Cotton-Based Cropping Systems and Their Impacts on Production

  • Amar MatloobEmail author
  • Farhena Aslam
  • Haseeb Ur Rehman
  • Abdul Khaliq
  • Shakeel Ahmad
  • Azra Yasmeen
  • Nazim Hussain


Cotton farming symbolizes single largest use of arable land for fiber production on earth, and cotton-based cropping systems are practiced under diverse agro-climatic environments in more than 100 countries. World cotton production has escalated in recent past and has undergone numerous technological transformations and socioeconomic interventions in quest of productivity and sustainability. Cotton-based cropping systems range from low-input rainfed systems in Australia and Africa to highly mechanized intensive farming systems in the United States, Brazil, and China. In India and Pakistan, multiplicity of cotton varieties, weather extremes, uncertainty of climatic optima, spurious seeds, non-remunerative markets, and low quality plus adulterated chemicals or pesticides are key problems leading to low yields besides net profits in otherwise high productivity cotton-based cropping systems. Resource conserving, eco-efficient, climate smart, and economically viable cropping systems that rotate/intercrop cotton with cereals, oilseeds, and legumes are required. Relay or intercropping and crop rotations will lead to the ecological intensification of cotton-based cropping systems. An ideal cotton-based cropping system should aim at higher yields and net profits per unit area, bring stability into the production system, ensure optimal utilization of the available resources, be able to meet domestic requirements of farmer, and avoid ecological uncertainty in the form of shifts in insect pests or weed populations or evolution of pesticide resistance in the long run. Another area requiring significant improvement is integrating current curative pest management options with other cultural methods to avoid insecticide/herbicide resistance development in an era of transgenics. The transgenics have their own pros and cons, and due deliberations in the best interest of agro-ecosystem sustainability and small landholders be made with involvement of all stakeholders. Biotech seed industry should plan safe mechanisms for herbicide-tolerant crop development to evade resistance development or gene introgression in weeds. Productivity and profitability of cotton-based cropping systems needs to be explored with greater ecological orientation under conventional and organic management systems. This chapter documents the productivity and resource use efficiency of cotton-based cropping systems based on existing agronomic and experimental evidences. Crop growth and development, productivity, quality, resource use efficiencies, and profitability of various systems have been discussed at the plant, field, and system levels.


Climate smart cotton production Insect pests Lint yield and quality Productivity and profitability Resource use efficiency Sustainable cropping systems 


g ha−1

Gram per hectare



kg ha−1

Kilogram per hectare

t ha−1

Tons per hectare


Area time equivalent ratio


Land equivalent ratio


Light use efficiency




Nitrogen use efficiency




Photosynthetically active radiation




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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amar Matloob
    • 1
    Email author
  • Farhena Aslam
    • 2
  • Haseeb Ur Rehman
    • 2
  • Abdul Khaliq
    • 3
  • Shakeel Ahmad
    • 2
  • Azra Yasmeen
    • 2
  • Nazim Hussain
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental ScienceMNS-University of AgricultureMultanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and TechnologyBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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