The aggravation of global water shortage, drought, soil salinity and the rising labor cost, have posed a serious threat to cotton production, thus cotton planting area is decreasing. Breeding and popularizing new cotton varieties with stress resistance, high yield and suitable for machine harvesting are the main ways for sustainable cotton production.
The cultivation of drought resistant and salt tolerant cotton varieties is an important way to alleviate the contradiction between supply and demand of water resources and ensure the sustainable and stable development of cotton. It is an inevitable trend to develop the mechanization of the whole process of cotton planting to reduce the labor cost. Mechanical harvesting has higher requirements for plant height, height of initial fruit node, number of fruit branches, internode length, concentrated boll opening, etc. At the same time, it also has different requirements for plant type and growth period. Today, about 40% of the world's cotton is harvested mechanically. In major cotton growing countries such as United States, Australia, Israel, Uzbekistan, cotton production is completely mechanized. The cultivated cotton varieties have the characters of early maturity, stable growth, concentrated boll opening, excellent fiber quality and are suitable for mechanized management.
Cotton breeding research is a traditional advantageous discipline in the Dryland Farming Institute of Hebei Academy of Agriculture Sciences. The Institute has long been researching on the creation and application of new cotton germplasm with early maturity, stress resistance, suitable for machine harvesting, and new variety breeding. Many new varieties with early maturity, drought resistance, salt tolerance, high yield and high quality and suitable for machine harvesting have been developed, which have been widely used in production.
We are looking forwards to cooperating with foreign research institutions and scientists, to exchange germplasm resources to combine conventional methods with molecular marker breeding to create target new germplasm and select new cotton varieties with drought resistance, salt tolerance and suitable for mechanized operation.
Dai Maohua, project leader
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