)

Average mill spinning capacity






1. Verum 262

135.900(300 lbs.)




2. Verum 434

158.550(350 lbs.)




3. H. 420

262.740(580 lbs.)




4. Virnar 197-3

226.500(500 lbs.)





Amravati, the district headquarters, is known to be one of the biggest cotton markets in India. Achalpur, Dhamangaon, Warud. Daryapur and Anjangaon are the other cotton markets in the district. The Agriculture Department under its Improved Seed Multiplication Scheme has introduced a system of cotton pool based on the ginning percentage and the purity at the pool centres. The ' A ' and ' B ' class, registered growers are induced  to contribute their produce to the pool where it is graded by the expert staff of the department. 1 he cotton thus collected is sold  by public auction in the premises of agents appointed by the Agriculture Department for the storage and distribution of cotton seed. The seed is purchased and further distributed to other cultivators.

Minor Fibres.

The minor fibres grown in the district comprise sann-hemp (Bombay Hemp) and ambadi (Deccan Hemp) which occupied an area of' 1549.125 hectares (3,825 acres) and 1410.615 hectares (3,483 acres), respectively, in 1958-59. In the following year (1959-60) sann-hemp and ambadi accounted for 1387.530 and 1402.920 hectares (3,426 and 3,464 acres), respectively. Total area under fibres in 1959-60 was 339957 hectares (8,39,400 acres) whereas acreage under sann-hemp and ambadi taken together accounted for 2790.450 hectares (6,890 acres) or less than 0.01 per cent. The fibre from these crops is largely used by the farmers, for their personal domestic requirements. Sann-hemp is mainly used for green manuring.