Know Facts about Cotton Trees Plants That Turn Out to be Wasteful of Water

Cotton fiber has become the main raw material for humans to meet the needs of clothing and textiles. The cotton fibers are then spun and woven into cloth. It doesn’t just stop at clothing products, cotton fiber is still used as raw material for making household appliances.

In its cultivation, the cotton plant itself requires thousands of liters of water. This makes the cotton tree one of the water-consuming plants. Let’s find out more about the cotton plant.

1. The history of cotton

The history of cotton

5000 years ago, people in India were aggressively cultivating cotton plants. Then, cotton was increasingly recognized by the wider community and expanded to mainland China to the Mediterranean.

In Indonesia itself, cotton began to be grown for production materials since the Dutch East Indies government through Forced Cultivation. Until now, cotton has become one of the plantation commodities. Cotton is widely produced and grown in Eastern Indonesia. Cross-country, China and India are the world’s largest cotton exporters.

2. The morphology of the cotton plant

The morphology of the cotton plant


Cotton plant roots can reach 4 meters in length through the soil. This is why cotton really needs a lot of water to cultivate it. There are two types of roots of cotton plants, namely taproots that grow vertically and lateral roots that grow horizontally.

Cotton leaves are finger-shaped with five corners. Each cotton variety has its own leaf texture, generally the texture of the cotton leaves is smooth with a little hairiness. The color of the leaves is green to yellowish red.

Cotton fiber itself is taken from cotton fruit. The fruit ripens after 70 days from planting. Then the skin of the fruit cracks and makes the cotton fibers come out. Each cotton boll has 3-5 parts or spaces. However, the weight of cotton that has been harvested is only one-third of the total seed cotton.

3. Raw material for making cotton cloth

Raw material for making cotton cloth

Cotton fiber is the raw material for making textile products such as cotton cloth. The cotton cloth itself is used to make clothes or garment products. Clothing made from cotton, especially organic cotton is known to be environmentally friendly. Because the fibers are natural, not synthetic like microplastics.

And cotton has a high effectiveness of absorbing sweat. It is suitable for people who live in a tropical climate. The nature of cotton fiber can also cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Cotton fiber does not stop being processed into clothes. Cotton fiber is also a raw material for other household needs, such as tea and coffee filters, tents, and fishing nets.

4. Wasting water

Wasting water

To produce one jeans from cotton fiber requires a minimum of 10,000 gallons of water. Meanwhile, to produce one t-shirt requires about 3,000 gallons of water. The cotton plant is a type of plant that requires a lot of water, especially in the early stages of planting.

Every one kilogram of cotton requires at least 1500 liters of water. This water supply cannot rely solely on rainfall. Moreover, when the dry season arrives, farmers must provide irrigation or water reserves to irrigate cotton fields.

The large amount of water consumption in cotton farming leaves a very large water footprint. The types of water used include rainwater, irrigation water, and water mixed with fertilizers that can degrade soil quality.

5. Cotton production is not always environmentally friendly

Cotton production is not always environmentally friendly

Cotton is a natural fiber for making clothes. Eco-friendly fashion products usually use cotton fiber or cotton material to make clothes. Because cotton is a biodegradable fiber.

Although environmentally friendly, cotton production can be environmentally unfriendly, even damaging to the environment. Cotton farming usually uses chemical pesticides to control pests that can damage the soil and pollute the water content. Not to mention, cotton is a type of tree that wastes water.

Eco-friendly cotton is usually grown with care using sustainable farming principles. The steps include the selection of superior seed varieties, crop rotation, sustainable irrigation systems, and technological engineering assistance.

Cotton trees have been around for thousands of years. The existence of cotton still cannot be replaced to make natural and environmentally friendly fibers. Sustainable agriculture is needed so that cotton production does not damage the environment.

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