Cotton production in China has developed rapidly during the last 60 years. Using only 15% of the world’s cotton land, China currently has produced 30% of the world's cotton. Such a great achievement is largely attributed to adoption of intensive farming technologies and cultural practices, including seedling transplanting, plastic mulching, double cropping, plant pruning, and super-high plant density technique. However, the intensive technologies are labor intensive and involve large input of materials such as fertilizers, pesticides, and plastic films. Thus, there are increasing challenges from labor shortage, soil pollution, and low competitiveness. Here, the achievements, challenges, countermeasures, and prospects for intensive cotton cultivation in China are reviewed. An important conclusion from this review is to reform the current intensive technology to be more light and simplified. Sustainable development of cotton production in China will be supported by the light and simplified farming and cultural system, and China cotton has a bright prospect.
Part of the book: Cotton Research