To ensure that the attack is stopped in its infancy, the CM asked the department to station its teams in the cotton belt.
Cotton farmers in Punjab and Haryana in the northern states are struggling due to pink bollworm (PBW) infestation. In districts like Hisar and Sirsa in Haryana, as well as Bhatinda and Faridkot in Punjab, PBW infestation was discovered in the early stages of the cotton crop cycle.
On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to take precautions against the growth of pink bollworm in the cotton belt of the state.
Reports of pink bollworms have started to emerge from cotton fields in Mansa and Bathinda regions. The pink bollworm only eats cotton plants or is monophagous. It impacts a flowering plant. First generation transgenic Bt cotton (Bollgard cotton) no longer affects it. Field pheromone traps that catch male insects can quickly detect a bollworm infestation.
To ensure that the attack is stopped in its infancy, the CM asked the department to station its teams in the cotton belt. He said there was an urgent need to take all necessary precautions to prevent the pink bollworm attack from spreading to cotton-growing areas.
The CM said the State Department has a responsibility to prevent any loss to farmers and the attack must be addressed immediately. He asked the teams to travel to the Malwa area, assess the scale of the attack and determine the appropriate course of action.
According to Vijay Kumar, the senior entomologist at the Punjab University of Agriculture (PAU), “the bollworm would only impact those farms whose residues from last year have not been The late planted crop was not affected by bollworm or delay in supporting canal irrigation.
ICAR-ICRC recommendations for controlling the pink bollworm
In any event, the cotton harvest should be completed in January.
Observe the cotton season. Avoid planting cotton in April and May as incidences of pink bollworm can be higher in these months.
Remove all stubble from the previous crop from the field, paying particular attention to infected bolls. A heap of dried crop branches should not be created at the edge of the field.
If you have seed for both Bt and non-Bt cotton crops, plant the non-Bt seed in the field as a reserve crop. Pink bollworm can be treated using this method.
Avoid bringing contaminated and infected cotton bolls into storage.
First published: June 23, 2022, 03:17 IST
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