Plant Biology –
- The average length of the most common cotton crop fiber is 3.5 centimeters. Also known as the “staple length”
- The plant takes approximately 30 days to fully mature and grow to its peak size
- Because of their need for a long, sunny growing period with at least 160 frost free days cotton plants thrive between latitudes 45 degrees north and 30 degrees south. Major producing countries in these geographical specifications are the United States, Peoples Republic of China, India, Pakistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.
- Out of all of the cotton producing countries, the Americas are the greatest producers of the finest cotton.
- In the US there are 17 states that are the major cotton producers, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Kansas and New Mexico. These states form a region known as the cotton belt. They all have 3 things in common: lots of sunshine, rain and fertile ground.
- Cotton plants have a general time frame in which they grow and produce after introducing the seed to the soil. In 5 to 10 days the plants will began to germinate
- The first 2 leaves that are visible are the seeding leaves called the cotyledons. These leaves absorb energy through photosynthesis from the sun
- 2-4 weeks true leaves start to form which carry on the feeding process for the remainder of its life
- 5-7 weeks plants grows squares which are buds which the flower blossoms from and then withers and dies leaving the immature cotton boll (which is considered to be a fruit because it contains 32 seeds)
- The boll becomes larger and thickened with their primary growth substance cellulose which is the carbohydrate found in most cell walls of plants
- In approximately 145 days the boll splits open to reveal the cotton that is ready for picking
-Weather, insects and moisture can unfavorably affect optimum conditions for plant growth
Cotton is the producers of most of the clothes we wear and fabrics used around the house. Some products that cotton produce are:
• Soft furnishing
• Pillowcases *Cotton is also spun into yarn, which can be used to knit http://wiki.answers.com Historical/Societal connections
- According to historians and scientists, the first discovery of the cotton plant is dated back 7000 years ago in a Mexican cave where they found fragments of cloth.
- In 3000 B.C Archaeologists first cultivated cotton in the Indus Valley of India
- In the early 1500’s, American Indians were growing cotton plants. Spaniards were growing crops in Florida in the mid 1550’s (1556)
- In 1607 cotton had been introduced to North America the first seed was planted in Virginia.
- In the early 1700’s, England prohibited importation and exportation of cotton. This was enforced to protect the powerful English sheep and wool industry of that time.
- In 1793 when Eli Whitney manufactured the Cotton Gin, which was a mechanical cotton picker, which stripped the lint from the plant. This increased cotton picking from 1 pound to 50 pounds per day.
- In the early 1930's the Rust Brothers of Mississippi used a one-row mechanical cotton picker to pick approximately 8,000 pounds of seed cotton in one day.