Where is Cotton Grown?
Today, many products are made from cotton. And given its popularity and use, many forget it’s a plant that needs to be harvested seasonally to meet the ever-growing demand for cotton products all over the world. Cotton has been grown for more than five centuries, and it’s only in the mid-1900s when its farming progressed from handpicking to horse ploughing.
But with the 21st-century cutting edge tech, farmers can grow cotton efficiently. And though cotton can take many different forms, including a shirt, t-shirt, cleansing wipe or a promotional bag, it’s essential to learn where it comes from.
Where cotton grows?
Cotton loves warm temperatures. Because of this, it is grown in some parts of the US, in India, China, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Brazil. In the US, the main cotton-growing states include Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia, and Florida.
Why not also read: How is Cotton Made?
But because cotton needs warm temperatures, it is not naturally grown in the UK unless it’s in a greenhouse.
Now, China has more than 100,000 farmers cultivating cotton. This makes it one of the largest countries producing cotton in the country. It has more than 7,500 textile companies that collectively produce cotton cloth worth about $73 billion annually. The cultivation requires moderate rainfall and to save it from pests; there is heavy usage of fertilizers and pesticides.
India closely follows China’s cotton volume production. India produces an excess of 6,423 thousand metric tons of cotton annually. This is because northern India has a favourable cotton climate with between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. Cotton in India is processed in bulk using modern equipment and technology, depending on the desired quality.
The US comes in third, and it uses modern machinery. Cotton is harvested using machines that pick cotton bolls without damaging the plant. The favourable climate in the regions described above gives a massive boost to cotton production in the area.
When is cotton planted?
The dates are entirely dependent on the climate of an area. But usually, cotton seeds are planted in April when the soil is warm enough for seeds to germinate. However, there are different seed varieties made to reduce maturity time.
Until the cotton is harvested, farmers are required to keep the fields free from weeds, diseases and insects. Weeds tend to choke plants and diseases, and insects devastate crops. Healthy plants flower with yellow-white flowers, which then turn red. The flower later dies and leaves a boll. These bolls burst open and expose the cotton to the sun for drying.
Back when farmers handpicked cotton bolls, one farmer could pick 200 pounds of cotton daily. But today, courtesy of tech advancements, the same 200 pounds can be picked within 90 seconds. The harvested cotton is then made into modules. One cotton module weighs about 20,000 pounds.
The cotton modules are then transported to textile mills where actual processing happens. Here lint is separated from cotton seeds and leaves, grass, and other trash are removed from the bottom part of the module. Processing continues until cotton usable by the end consumer is made.
Regardless of where it’s grown, the quality of cotton is almost similar. The cotton bags are strong and durable and are easy to print your unique designs.