Low temperatures delay cotton maturity

By Tapiwa Machemedze

LOW temperatures experienced during the winter period have affected maturity of cotton in Bindura and surrounding areas with cattle now feasting on the crop.

While farmers in the Zambezi Valley have completed cotton picking, a cross section of growers in Bindura have been set back by low temperatures and cloudy skies that have delayed harvesting and marketing.

 Cotton farmers in the Chief Masembura area of Bindura are now facing a new challenge as cattle feast on their crop which is still green.

“This cold weather which affected our crop coupled with late planting has negatively affected our cotton. While it is supposed to have fully bloomed that is not the case this year. It’s still green and is not budding,” said Tecla Manyati, Chikono village.

“The late blooming of the crop is affecting us and we are just waiting to harvest. Normally we would have completed by now,” said Shepherd Chitunhu, Chitunhu.

Cottco Mount Darwin Business Unit Manager Mr Future Taruba confirmed the development saying the low temperatures are likely to affect yields.

“The cotton crop thrives in high temperature so now because of the cold weather conditions it is difficult for the pods to open up. Some growers are forced to harvest prematurely and this reduces yield and quality,” he said.

Meanwhile, cotton deliveries are at full throttle amid revelations that intake of the white gold stood at 35 000 tonnes as of the 13th of July.