By admin       2016-09-27

Bathinda, September 26 - Farmers are worried over blight and wilting of the cotton and paddy crops in Bathinda and Mansa districts. However, the Agriculture Department says that the disease has caused only five per cent loss to the crops. The damage by wilting has been frequent in Talwandi Sabo and a few blocks of Mansa, including Jhunir. The cotton crop is hit by alternaria blight while paddy by sheet blight. The farmers have been recommended to spray pesticide over crops. Mansa agriculture officials claimed that the cases of wilted cotton were witnessed about 10 days ago in a few villages but now no new reports had come. Bathinda agriculture officials claimed that mild attack on crop was witnessed in some areas, taking the loss to 5 per cent. The officials said farmers who had purchased cotton seeds of a Gujarat-based company had witnessed more wilting. “My crop has been damage as the leaves at the bottom of the plant in the entire field are marked by burns and have wilted. The officials say that my land was less fertile and now, I am spraying the recommended pesticide over it,” said Gursewak Singh, a farmer from Nandgarh village. Sukhdev Singh of Malkon village said, “The burning of leaves in the bottom can be seen in every village in this area as all farmers have witnessed it. We were expecting a bumper crop, but in the last stage, the attack will prove to be a setback to farmers.” Bablaur Singh, agriculture development officer at Talwandi Sabo, said, “In some villages, the cotton crop has seen wilting and leaves at the bottom of plants are burnt. The leaves are blighted too. The crop damage is not more than 5 per cent. We have recommended pesticides to farmers, who had not sprayed it earlier. The damage is seen only on those crops where there was no or untimely spray on crops. The farmers who had preferred non-recommended cotton seeds of Gujarat-based companies have seen more loss in comparison to others.” Chief agriculture officer, Bathinda, Nachattar Singh Aulakh said, “Paddy has suffered sheet blight while cotton is hit by alterneria blight. But there is no loss to cotton. The cotton crop is at last stage while the blight affects only in early stages. Farmers have been recommended to spray pesticides.” However, Mansa agriculture officer Gurditta Singh Sidhu said, “Farmers had complained about wilting and blighting of cotton crop 10 days ago, but it was witnessed due to less fertile soil. The farmers were recommended to spray pesticide to control the damage and use manure to increase the soil potency. We have not received such complaints repeatedly.”

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